Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Book Review: Echo Boy by Matt Haig

I imagine Echo boys would be created by shouting ‘boy’ into a cave or a bathroom.

Audrey’s father taught her that to stay human in the modern world, she had to build a moat around herself; a moat of books and music, philosophy and dreams. A moat that makes Audrey different from the echoes: sophisticated, emotionless machines, built to resemble humans and to work for human masters.

Daniel is an echo – but he’s not like the others. He feels a connection with Audrey; a feeling Daniel knows he was never designed to have, and cannot explain. And when Audrey is placed in terrible danger, he’s determined to save her.

This is an interest idea but there certainly issues with this novel. Believability is one of them for me.  

I think my main problem with this book is that it set too near in the future to believable, for example I don’t buy the science of a currently 84 year old being alive in 2115. Echos are also basically born cyborgs. Some messed up things would need to have happened for people to be okay with that and I don’t think that is explained in the book at all. I also highly doubt that all of Scotland would be flooded but Paris isn’t. Scotland is made of hills and apparently is rising above our current sea level (England is sinking so that being flood is believable enough). It was just off-handed comment but I took note.

Funfact: There is an intersex cat in this book, I know this because tortoiseshell cats are only female and the cat was described as being a he. I guess he could be genetically engineered but what a waste time is to be genetically engineering cats to look a way that’s already possible.

The characters are mostly...Likable? Sure. Lovable? No. I like Audrey’s voice, the book is partly told by her, the other by Daniel. Certain characters don’t play as believable. Uncle Alex and his son are not quite right. Motives are bit lacking. There is romance but it’s very minor and does work in favour of the story.

The plot is made up with the typical dystopia stuff, conspiracy, real threat to the main character’s life and all that good stuff. The world building is interesting with the other technologies. There are no real school anymore so people going into pods.

Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars for random DNA.  I did almost gave this a three but decided it wasn’t quite a three so round it to four because of the idea. This is enjoyable but the ending is a bit lacking and does lose points due to believability.  I recommend you read this book if you’re intrigued by the idea of an Echo.

I got this off Netgalley for a review. It’s being published by Bodley Head Children's Books on 27th  March 2014.

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