The Echo by James Smythe

The Echo - James Smythe

Ever since I read this fantastic book, I’ve been on a James Smythe kick! Currently I’ve read two of his books and am in the middle of another. Unlike a lot of authors I really like, all of his other books interest me. I’m just wondering if this happens with anyone else, but a lot of the time, even when I know I love a particular author, I don’t pick up many of their other books because the plot just doesn’t enthuse me. What I’m trying to say is, do people read all the other books by an author they know they like, even if the plot isn’t something they’d normally read? Sorry, got a bit side-tracked there, I’ll get back to the book!


This is the second book in what’s now being called the Anomaly Quartet. It’s set twenty years after the events of the first book; you can find my review of that book here:


It’s really hard to describe the first book without giving anything away, but I’ll try! The novel saw a spaceship called The Ishiguro being the first manned mission to travel deeper into space than anyone before. Something went wrong during that mission though and now twins Tomas and Mirakel, two of the most brilliant minds in science, are sending a mission to space once more to study an anomaly- basically a huge blackness of space into which The Ishiguro disappeared.


These two books can be read as stand-alone novels, but if you want a bit of back-story into The Ishiguro, you should check out the first book. It doesn’t add much to your reading experience, but it does mean you have a bit more of an understanding.


I really liked the first book, but I loved this one! The thing that really got me about the first book was the plot. Anybody that’s read my reviews will know I’m a character junkie normally, but for some reason that didn’t matter at all here; I think it was because the plot was so strong. I’m not often shocked by events in a book, but I was several times here.


To me this book was better than the first for a few reasons. Firstly I preferred Mira who was the central character here. The main character from the first novel had many problems to cope with and was consequently more diverse at times, but I didn’t like him at all.

Secondly, I found the structure here and the story arc a bit smoother. Things seemed to move at a better pace here. In the first book events felt a bit forced at times, but it was more natural here.

Finally, I just liked the plot better. The first book felt claustrophobic and depressing. I can understand that sometimes people look for that in a book so it adds to the atmosphere, but me not so much.


Definitely give this author a go if you get the chance and make sure one of your first choices is this series.