Book Review: Echo City

This book review is of Echo City by Tim Lebbon.

From the moment I set eyes on the cover of Tim Lebbon’s Echo City, I knew I wanted to read it. It’s a gorgeous, hefty book and feels very satisfying in my hand after months of kindle-reading.

And the quote by Stephen Erikson, my favourite fantasy author of all time, didn’t hurt either.

The Basics

Echo City is an isolated city in the middle of a desert. Thousands of years old, built in layers above it’s ancient beginnings, surrounded by an impassable wasteland.

When a political dissident spots a man walking across the dessert, a stranger from a far-away land, she doesn’t realise the threat he poses to her home.

The Good

Echo City is a wonderfully vivid novel. Right from the start I was drawn into the story. Tim Lebbon does a great job of introducing this strange, magical world without overwhelming the reader. The descriptions and concepts are never too much, despite the fact that their are some really far-out new ideas in this book.

The characters are wonderful. Lebbon introduces the large cast slowly, allowing the reader to get to know each character before moving on to the next. Then he leads them all towards each other and twists their lives together. The inter-personal relationships are very well portrayed. The group dynamics are complicated and interesting.

The Bad

I felt that this book was a little too long. Not that it’s 500 odd pages would be unusual in today’s bookshop. The middle dragged on a bit. There was a little too much of the sappy third-wheel ex-boyfriend moping about wondering about his relationships while everyone else is trying to save the world.

There is a LOT of trekking through dark caverns. Unavoidable really, when you consider the setting and the nature of Echo City itself. But some of these could have been shortened or cut.

I’m nit-picking really. I can’t fault Echo City on anything major.

The Bottom Line

Buy this book. Read it!

If you enjoy dark fantasy, this book will knock your socks off. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anybody looking for a good read.

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