A fast-paced, militaristic sci-fi thriller centered on a complex female protagonist and set in war torn but still recognizable New England, ‘Echoes of Darkness’ is the second installment in author Cheryl Campbell’s critically acclaimed “Echoes” trilogy — a must-read for fans of Martha Wells’ The Murderbot Diaries and Robert D. Armstrong’s World Apart series.
The decades-long conflict with the Wardens, the genocidal faction of alien Echoes that started the war on Earth in 2069, rages on. Dani, an Echo, fights alongside humans and other aliens against the Wardens. As the bond of her newfound family strengthens, she continues to struggle to find a viable solution to retake Boston from the Wardens.
Maine’s civilian and Commonwealth military alliance against the enemy remains intact, but Dani’s relationship with Colonel Houston becomes more strained with rogue Warden attacks, unreliable intelligence reports, and the high casualty counts that will come when they move on the enemy stronghold in the city.
Rowan’s unwavering ambition to eliminate all humans from Earth, rise within Warden ranks, and capture Dani drives him to commit treason. When Dani learns that Rowan is behind an assault in Maine that wounds and kills several people on the Commonwealth base, her well-orchestrated plan against Boston is replaced with one focused only on rescue … and revenge.
When I read Echoes of War around a year ago, I was so enthralled by this world Cheryl had created. For months, Dani consumed my mind and the events of the novel would replay in my head with more questions than answers. I was captivated as to where it would all lead. Over a year later, I still find myself continuously thinking about the world of ‘Echoes’. When I started Echoes of Darkness, my first thought was how good it felt to be back in this world again.
From the very first page, I was instantly sucked into the action again. Cheryl has this way of writing scenes of chaos that bring the events of the plot to life so well in a reader’s imagination that the novel kind of takes over and consumes all thoughts. I loved seeing how she expanded the world of ‘Echoes’ and seeing more of Dani who is quickly becoming one of my favorite heroines.
One of the best aspects of the first novel was the dialogue and banter between the characters and in the sequel they were a lot more defined. I also found the pacing a lot stronger in EOD as well. I think the author did a phenomenal job of building up even more intrigue regarding the mystery of Dani and why she is the way she is. It definitely has me compelled and occupies my mind constantly.
In the first book, I personally struggled to feel emotionally invested in the relationships that unfolded because I felt like they weren’t fleshed out enough for me to feel a connection to but I found that wasn’t the case here. The relationships between Dani and the other characters were improved immensely in EOD. They were very much shown and developed flawlessly.
Overall, this was an amazing follow up to Echoes of War and sets up for the final installment really well. I can’t wait to see where Dani’s story ends!
Thank you to the publisher for an early copy in exchange of an honest review.