Echo by Alicia Wright Brewster0
The countdown clock reads ten days until the end of the world. The citizens are organized. Everyone's been notified and assigned a duty. The problem is . . . no one knows for sure how it will end.
Energy-hungry Mages are the most likely culprit. They travel toward a single location from every corner of the continent. Fueled by the two suns, each Mage holds the power of an element: air, earth, fire, metal, water, or ether. They harness their powers to draw energy from the most readily available resource: humans.
Ashara has been assigned to the Ethereal task force, made up of human ether manipulators and directed by Loken, a young man with whom she has a complicated past. Loken and Ashara bond over a common goal: to stop the Mages from occupying their home and gaining more energy than they can contain. But soon, they begin to suspect that the future of the world may depend on Ashara's death.
This book really caught me off guard. I didn't really know what to think about this book based on the summary and I kept shifting from really excited to unsure. Well, the book changed my opinion from page one which meant that I was in love with the characters and the plot just as quickly. The action scenes made me shift in my seat, the surprises made my breath catch, and the passionate moments made my heart race. I really felt like I was in the story, experiencing the end of the world with the characters as they raced to change fate. I am planning on rereading this book because I liked it so much.
Echo by Alicia Wright Brewster tells the story of Ashara, a young woman who is just waiting for the world to end as the countdown lights the sky. It is a time for gathering as a family, seeking forgiveness, and making memories. But there is a catch. The Council in charge of this new Earth have been rewinding time, hoping to find a way to change the fate of the world. On the final rewind, Ashara learns that the Council has been gathering every practitioner of element magic -- air, earth, fire, metal, water, and ether -- into tasks forces and she has been assigned to the Ethereal task force. The catch is she doesn't believe she has any elemental magic like the Council claims. She has no choice but to go to the task force meeting and when she arrives, she is faced with a dark spot in her past: her ex-boyfriend, Loken. Now, she must overlook her lingering feelings for him and find out if she really has the powers that they claim she does. Will she be able to find the magic inside her to fight the creatures threatening her world? What does the future hold for her and Loken? Is there any chance for a future past the countdown?
Ashara or as I've become fond of calling her, Asha is the main character of this story. Her blunt way of going about everything is kind of funny because typically the central character is sneaky but not Asha. She goes through everything head first and doesn't hesitate to plan. Either she is completely in or completely out, there is no middle ground with her. I find her curiosity about her birth father admirable and her thirst to prove that she is worth the effort being put towards her training. She wants to be accepted by those of her element, she wants to be loved by the boy who abandoned her to save the world, and she wants know who she even is. I found myself connecting with her emotions without even making any effort because she is so well written and so accessible to the reader. Sometimes the pitfall of a novel is the inability of the reader to connect with the main character but with Ashara, I did not have any issues at all. She made the choices that I would've made if I were in her place, I couldn't find fault with her reasoning because it was so similar to my own. She is a beautiful character.
Locken is... so very attractive. I'm sorry, I just turn to mush when I think about him. Anyway, I need to compose myself. When he is first introduced, he is very formal and almost distant especially when he is around Asha. I think there was a lot of underlying conflict in their breakup so when she refused to speak to him when he tried to contact her younger brother died, he knew where their relationship stood. At least he thought he did. Now that he is faced with dealing with the girl who seems to turn his world upside down just by looking at him, he has to keep himself distant. He made his choice and she made hers. I admire the fact that he doesn't force himself on her when she pushes him away. He challenges her in the best kinds of ways, always urging her to find out how strong she really is. His faith in her is unfaltering. I would say that their relationship is a constant course of up and downs but really, I think it's all foreplay for the passion in their relationship. He is an amazing character and he compliments while challenging Asha's character without a doubt. I love him and I won't deny it.
Rey and Krin are the best friends in this story. Rey is actually Asha's cousin, who is her only true best friend throughout the beginning of the story. He manages to make her laugh when she is feeling lost or nervous. He offers her comfort without a second thought and he helps her do all of her crazy plans, even when he knows they are crazy. It's amazing to watch them interact more like siblings than cousins and more like best friends than siblings. There is nothing between them except friendship and for that I am grateful. For once, I am not faced with the emotional roller coaster that is always there when a love triangle is involved. It sucks plain and simple, which is why I am so happy that this was not the case for this story. He is also Locken's best friend and Locken trusts him with Asha's life. She introduces her fellow ether practitioner, Krin, to Rey with the hopes that they will hit it off. Krin is her only friend in the group and she seems to look beyond the fact that Asha is so new to using this magic. She doesn't see her as anything different than herself. I think Rey and Krin made a cute couple without a doubt.
The Council members weren't the bad guys of the story, honestly. I think they had the best intentions at heart and they forgot the people they were in charge of in the process. In a place of power, that is honestly easy to do. I admire some of the Council members for their strength and knowledge towards the world surrounding them. Just like with every government, some of their choices definitely made me mad and I was happy to see that it irritated the characters as well. This book is very true to life, in the way the characters act that I found myself connecting in the smallest ways. I grew attached to everyone which is hard by the way.