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Echo McCool, Outlaw Through Time Paperback – 1 Jan 2011
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From the Author
In April 2011 Echo McCool, Outlaw Through Time was voted into the TOP TEN Goodreads.com "BEST BOOKS OF 2011" ahead of Christopher Paolini and Rick Riordan.
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When twelve year old Jason falls out of a tree and into a coma in the grounds of the children's home where he lives, he finds himself on a beach at the edge of time; somewhere between the living and the afterlife.
Here, he meets a beautiful dryad, Fenella, who recites a tale of ancient conflicts, war, bravery and death. She also reveals that Jason and his sister, Lauren, are descendants of a human-dryad and tasks Jason to return to earth to save her daughter, Echo McCool. In turn Echo will help Jason to rescue his sister from her kidnappers.
With Echo rescued from Witch Wood, she uses the dryad gift of Gewita to look into the past to unravel the mysteries of Jason's past and his sister's kidnapping. Together they delve deeper and deeper into the sinister secrets of the Cobalt family and the eerie Ravenstone Manor.
With the help of a (rock) band of minstrels, as echoes of a female Robin Hood resonate through the pages, they encounter dodgy coppers, arson attacks, collapsing tunnels and other endless confrontations, but don't panic - Echo knows Kung Fu.
A pacey, page turner from Roger K Driscoll, packed with great characters and a great sense of fun. This action adventure flirts with crime and mystery as fantasy smashes headlong into reality.
Echo and Jason may not be able to predict their futures in the Gewita but in the words of a popular indie-rock band.
I predict a sequel...I predict a sequel...
This is a wonderful story. My 8 year old loved it but would suit
8-11+ years. The story of Echo and Jason is filled with the kind
of drama and emotions normally found in a crime thriller. In fact
in places it reminded me of "The Thirty-Nine Steps." The author
Roger K Driscoll is a great story-teller so if for some reason
you've yet to try this book, buy it and read it because you'll
definitely enjoy it!
The cover illustration is very good as well, a picture of Echo that reminded me of the "Avatar" film. There is also a very interesting black-and-white illustration on the title page showing Echo asleep in a hollow tree. So a lot of talent went into this book. Five stars from me!!
Echo, the girl of the title is half-human half-dryad which, among other things, means she has stripy limbs, she can see into the past and she is adept at a kind of medieval Kung Fu.
After a long sleep she travels from her own time to the twenty-first century and meets Jason Fleeting, a modern-day boy her own age who has been living in a children's home following the murder of his mother. Jason and Echo set out on an adventure that involves the reader in several action scenes, including an escape from a collapsing tunnel and a grand punch-up of a finale. Echo and Jason even help out a few other people along the way, Lone Ranger-style.
This story combines a number of popular fiction genres to produce an interesting mix of present-day goodies-v-baddies adventure, a mystical element introducing dryad magic and links with times long-past, plus the all-action razzmatazz of Kung-Fu (with more than a little humour thrown in). Echo and Jason are both brave and likeable characters.
Will it be the next big thing? Who knows? Personally I think once established this book will prove to be quite popular.
This inspired me to read the book myself and I can see its appeal to young readers. However, what they might miss is the ecological sub-text in that Jason sees the attraction of Echo's earthy, wood-dwelling existence and he decides to be closer to the natural world himself, shunning possessions and the modern world.
In conclusion I would say this story is a very interesting addition to the fantasy/time travel genre.
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I love fantasy and anything which includes time travel, and Echo McCool has both of these and...Read more
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