Pellucid’s debut middle-grade adventure takes place in a fantastic realm.
Will Cleary’s life has always been a little bit strange. When he was 2, he and his twin sister, Emmy, mysteriously disappeared. Will returned in the center of the pond in the family’s yard, but Emmy never returned. Ten years later, Will’s parents are still obsessed with Emmy. His mother spends just about the whole day making sure the pond never freezes over. Will learns that his pet falcon and pet wolf are actually humanoid creatures, called Echoes, who have disguised themselves as animals to watch over Will. Each person has an Echo, a copy of themselves that lives in the Echo realm, a strange, magical land governed by superstitious beliefs. For instance, when a person dies, his or her Echo must also die. Will’s Echo happens to be a prince in the Echo realm, and dark forces want to stop him from becoming king, putting Will’s earthbound life in danger, too. So Will embarks on a dangerous trip to the realm of the Echoes to help save the prince. Young readers will enjoy the series of challenges Will faces on his adventure to set things right. Lies, deceit and shifting allegiances add some twists and turns to the story, while the blue-tinged CGI illustrations by Andy Simmons help bring the chilly Echo world to life. The story shares a number of similarities with the Harry Potter series—a Dumbledore-esque headmaster, monsters called Fate Sealers who resemble Death Eaters, and an unlikely trio of child heroes—but the unique, complex Echo world is enough to set this story apart.
A somewhat derivative fantasy novel that readers hungry for magic and adventure will gladly devour.