The Echo by James Smythe
When the infamous Ishiguro spacecraft disappeared it left behind a planet nervous and unwilling to invest in space exploration and a generation let down by technology. It has taken twenty years but at last twin brothers, Tomas and Mirakel have changed the minds of investors through hard work and pointing out exactly where the Ishiguro went wrong. Their trip would be different, unlike the doomed ship there would be no reporters on board, it would be a ship with minimal crew who would be rigorously tested and one hundred percent necessary.
Their mission is to go further into space than any humans before them and investigate an anomaly but as they verge on completing the first part of their mission, things start to fall apart. Mira is the leader on board the vessel while Tomas commands from Earth but even Mirakel can’t stop the first death to plague the ship. As the passengers aboard the ship start to have their doubts Mira spots something, a craft they never thought would be seen again but how can the Ishiguro be there and what secrets can it contain?
Anyone that reads my blog knows I am a MASSIVE James Smythe fan so of course, I dove into this book with hugely high hopes only to fall in love with his work all over again. The Echo is the second in James Smythe’s Anomaly Quartet but it is not necessary to read The Explorer that came before it as it is a complete story in its own right.
As the quietly competitive brothers’ dreams become reality and their mission heads to the stars, it’s not long before Mira’s jealousy for his brother’s life becomes clear. While Mira struggles with social situations and the emotions he’s left with after their mother’s death, Tomas is loved by everyone, including his new wife and the team he leads. This power struggle and the mistrust it creates makes a fascinating relationship, you can’t help but have doubts about lies they tell each other. As the mission goes from risky to a complete nightmare, Smythe ramps up the claustrophobic tension and takes his dark storytelling skills to a whole new level. Smythe’s writing has always been gloriously dark and without resorting to gore, he still manages to utterly terrify. The Echo is intelligent and captivating science fiction at its very best and James Smythe is a writer that is only going from strength to strength.
Buy The Echo by James Smythe