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Where Echoes Die

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Book Review: Where Echoes Die by Courtney Gould 

Where Echoes Die is a young adult science fiction novel about two sisters that visit the town that was the obsession of their mother in the years before her death. 

Lying to their father about where they are going teenage sisters Beck and Riley decide to take their beat up car on a road trip across several states to visit Backravel, Arizona. Before their investigative reporter mother died she visited the town repeatedly over a decade  chasing a story about its mysteries. But upon their arrival they find a tiny town with no hospital or cemetery and where none of the residents remember where they lived before coming to Backravel. Keeping both Riley and their father in the dark Beck uses her late mother’s notes to try to get to the bottom of what kept her coming back and trying to unearth its mysteries. 

I was looking forward to reading the one but I struggled with Beck as a character. She is determined but lacked the savviness a person needs to investigate a story this size. She also gets majorly distracted by a pretty face which was really annoying and the romance didn’t help the storyline at all. I would have enjoyed it more if she was a little bolder and less naive because she doesn’t really do anything but bumble around and put herself at risk.  

Overall Where Echoes Die was just an okay read for me. I personally enjoy a main character that is a little more exciting to read about and has a few tricks up her sleeve. The two sisters in this book were too passive and bland for me. But I enjoyed the overall concept and weirdness of this isolated desert town. 

Three stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️
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This was requested when I first found out about NetGalley and I had requested so many ARCs that I could not get to all of them before they were archived. I really wanted to get to this one, as it seemed interesting.  If I can find this somewhere for a reasonable price, I will try to get it! I am giving this book three stars, as I don't want to give it a good or bad rating, since I did not get to it and we have to leave a star rating.
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To start, I absolutely adore Courtney Gould's writing style! It's so easy to read and keeps you interested in the story. I like the plot line and the sort of eerie feel of the book. It gave me shivers at times from how creepy the story would get. I enjoyed the characters in the story, they were really well written. There were times where I got really bored with the story and it was hard to continue on but I powered through and loved the twists and turns that Gould weaved through the plotline!
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this was a new to me author and I was very intrigued by the premise. i had a very hard time getting into this one completely. i don't think this writing is for me. i also feel like this was meant for a much younger audience.
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Seventeen-year-old Beck Birsching has had to grow up early, having taken care of herself and her younger sister Riley since her parents’ divorce as their troubled mother Ellery, a brilliant journalist, pursued her stories obsessively, including several mysterious trips to a town in Arizona called Backravel. Ellery has just died of a brain tumor, but when Beck receives a note in her handwriting from Backravel, she puts off the sisters’ move to Texas to live with their father and stepmother to travel there and find out what drew her mother to the place repeatedly. This is the premise of Where Echoes Die.

Backravel turns out to be a strange town where cars are not allowed, people seem to periodically suffer from episodes of confusion, no one seems to remember when or how they moved there, and everyone in town goes regularly to a “treatment center” run by Ricky Carnes, a man who seems to Beck to be a cult leader, and to whose daughter Avery she becomes increasingly attracted after a rocky start.

The book took a while to get going for me, but I felt that it picked up more in the second half as more of the secrets of Backravel began to be revealed. I didn’t warm up to the characters as much as I would have liked to, but I felt that they were believable and that the book dealt well with such issues as grief, regret, and the things people are willing to do to cheat death or see those they love again, as well as whether these things should be done, even if they can. 

3.5 stars.

I received a copy of Where Echoes Die from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Where Echoes Die has a really interesting and promising premise to be a beautiful story. The town is very unique and strange, and there are some aspects of the story that are mysterious and almost supernatural or scifi-esque. Unfortunately for me I found the pacing to be slow, and it was hard for me to stay connected with the characters. This will probably be a book you’ll either love or feel meh about.
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By all means I should have liked this book. The plot was just what I look for in a book - a mysterious town with its secretive residents, indecipherable hints from a deceased character, things being not at all what they seem. But there was just something I can’t seem to put my finger on that kept me from truly enjoying this read. Maybe it was that I just was in the wrong mood when I read it? Though it might have been that I couldn’t connect to any of the characters? Overall this read slower for me than I would have like, and I had a hard time getting into the book. I’m honestly a bit confused why I didn’t enjoy this as much as I expected to, so I’d give this author another chance for sure before deciding if they are for me or not. 


Thanks NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC of this read.
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Just like the book before it, Where Echoes Die is an expertly crafted mystery with an atmospheric setting, beautiful writing, and characters that practically jump off of the page. Courtney Gould is a master of increasing the suspense in what makes for a very bingeable mystery that is sure to keep readers hooked the entire way through.
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Just like with The Dead and the Dark, the detailed descriptions allowed for such a vivid look into Backravel. The pacing was a little slow at times, but the story itself was interesting enough that it didn’t feel like it was dragging. Following along with Beck, and trying to decipher the mystery with her was such a fun aspect to it. All in all, I would definitely recommend this book AND this author
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Courtney Gould's "Where Echoes Die" is a mind-bending, complex story that is intricate and combines mystery, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy, and romance genres. It's  a slow-burn set in the mysterious Arizona town of Backravel, 

It's a thought-provoking and at times gripping read, although the slow burn and complexity requires patiences. For some the journey will be worthwhile, as the actual mysteries and storyline are pretty compelling.
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Thank you, Netgalley, the author, and St. Martin's Press for the gifted e-book! ❤️ #gifted. My review is comprised of my honest thoughts. 

Read this book if you like: Spooky vibes, mysterious towns, inspiring stories

I liked this one. The spooky vibes are great. It's a very eerie book. This was a strong, well-written, beautiful, and a little scary story. The characters really pulled me in. I highly recommend it.
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I am sitting here still not sure about how I liked this book — there were parts I enjoyed but things I also didn’t like. The mystery was not fully thought out or developed. I needed more to believe in the story she tried to weave. But I did love r he town and the characters a lot. I’m a little twisted.
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This was... okay. I don't think this was bad, but it was not what I expected from it, and it just wasn't really my kind of book. I expected a little more from this because I really enjoyed The Dead and the Dark, but this is a very different book, and not really for me, I guess. I mainly expected something much more atmospheric, and I expected the writing to pull me in more. I felt like the start of the book was kind of abrupt, and it didn't really pull me in. I did end up gaining interest in the plot, but then the reveals just weren't all that interesting to me, just based on personal preference.
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DNF @ 33%

It was an interesting premise but this one was just not for me.

This may be your cup of tea though if you like books where there is a strange town with weird occurrences. Just moved too slowly for my liking (and I really liked her book the dead and the dark)
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Gould provides a masterclass in weaving a story of grief and loss in the midst of a truly creepy thriller that leaves readers unable to put it down.
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Courtney Gould has quickly become an instant buy author for me. I never know what to expect with her stories. The vibes are always immaculate. 

Where Echoes Die is a mix of many genres - horror, science fiction, thriller, a little romance and it somehow manages to do it all so well. Gould sophmore book paints such a weird and wonderful picture of sisterhood and grief unbreakable bonds. I did have a difficult time connecting with the characters in this one for some reason and sometimes I wasn't really sure what was going on. But for Courtney Gould  I will trek through anything.
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“Where Echoes Die” by Courtney Gould is a sci-fi YA queer book that I had hoped to like. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. 

Beck Birsching is 17 when her mom dies. She receives a letter afterwards from her mom telling her to come and find her. Beck lies to her dad and with her sister Riley, decides to head to Backravel, Arizona, where her mom spent the last few years writing an investigative report. Riley doesn’t know the real reason for the trip and believes they’re just going on vacation before moving to Texas with their dad. 

The town is strange and the people are even more strange. They don’t drive cars and there are no pets or churches or cemeteries. What this book has going for it is that it’s atmospheric and creepy and weird. Gould was wonderful with the little details that made me uncomfortable while reading. 

There’s a mystery and while I liked it for the most part, but the ending left me confused. I was expecting to get the answers but there’s still a lot left unexplained by the end. 

There’s also a side romance with Avery, the leader of the town’s daughter. I wasn’t thrilled with the romance and would not read this if you’re looking for any romance as it’s very underdeveloped. The town of Backravel plays with time and memories and the romance was a victim of that so it seemed rather pointless.

I may have liked this more if I had liked Beck more. She starts the trip by lying and does so until the end. It takes her sister almost dying before she lets the truth come out and I found that hard to accept while rooting for her. 

I recommend Gould’s “The Dead and the Dark” over this one. 

I received an ARC from St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I was very excited for this one and while I did enjoy it, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It just wasn’t what I expected. I felt it was a bit slow, not much happened to really keep me interested throughout the whole story. The ending also lacked for me.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 rounding up to 4 stars for GoodReads. In the beginning of the story, I was very intrigued by the premise and I liked the two sister characters. However, as the story went on I wasn’t as invested in the plot as I wanted to be because I understood that I wasn’t going to get the explanations I was looking for. The premise of the story is very abstract and for that reason hard to explain. I think I just needed a bit more from the story to fully “buy in.” Also, there is a big “twist” towards the end that I knew from the very beginning and think it is super telegraphed. I know this story is geared at teens but I think twelve year old Melissa would’ve been able to easily figure this one out as well and therefore it took away from the moment. I think the author did a great job at portraying grief and how different people handle loss differently. Ultimately, not my favorite by this author but I am excited to check out whatever they put out next since I liked their debut novel so much.
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Where Echoes Die takes readers on a thrilling journey through grief, mystery, and the unbreakable bond between sisters. In this poignant tale, Beck Birsching finds herself adrift following the tragic loss of her brilliant, yet troubled investigative journalist mother. There's more to her death than they know, and Beck seeks answers. Consumed by memories of happier times, Beck's yearning for normalcy intensifies when she receives a mysterious letter penned by her mother, beckoning her to the strange small town of Backravel, Arizona.

Upon arriving in Backravel, Beck and her sister, Riley, discover a place that defies explanation. The town is devoid of cars, cemeteries, and churches, with a peculiar mix of weathered military structures juxtaposed against gleaming new buildings. The omnipresent treatment center, perched high on a plateau, seems to hold sway over the entire community. Strangely, the residents possess no recollection of how they arrived in Backravel, leaving Beck with an unsettling sense of intrigue and an unwavering determination to uncover the truth while hiding her investigative motivation from her sister and the townspeople. The town leader and his daughter, Avery, hold the key to this enigma, but their motives remain shrouded in secrecy.

As Beck delves deeper into the quest for answers about her mother, an unexpected connection with Avery emerges, pulling them together in ways they could never have imagined. Amidst the unraveling mysteries of Backravel, Beck finds herself confronting buried emotions tied to her mother's passing. Desperate to preserve the fading remnants of the past, Beck's entanglement with Backravel and its eerie ties to her mother's legacy blur the boundaries of reality. Can Beck find a way to reclaim her sense of self and solve her mother's mysterious death before being consumed by the haunting grip of Backravel and its omniscient treatment center?

This novel is a beautifully written exploration of loss, identity, and the resilience of the human spirit. The audiobook has a captivating narrator who wraps the reader into the story, giving them the feel of being among the strange town. 

Where Echoes Die is a compelling read that seamlessly blends mystery and introspection. Gould masterfully crafts a narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats, yearning to unravel the enigmatic threads of Backravel's secrets alongside Beck and the memory-missing townsfolk. An excellent novel perfect for young adult readers and fans of mystery and thriller.
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