The Storm of Echoes by Christelle Dabos {Book Review}

This series has been one I’ve followed since finding on Instagram back with book one, and it was amazing to see it slowly gain interest among the bookstagrammers and book tubers . Fantasy series tend to feel pretty unique since they explore worlds other than their own, but Christelle Dabos created one with this series that just grew with each book. From what I’ve seen, translated texts aren’t a big thing in the American literary market, at least in YA (let me know if I’m wrong on this btw), so this book getting more and more popular was awesome to watch.

Synopsis:

The Storm of Echoes is book four and the finale of the Mirror Visitor Quartet. In this final installment Ophelia and Thorn combine forces to find out the truth behind God, the Other, and the Echoes that have thrown their world into chaos. The answer and the solution though could come at a steep cost.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

The Mirror Visitor Quartet has been an exciting and unique ride of a series. When I first came across it there wasn’t much mention of it anywhere since it was a translated text just coming into the market at the time. I remember reading this and just getting sucked into this world split apart into arks, each with their own people, magic, and cultures, but all connected by this great dark mystery.

In this last installment of the series, The Storm of Echoes maintained that uniqueness and added some incredible suspension and darkness to the mix. It also finally gave us the combined force of Thorn and Ophelia actively working together for once, and genuinely looking after one another after so many books of them caring for each other, but ultimately going off on their own to achieve the same end. I think if I had to give a big positive to this book and series it’s the characters that Dabos gives us. There are a lot of characters in these books, each new ark providing a whole new list each book, but somehow each is very purposeful and meaningful to the plot. That bully from an earlier book? Oh yeah, they show up again to interact with Ophelia. Someone casually mentioned? Shows up eventually. It’s an interesting mix of characters that you find yourself watching even more closely to anyone mentioned, wondering how they really will play out in coming events. I will say though that that can also be a negative as you find yourself attached to some characters who don’t seem to get the full attention they deserve like Archibald and Fox. The other big positive is in the world building, and the echoes, both being fully explored in their connections, and fully utilized. When they first mentioned the echoes I found myself writing them off as Ophelia’s little quirks since she did that herself, but as we get further in the series you start to wonder how they came to be, and the story was truly interesting. Dabos really did put every little detail she could into this world, story, and cast of characters that she could.

So, if there were great characters and a great world where did this book only get 3 stars? Between this book and the last one there was a huge change in pacing for me where it just took a lot more to get back into this world and the writing style. There is a very different writing style to this books than even fantasy books I’ve been starting to read, so picking them up can be a bit of a challenge as you adjust to that before even grappling with a slower pace. This book and the third, the Memory of Babel rely heavily on suspension where the other books still had some action at the beginning, so with the writing style it can be a bit of hill to climb just getting into the books. Another tick off the rating for me this time though was in word choice. If you read my review last time I mentioned word choice being a flaw, but something I chalked up to a possible translation error. Benefit of the doubt only can apply to the first instance though, as it happened again and again in this book. Mentions of an individual’s origin being oriental every single time they were described, the use of the word retarded, and other words really should be addressed. It’s one thing if it’s accepted in the country of origin, but if bringing a book to a new market typically translation includes ensuring the best word is used in these instances. Not to mention I know I wasn’t the only reader complaining about word choice in my last review.

I think out of the series the first two books were my favorites overall, they were well paced and well thought out, but this and the last book suffered in comparison. There was a lot to this plot and with the pacing it was sometimes hard to follow how things were being worked out. If you liked Memory of Babel and are wondering whether to continue, I think you should go ahead. The ending gets mixed reactions based on other reviews, so overall it’s definitely a book that comes down to personal taste, though I have no regrets on picking up the series. The world especially feels like something that will stick with me given its uniqueness.

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