An Atomic Moo Book Review of Danie Ware’s New Sequel

Hello El Moochadores! This week’s Moo review is Ecko Burning, published by Titan Books. A sequel story to Danie Ware’s exciting sci-fi/ fantasy novel, Ecko Rising. The continuing saga of a cyber-enhanced assassin (Ecko) tossed into a fantasy realm full monsters, warriors, and magic!EckoRising_cvr It’s kind of like the Wizard of Oz, but instead of Dorothy there’s a skinny – foul mouthed – tech junkie, and instead of a tornado swirled house, there’s a flying bar (taverns are bars, right?). I’m not sure who Toto would be. Maybe one of the centaurs? Anyways, Ecko is pulled out of a dystopian London and wakes up in The Wanderer (the bar/tavern) and is soon on an adventure that Ecko hopes will get him home. Ecko Burning picks up right after this first adventure (sorry, but I’m trying really hard not to spoil anything), but this time around Ecko, and his new “friends”, must find a weapon powerful enough to defeat the evil force, Vahl, who is trying to destroy… well, everything. Here’s the synopsis:

Ruthless and ambitious, Lord Phylos has control of Fhaveon city, and is using its forces to bring the grasslands under his command. His last opponent is an elderly scribe who’s lost his best friend and wants only to do the right thing.
Seeking weapons, Ecko and his companions follow a trail of myth and rumour to a ruined city where both nightmare and shocking truth lie in wait. Back in London, the Bard is offered the opportunity to realise everything he has ever wanted – if he will give up his soul. When all of these things come together, the world will change beyond recognition.

Danie Ware’s knack for fantasy and science fiction is incredible. In Ecko Burning she blends the two genres beautifully allowing for a dark (paranoid) future and another, magical, world where metal barely exists at all. However; there’s also a lot going on here. Both Ecko Burning and Ecko Rising are chuck full of characters, new places, and because the books bring in a new mythology, it can be easy to get a little lost in all details. Ware’s writing style can also add to the confusion. It’s not that she isn’t a good writer, because she is, but her descriptions, analogies, and metaphors are almost poetry. Sometimes it was a little hard to see past her descriptive power to what was actually happening on the page. But on the flip side of that criticism there’s Ecko. A contentious, ornery, and foul mouth little bastard incapable of not saying “fuck” when ever he opens his mouth. I liked him. He a great lens to see through that brought the weirdness into focus. In Ecko Rising I enjoyed his growing friendship with The Bard, and Burning added some interesting twists to their tale. I was a little disappointed that Ecko and the Bard didn’t have more time in the book, but I am eager to see where they end up in the next novel.

Overall, I highly recommend Ecko Burning. It was a great 2nd act and set up for what’s to come, but if you haven’t read Ecko Rising, do that first! Other wise you’ll be muttering, “I don’t get it” many, many times.

Ecko Burning is available in book stores now or you can get your copy throughTitan Books!

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