Cover Image: Echo

Echo

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If you’re expecting a book as good as Hex, you’re going to be happy….  The opening sequence in this book might be the creepiest I’ve ever experienced.  True terrifying writing that’s going to make you turn on a light.  Our main Character nick was climbing with his good friend Augustin when some amazing supernatural tho gs start happening.  Well Augustin doesn’t make it back and Nick barely does.  Now the people around nick are scared for their lives and for good reason.  The mountain “maudit” has made sure Nick comes home with more than some awful injuries.  This one will keep your heart pumping, I loved it.
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Enjoyment: 3.5
Total rating: 4.13

Nick and Augustin went on a climbing trip to a remote peak in the Swiss Alps. Nick is now in a coma, and Augustin is presumed dead.

Until Nick can come to terms with what he experienced and how it changed him, he pretends not to remember anything.

I loved many things about Echo - it is a character-driven story with a compelling narrative and multidimensional, nuanced cast. It has a fantastic queer representation; Sam and Nick's relationship is beautiful. The structure of the book is exciting. Each chapter starts with a quote from a horror book (i.e. Frankenstein, Hill House...), and that chapter's content relates somehow to that book. Furthermore, we get alternating POVs delivered in different formats that make sense. 

My only caveat is that it felt too long. I would have loved this story in a shorter format. Not necessarily a novella; even a short novel would do. 

Disclaimer: In exchange for an honest review, I am thankful to the publishers and NetGalley for providing a copy of Echo.
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If you’ve read the synopsis on the dust jacket flap, you know that Echo is about a journalist and mountaineer - Nick Grevers - who survives a tragic encounter with a remote mountain, the Maudit. But in the aftermath of the (supposed) accident that killed his climbing partner and left Nick’s face grievously scarred, he begins to suspect that something far more sinister than a fall may have taken place up there on the face of the mountain. Something he cannot remember. Something that might have come home with him. 
If you’ve only read the published synopsis, then you won’t yet know about the other main character in Echo: Sam. Sam is Nick’s boyfriend. He’s also the only one who believes that something dark and more dangerous that grief is haunting Nick. Together they journey back to the valley below the mountain, searching for answers to what happened up there, and for a way to save Nick before the shadow of the Maudit swallows him completely.

I have to laugh, because I don’t think the goal of a book about an evil mountain is to leave it’s readers with the urge to then go climb a mountain. Logically, you’d probably want to do the opposite. Go away from the mountains. Go down in elevation. But Heuvelt’s lush, lyrical prose renders the many alpine landscapes of Echo in such breathtaking beauty that it’s hard to imagine how you wouldn’t be inspired. Which isn’t surprising when you consider Heuvelt’s own background as an avid mountaineer. And in the contrast between Nick’s love of the mountains and Sam’s fear of them, Heuvelt’s descriptions of the mountains in Echo embody the Gothic sublime, detailing landscapes both awesome and terrible at once.

But at it’s heart, Echo isn’t solely about a cursed mountain. In fact, it’s really not about the Maudit at all. It’s the story of two people - two messy, imperfect people who couldn’t be more different - who love each other. Two people caught up in impossible, cosmic forces beyond their control. It’s a story about grief, and as much as ghosts. I have always prefered my horror to have an abundance of heart. I want to be as likely to cry as I am to get the creeps when reading, and Heuvelt gave me both.
Echo is one of those horror books that’s so excruciatingly gorgeous that it sticks to your memory like glue long after you turn the last page. I think of this book on a weekly basis, at least, and even though I just had the pleasure of reading it for the first time in January, I can already feel the need for a re-read.
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Eh. Loved the writing and storytelling style, but Nick annoyed me so much and I was too annoyed to even care about his chapters. 

It's scary because ice climbing is scary, but there's nothing that actually was terrifying.

Honestly, I read the whole book and thought it was alright..I just can't remember anything about it. This guy is talented but hit or miss.
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This book was not for me...while I thoroughly enjoyed Sam's POV, I IMMENSELY disliked the chapters from Nick (Maudit). I was interested, and even reading the beginning during dinner at a local bar while Syracuse was in a championship game- that's how much I was invested. Loved the way it was written, loved the use of language and slang from Sam and his quirks. I NEEDED to know what happened on that mountain..until I started learning about it. Then I couldn't trudge through the chapters describing the ascent, the gear, the Mountain fast enough because I was so bogged down with the technical aspects. If this was a review of how to become an alpinist- BRAVO, 5-STARS (with a bit of humor, death and creepy birds)- but any 'horror' aspect or scary-ness that it should've had was pecked away like Nick's eyeballs (#sorrynotsorry). I just think that I was not the right reader for this specific book, however I have heard within my horror community that the author can be hit or miss. With all of that said, if technical is your thing- do it, pick it up and devour this book! I will also say that since I don't think the book overall is BAD, just more of a niche read - that I will pick up more from this author in the future (and still have Hex to read).
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okay. i'm gonna be honest with you. this book was not it for me. i really wanted to like this book, but it did not work out for me. i'm so sad about it. but thank you to netgalley for letting me read this one early!!
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There are a lot of reasons why I really wanted to read Echo by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. First, the cover reminded me of Wool, a book (well, series) I've been thinking a lot about lately. For another, the opening scene reminded me of a popular graphic novel/television series.

Nick Grevers wakes from a coma to learn the bad news: Augustin is missing and presumed dead. He went missing in the same climbing accident that put Nick in a coma, so he can understand why people have such glum assumptions on the matter.

Yet Nick knows the truth – a truth he refuses to share with anyone. He can't talk about how he and Augustin were drawn to the mountains as if by magic. Nor can he speak of the thing that was waiting for them when they finally arrived.

"Don't you know the stories? Death birds are said to guide the souls of fallen climbers out of this world. If you believe what the old guides and mountain folk say, at least."

Fans of horror should make a note of Echo. This novel won't disappoint; I am thrilled to say. It's dark and tense, building slowly yet steadily towards a harrowing climax. It's the sort of novel that sticks with you. At least, it's going to stick with me. I just know it.

Admittedly, I think that the introduction is the most substantial part of Echo. To be clear – I don't mean that to sound like a negative. It immediately sucked me in and captivated me with its mystery. I almost wonder if the mystery would have been better left, you know?

The pacing for Echo is a bit slow, but that works well with the horror elements included here. That, combined with character-driven moments and many twists, kept me invested. I also really appreciated the representation in Echo. We need to see more of that.
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A sexy, frightening page-turner by the acclaimed author of Hex. Heuveult blends isolation horror with ruminations on identity, insanity, and obsession in his immensely readable style, with sly and overt nods to his authorial progenitors (Poe, Lovecraft, Jackson, amongst others). Seasoned liberally with humor, Echo builds slowly but surely to an inevitable climax that's worth the wait. Highly recommended.
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This was a fabulous book for the closing days of a dark winter. It was desolate and cold. It was just what I needed and wanted.

Echo had a unique feel to it. It is not your typical horror story. The monster/villain was supernatural, yet completely natural. Heuvelt took me somewhere I had never been before, to the summit of an Alpine peak. I have a fear of heights, well not really, I’m just afraid of falling. Heuvelt really capitalized on this common enough fear.

The characters of Sam and Nick really made the story incredible; their relationship strained and tested as it was, became the focal point of the story. I kept reading for them; I wanted to see where this Maudit story would go and how it would affect Sam and Nick’s relationship. Are there things that there is no coming back from?

I loved the climbing jargon that Heuvelt used extensively in the book; it added to the authenticity of the story. I did have a couple of minor annoyances, but I blame the publisher, who I am sure needed to “Americanize” certain terms. Why do you do this? Such a good story should be as authentic as possible…the Dutch and Germans use Celsius, and 28 degrees is rather nice, not a temperature you would find on a glacier.

Spending the time I did with Sam and Nick made me want to meet more of Heuvelt’s characters.

*4.5 Stars
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This book was a trip.

I loved the crazy, creepy storyline as a whole. It was super unique, I felt for the character and was so intrigued by the authors creativity. However, I felt like this book could have been shorter. Even though the story as a whole was so good, there were times where it dragged and I found myself getting bored.

But again, I really enjoyed the story as a whole. There was so much going on and such interesting aspects that I did not at all expect and have never read before. I will definitely be checking out this authors other work.
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I hate hate hate leaving bad reviews, but this one just... was not for me, unfortunately. And I do think this was very much a case that comes down to taste as opposed to the book itself being "bad". The idea itself was cool as hell- possession via evil mountain? So unique! The opening chapter was incredible, had me on the edge of my seat. 

But from then on, it just... was not for me. I'm a fan of slow-burning horror, but the pace of this one was just too glacial (pun slightly intended). I feel like I've been reading this book forever, and finally admitted defeat because I just am not interested in finishing it... which is something that I never do. 

Unfortunately, the combination of an overly slow burn combined with the flippant tone of one of the narrators made this one a miss for me. I did enjoy his first book, Hex, so again- I simply think this is a matter of taste. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!
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The Good- talk about creating drama, a haunting atmosphere and a building intensity of creepiness that kept me engaged. It's the story of a man and a mountain ... with a soul that will haunt your ass should you ignore all the signs that you should NOT venture there. And once you get haunted by a freaking mountain - it cannot be contained and will contaminate ... whoever it pleases.

The "needs work" - there was no need for the book to be so long. There were entire chapters that could have been cut - and it would still have been just as suspenseful. It was work to keep picking this book up day after day - although the story was enough to keep me from abandoning it forever.

Overall - I would still recommend reading this
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Sam Avery, an American is living in Amsterdam with his partner Nick Grover’s.  Sam is working on his master’s degree.  Sam is happy but worries when Nick goes on his mountain climbing trips.  Nic loves climbing mountains when he isn’t working.  Nick it going climbing with a former person that he has climbed with.  His name is Augustin.  As they successfully mountain climb, they decide to climb the Maudie mountain.  They are tole not to climb it as it is a bad mountain.  No one climbs it.  Nick and Augustin decide to climb it before going back down.  Augustin dies and Nick barely survives.  Why?  Sam gets a phone call about Nick’s accident so he gets to Nick as soon as possible.  When Sam is warned about his face disfigurement, Sam doesn’t care.  He rushes in Nick’s room and is horrified how his face looks.  He flies to New York to be with his family.  While Nick recuperates 32 people in the hospital died.  How they is a mystery.  Eventually Sam and Nick go home but something isn’t right.  Nick wonders if he has become a monster.  Something so unnatural and weird has a hold on Nick.  Sam tries to cope with how different Nick has become.  

This is one of the most original horror stories that I have read in a long time.  The author cleverly has written a novel that references horror stories.  It is a creepy and eerie novel.  I enjoyed this unique horror novel.  If you are looking for a truly unique scary novel, then this is the one to read!
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There are very few books that have thoroughly scared me. I’ve been thrilled, bitten my nails, raced through pages, anxiously awaited the next move — but maybe a handful of books cause me to seize up with dread. ECHO did, and then it slowly turned in on itself and became the saddest wound of an ending, the only kind that would fit. A terrifying tale with a genuine throb of two lovers’ hearts beating in time.
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Nick is the only survivor from a climbing expedition on the Maudit, a remote mountain in the Swiss Alps. He wakes up from a coma to find his face horribly disfigured and wrapped in bandages, and the only way to share what happened up there is through his typed notes. When his boyfriend Sam tries to figure out what their future will look like, he finds himself in a whirlwind of crazy shit. Yes, things go bonkers in Nick and Sam's lives, and the mystery of the Maudit has everything to do with it.

I was a fan of Hex when I read that book years ago, and to this day the sheer creepiness of that book still sits with me. So when I had the opportunity to read this book thanks to Netgalley, I jumped at the chance. It's a long book and quite dense, so it's definitely not a read for the faint of heart. It took me a while to really get into it, and it does have its ups and downs in terms of pacing. Certain characters' points of view were more interesting than others, and the structure of the book was a bit jarring at times as it jumped around from perspectives and time frames with minimal transitions.

Overall, it's a good book with a strong creepazoid factor, so read at your own peril.
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This was definitely an interesting read, Heuvelt has joined the ranks of the few authors that can creep me out with their writing! I really enjoyed Heuvelt’s writing style and the supernatural horror story/lore he created but there were parts of the story that fell flat for me. 

What I liked:
❄️ the two main characters, Nick and Sam, are a gay couple. I haven’t seen a lot of LGBTQ+ rep in horror/thrillers!
❄️ multiple POVs.
❄️ overall creepy/spooky tone that definitely left me unsettled at times.
❄️ the originality of this story of possession and the lore/mythology Huevelt created to go with it. 

What I disliked: 
❄️ pacing felt a bit all over the place. 
❄️ sometimes I felt like we were getting too much information/inner monologue from a character. 
❄️ one of the multiple POVs was Nick’s manuscript detailing the events of his mountain climbing trip that went wrong. It felt too detailed and very technical when it came to talking about mountain climbing and such, so I got a little bored because I had no idea what some stuff meant. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ (3.5)

The story really was great and I loved all the characters, even possessed Nick, it was just too drawn out for me. Again, I loved the author’s writing so I’ll definitely be picking up his other book, Hex (he’s written more but only these two have been translated into English).
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This is not a haunted house, a haunted doll or even a haunted amulet. This is a haunted mountain. 

A young adonis  named Nick is injured during a mountaineering accident and his life will never be the same again. His partner Sam, (his partner in everything except mountain climbing), is trying his best to be there for Nick, even though Nick is now more like a mummy with bandages covering most of his face. There's more hiding under those bandages than a few broken bones and contusions, but you'll have to read ECHO to find out what!

I enjoyed reading about these characters, but I didn't like them very much, at least not at first. My emotions changed as I got to know them, and I was interested to see how they'd fare, which was why I continued reading. There were a few times when I thought might set this book down, because there was a lot of description and repetition. I learned a bit more about mountain climbing than I really wanted to, but by that time the characters weren't in a place where I could abandon them. Strong relationships like this one are what makes great stories work, even if there are slow parts about carabiner clips and pitons.

Over and above the main characters we have the mountain itself, and its town. Haunted by generations of people, there is a combination of folk horror and an "evil in a small town" narrative going on here as well as just plain ghosts, or...echoes. Whatever you call the genre or tropes, there are some downright creepy scenes in this book, most especially towards the denouement. I just wish there had been a few more of them.
 
Being that I was not all that impressed with HEX, I was a little wary of trying this author again, but I am so glad I did! ECHO is a completely different type of story and I was hypnotized by certain aspects of it. I was genuinely tense and in suspense during that last ride up the mountain and so overall, I ended up rating ECHO 4/5 stars. Recommended! 

*Thanks go out to Tor/Nighfire for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
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My thanks to Macmillan/Tor Forge, T.O.H.,.and Netgalley.
In all honesty, I'm at a loss on reviewing this book!
I liked it, then didn't like it at all. Then I loved it. Hated it. Loved and hated. To infinity and beyond!
Thing is that this book was too long. It meandered. 
I thought of quitting this story a few times.
Actually, that's a vast understatement! I couldn't go 20 pages without me saying "Lisa, why?"  By the time I realized that it wasn't going to be a fairytale ending, I was in too deep.
Did I love this book? No. It's a difficult story to like. 
Would I read more from this author? Again, no. Until he or his publisher's can cut out the filler, then I've no interest in reading anything of Mr. Heuvelts again. Shame that, as I just bought his book Hex last week!
Still, I stuck around until the end. It was at times maddening..But I actually liked this tale. "Mostly!"
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I gave this book so many chances to be good, but in the end, I just could not keep going on benefit of the doubt alone. Be warned, if you like the first 5% or so of the book (the prologue) get ready to not see that anymore. In fact, the first five percent was so good, it was atmospheric, creepy, and incredibly intense - the kind of horror novel that makes you want to lock your doors and hide beneath your blankets. It made me excited to read the rest of the book. The next 35%? Boring and incredibly uninformed. Like, I DNF'd at 40% because I could not keep slogging through nothing, just waiting for something to happen. The 35% wasn't horror, it was just drama. And a bit hurtful to people with facial disfigurements to be frank. Just don't go into this book and expect to see what you saw in the prologue in the rest of the book. Don't expect to know what's up with the mountain either (not in any timely fashion). I'm sure things might get explained at some point, but I can't keep going on "might.' Though the writing was pretty informal for much of the book, I never had any particular issue with that aspect of the book. It was really just the lack of any forward momentum that caused it to stagnate and turned me off reading the rest. I had high hopes for Echo, but I just can't slog through any more of it. As much as I hate to DNF a book, my reviews do tend to get nasty when I force myself to read a book I'm not enjoying. So, I've DNF'd at 40% but I still have high hopes for this author's future and hope that the next one has more even momentum.
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The opening was awesome and so gripping! I just wish the rest of the book had been equally so. On the whole, I liked the concept of a mountain, cursed in some way, constantly shifting and keeping visitors from pinpointing its exact location or even seeing it straight. The idea of a cursed mountain possessing someone and leaking out altitude sickness and unease is all great. Nick's narrative of the climb was really good, as were the occasional forays into Grimentz with its creepy chaughs everywhere. Where the book wasn't so great was its extreme length. I think if it hadn't been so long, some of the extra and uninteresting parts could have been shaved off and kept the momentum of the book. I'm glad I read it, though, the haunting feeling and creeping chill of this icy crag of a mountain has really stayed with me.
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