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Echo, Vol. III (Approaching the Dark Age Series Book 3)
 
 

Echo, Vol. III (Approaching the Dark Age Series Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

M.C. Chivers
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Maledream's heroic sacrifice has cost him his way home, and now he is stuck within the swirling, chaotic mists of Etherscape's twisted storm. Alone, he's confronted by the sky-scraping Phantom Titans as their dark, bellowing laughs tremble the rocky, forsaken landscape. Trapped, he swings and roars defiantly with his awakened Relic Blades', Aisling and Retrinumun.

Meanwhile, Ganzath leads his exiled Anunaki-kin across earth's vast ocean, in the hopes of reaching Meridia to strike an alliance with the humans. However, they are hunted by the chasing Anunaki fleet, under the command of Admiral Jun'Zwu.

Quetolox, Lord of the Black Sect, has a promotion in store for Tunzuulizh of the Red Sect for his loyal service. However, although Tunzuulizh is gracious for the promotion, he is emotionally compromised when Quetolox brands the Queen a traitor of the state. Both a patriot and a royalist, he must cope with his conflicted inner-struggle and cold-blooded empathy, all in the name of loyalty.

In Meridia, the old Tribal leader, Larkham, is on the run from a shadowy group of assassins. Elric is missing, and Eldred nowhere to be seen. He must seek help, but from whom?

Other books in the Approaching the Dark Age Series:

Available Now:

Resonance, Vol. I
Orchestra, Vol. II

Future Releases:

Distortion, Vol. IV (Spring-Summer 2014*)
Chorus, Vol. V (TBA*)
Melody, Vol. VI (TBA*)
Finalverse, Vol. VII (TBA*) - Series Finale.

* Date subject to change.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4138 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: M.C.Chivers; Kindle edition (16 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007ZTN6NC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #252,717 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I was born in Bath City, United Kingdom, to my mother Regina (1/2 Greek / 1/2 English), and my father Raymond (English). From an early age, I have been hampered with disabilities in writing and reading. This ranges from severe Dyslexia, Aphasia and Mild-Retardation (though the latter two are highly debatable once you have read this biography in full).

On the outside, I look like a perfectly healthy young man. On the inside, I am highly confused and do not relate to reality as one normally should. In 1988, by the age of 3 years and 6 months, I had no capacity to speak (which any parent can tell you, is not normal for any child).

My mother took me to see many doctors and speech specialists to try to find out what the cause was. There was none, at least, in 1988. The Child Specialist, at the time, diagnosed me in his papers as showing signs of Dyslexia. He also diagnosed me with Aphasia, because I could not talk, and Mild-Retardation, because he was uncertain of some of the test results when my intelligence and cognitive abilities were called into question.

At that stage my mother, who was told of her child's conditions, was obviously very upset. The Doctors had told her that I would never have the capacity to speak, and that learning language was incomprehensible as was shown in the tests.

I was always a strange little boy. I would often walk on my toes, arrange VHS tapes in orderly lines, and would always bang my head or cry when my routines were upset in the slightest manner. This often led to me taking out my rage on toys or bed furniture. My mother's friends or mid-wives would comment on the behavior, that it was odd and distressing, though due to the diagnosed condition they obviously never pursued it and would often leave my mother with kind comments.

It was by the age of four that I finally uttered my first word. My mother was overjoyed, so much so that I still remember a vague memory of where most of my relatives were in the living room listening to me speak a single word. To her, it was a miracle that I could speak. She thought I had proved the doctors wrong. However, though I could finally say several words by the age of five, I still required intensive speech therapy and special lessons at the primary school, Frogwell, in Chippenham, Wiltshire (and outside of the school environment also).

I remember my first day at primary school very well. My mother dropped me off to the classroom, which was no problem. The problem happened when she had to leave me. I was left all alone in an environment where I knew no one at all. This absolutely petrified me, and I was always frightened of the teachers and other children (they were lovely and harmless, of course).

I could only speak three words at a time, before pausing briefly, to carry on with the sentence - again at three word stretches. If you were lucky. This made my life hell when trying to speak to other children in the class. I would always get upset or angry, yet at the same time, too frightened to say anything.

Instead, I would be picked up and taken home. Sometimes I relieved the stress by getting angry or upset at my parents or siblings. I was always deeply happy at home compared to school. I couldn't read or write, and this made me feel highly embarrassed and inferior compared to the children. We had small drawers in our classroom where we could store our work. I remember those grey little trays fondly. On the front of them, they had our names printed and stuck to them with sell-o-tape.

Could I read my own name? Not a chance. Quite often, I stashed my work in everyone else's drawers. Of course, this was quickly picked up by the teacher, who then told me, and then shown me, when that failed, of where my drawer was located. I never remembered my name, only the position of the drawer.

I never knew how to socialize with the other children. I always thought it strange, even after hitting secondary school. How boys and girls could be friends, never mind just making friends. Due to my incapacity to make any friends, boys or girls, (due to everything mentioned) my early years in school were very lonely.

My first years were spent following painted lines around the playground during break times. The other children played, of course, the playground would be filled with screams, laughs and utter chaos. I could never understand it, at the time. All I had was my lines. Eventually, when I turned seven years old, my life felt like it was changing for the better. I could now speak many words in a sentence - I couldn't read or write (or barely do math) still, but I could communicate with the other kids. My life was turning around, very slowly.

I enjoyed art, though. All the others kids sucked at it! Jest aside, I was always one to draw 3D pictures in the classroom, whereas all the other children could only draw 2D stickmen. Quite often, the teachers would be very surprised at my artistic ability. It was a shame that art was never a primary focus in our lessons. I could have done with more praise for something I could actually achieve in.

However, I needed to speed up when it came to literacy and language. It had taken me this long to speak, semi-fluently, but I could not read or write. My mother, when I turned eight, started taking me to Bath City, twice a week, and for an hour each time, to the Dyslexic Institute.
They specialize in teaching you in how to read and write. I attended this for 3 years. I always enjoyed Tuesdays and Thursdays. It would mean driving to Bath City for half the day - this meant I could avoid primary school. I was well happy.

In that time, I went from not being able to read or write, to being able to read books designed for age 3+. I remember the day well. It is one of my happiest moments. I could pick up a book and, as if a light bulb was switched on in my head, I could finally read a book by myself at the age of ten! I was so impressed with myself that I even read it out to my teacher (god knows what the book is now). She almost couldn't believe it. I finally got it. I could read.

My writing needed much improvement but, by the time I hit secondary school, I was all right. I could cope. I shan't trouble you with my secondary school life in such depth. Again, the attributes that plagued my social life also followed me into secondary school, such as heavy bullying - until the last couple of years, then it got a bit easier. It wasn't until I started college that my life really turned around, properly, for the first time.

Since then, I have had my fair share of relationships and breakups and have made or lost friends through either lack of contact or either party upsetting the other. Regrettably, I wish some of the people I lost were still my friends. As the old, unfortunate saying goes, "such is life." I find this saying bitter and twisted.

However, a more recent chapter has occurred lately since 2012. It is inconclusive, and I still have yet to find a doctor or specialist in the field that will give me a professional diagnosis. It is to determine if my mental disabilities are not that of Aphasia and Mild-Retardation, but that of Autism.

I was diagnosed in 1988 with the former, at a time when Autism was only thought to have been rare. This could be why the Child Specialist, at the time, marked me down as dyslexic, aphasic and mildly retarded. It is only since the turn of the millennium that Autism has gained the name ASD or "Autism Spectrum Disorder," and is a more recognized diagnosis, which has broadened since 2000.

There is a saying that "everyone is their own doctor". I do not wish to fall into this little trap, though my symptoms do match in many ways. Coincidence? Unfortunately, Aphasia and Dyslexia shares some of the symptoms of Autism in the way of speech, reading and writing. I also assume that the Child Specialist at the time did not recognize Autism (this was the late 1980s, compared to the wider awareness from 2000 onwards), and instead branded the symptoms "Mild-Retardation" in his report - of course, unfortunately, I don't believe I will ever know.

Could my original diagnosis at 3 years 6 months have been accurate? It changes nothing, but I would love to know all the same. Explaining how I work in one word would be brilliant. Autism is a disability gaining more recognition, compared to Aphasia that one would only normally acquire through head trauma - which, in my case, is not. I will leave you to think over this interesting fact - those with Autism develop language later in life, if indeed they can, at around the age of four in most cases.

Individuals with Autism have little grasp for grammar, if any, which has always been a hurdle in my writing. Add all the other little facets of my life, which I have and have not mentioned here, and I begin to formulate a picture. If I ever find out when the NHS get some funding for Mental Health, I will let you know.

Since 2005, I have been writing my story, which then developed into a series. It began with Resonance (the title switched names many times before I settled for Resonance), until I finally finished writing it up in 2007/8. Since then, I churned out Orchestra in 2011 - and then Echo in 2012.

I have drawn on much inspiration. This ranges from music, movies and anime (Japanese cartoons to us westerners - although far more awesome, especially on Blu-Ray with full HD). However, one massive inspiration is that of Final Fantasy VII. I played this game, religiously, when I was 14 - and still do today. Diablo II was also a massive source of inspiration - I would truant school to play it, and it served as a source of escapism. For years, I also attended the Chippenham Games Club, where I would often play tabletop games of Warhammer.

It was out of school, and many of the members were friendly adults that introduced myself and my younger brother to lots of different board games, card games and RPG's, such as Dungeons & Dragons (nothing beats second edition). These were self-esteem boosters, and I could always relate better with the older folks compared with others my own age. Another source of inspiration is my fascination with the paranormal or supernatural. This has been something that I have always been drawn to since a child.

I strongly believe that the earliest years in my life have played a large part in my utopian ideals, sourly mixed with those of occasional depression. Over the years, these inspirations have churned my intellect and aspirations of what I love to write. A science-fantasy to call my own.

Now, after my many hurdles, I believe I have achieved just that...

My own little universe.

*******************************************************************

For more information on Dyslexia, Aphasia, and Autism, please visit these links, here:

Dyslexia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyslexia

Aphasia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphasia

Autism - http://www.autism.org.uk/

*******************************************************************

Approaching the Dark Age Series Blog:

http://approachingdarkage.blogspot.co.uk/

*******************************************************************

Approaching the Dark Age Series Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Approaching-the-Dark-Age-Series/44182046100

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots more to come 16 Jun 2012
By Nic
Format:Kindle Edition
I started to read the first book in this series because I was asked to, but after a few pages was hooked and more than happy to carry on. I have read a lot of sci-fi/fantasy and enjoy them. I can see parallels in this to King and Tolkien, with the creation of vast environments, time lines, characters and quests.

Maledream is separated from his friends, Meridia is threatened and the Anunaki are in disarray and dangerous.
The fights, battles and ongoing dramas are well explained and fast paced. There isn't a moment to be bored. I want everything to be set right for the main characters - I really care about them now.

The author has repeatedly re-written these books, for improvements in language rather than actual content, as he has struggled with writing from an early age. While you may find the language a little different to start with, for me certainly, I soon became lost in the story and I stopped noticing it. It did not detract from my enjoyment.

I was only disappointed with this because I hadn't realised it is not the conclusion - there are several books yet to be written. I am eagerly awaiting there release.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The third book in this series follows directly on from the second. The chapters and story-arcs are tighter, with a step-change toward being concise without loosing anything from the story itself. I feel I am getting to know the characters better - they do not get along, most of them dont want to be there but as with human nature the urge to make do, and survive pushes them on.

In the first book and in a little of the second, I found some concepts hard to understand. This book was even more enjoyable as the story kept a tidy pace.
Also I like that the characters are now binding together as a family of friends, rather than competing individuals.

The humour bounces around and there are some nice twists and new people introduced, true nature leaks out of key figures to push the story on, I like where the story is heading, like a train gaining speed it pushes on keeping you entertained along the way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Faith
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You have to start reading this series or you're missing out. It was after reading this 3rd episode that made me come back on here to write up some reviews for this one and the second one. I thought Resonance was brilliant, Orchestra was better, and Echo was just even more so. Matthew's imagination is wonderful. He has filled his series with so much life.

The end of Orchestra was a bit of a cliffhanger but as Echo's already out it was no big deal. I thought it was an excellent start to the 3rd book, and I really did wonder where the story was taking me. I wasn't disapointed. I loved the new Anunaki characters that spring up during the book. One thing I must say is that Matthew does have a sinister imagination in places, and in others it takes me completely by surprise!

Maledream and his companions learn alot more about each other, and their abilities just go up and up, but in a realistic way. Some funny happenings are spread about, and this just adds to the entertainment value. I can't understand why this series isn't taking off?? I would love to see this as a series on TV or as a movie. It has everything ranging from colourful characters, landscapes, and really well described bad guys.

Read this series! get to it! Sorry I'm not so great at reviewing :(
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Worth the read ! 7 Jun 2013
By Michelle Willis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I received and read the rereleased smashwords version of this book and , as with the others, Loved it ! I am so attached to these characters and their journeys. The authors mind has taken me to a world so unlike any Ive been to through reading . I couldn't wait to read each new page and at the same time was dreading reaching the end :) . I do not have the ability to accurately describe this story and its characters, no matter how many times Ive tried. I just don't seem to do it justice. I am now left waiting as patiently as possible for the next installment. Thank you so much Matthew Chivers for sharing your imagination with me !
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic followup 11 Jun 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved the third installment of this series, with Maledream and the others learning much more about their abilities and the world around them. I find myself anxiously anticipating the next book, and highly recommend this and the rest of the series to any readers out there
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dark Age series - Amazon e-book 29 July 2012
By Regina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have now read three of the books within this series and find that the experience was less than satisfactory. The story line , while interesting in concept, is rambling and poorly structured. I found my interest waxing and waning in the "goals of the quest" which seems ill defined while the characters are wishy washy and lack depth.
I have read the author's background and, while I regard his achievement in producing these pieces as inspiring, I find that as marketable items they fall short. I was most disappointed with the presentation of each of the three novels/episodes - grammar, syntax, punctuation and spelling were appalling and ruined the reader's perception of the tale. It appears that the stories have not been edited or proof read before publication, with blocks of text repeated, lines out of order, events not chronological which renders some areas incomprehensible.
I have no interest in purchasing or pursuing any further stories in the series as a result. I feel that the author has not been well served in bringing these stories to publication at this time with these defects - he is in competition with better constructed, more involving tales from other authors and needs his product to be much better refined for continuing sales.

Ian Clements
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