An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington

Update May 2021:

Better on the reread. The criticisms still hold up; the lack of sharing is still annoying and Wirr’s chapters just don’t have the same impact as the rest. The story has just gotten so epic that the more prosaic side of things that his chapters cover mean it just didn’t have the same impact for me.

Though I still forgot most things that happened here, I was able to follow all the permutations and revelations easier this time round and it did make it a more cohesive read. This is a great series.

4.5 stars

2018:

Enjoyed that though maybe not quite as much as the first one.

This starts pretty much where we left off at the end of the first book. All of the characters are dealing with the consequences of what happened and for Caeden in particular, what he remembered about himself. 

This is an incredibly fast paced book, there is almost no let up. There are a lot of infodumps but I still enjoy how they’re done, mainly in the form of flashbacks or journal/book entries. Honestly there is so much going on that you need them to understand what the hell is happening in the bigger picture.

A lot of questions I had after the first book are answered though of course there are new ones now. For a long while I struggled to understand the bigger plot but it did start coming together towards the end. Our main characters are starting to come into their own, maturing and playing a more active role in the fate of the world.

However due to the already mentioned fast pace I don’t think they’ve progressed as much as I would like, there’s just been no time for growth and reflection. Caeden is an exception to this and I really love his POV chapters as anybody who’s read the books would understand. Wirr’s are probably the most disappointing as though important just don’t have quite the same impact as the others.

Though I am really enjoying this series I do have one major issue with it and it stops it being the full 5 stars. Characters not talking to each other and withholding information. I see why it’s done but for the most part it seems too contrived and is one my big peeves with Fantasy books in general. It happens a lot in these books. “Ok, I promise to tell you everything I know, but not until after we go into this dark and foreboding city where we are all likely to die, especially me.” There is also a lot of characters and terminology mentioned that can be confusing though luckily there is a glossary at the end of this one.

Overall though I really like this series and am looking forward to the concluding part later this year.

4 stars out of 5

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