Monday, February 12, 2024

Review: Echoes of Reckoning by Ron Shaw

by Ron Shaw
Release Date: December 12, 2023
2023 Evocative Impressions LLC
Softcover Edition; 357 Pages
ISBN: 970-8989124015
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
Source: Review copy from author

4 / 5 Stars

Following an unexpected demise, Clayton "Clay" Mitchell is thrust into the labyrinthine confines of Purgatory. With a heart fueled by twin desires—to find his treasured fiancĂ©, Ava, who preceded him in death, and to escape the spectral chains binding him—Clay embarks on an odyssey unlike any other.Azrael "Az" Angue, the chilling embodiment of Death, shadows his every move, seeking to erase the memories that empower Clay's spirit. As the countdown to oblivion grows ever louder, Clay forms bonds with a band of other lost souls, all battling their own internal demons and external threats. Together, they strive to decipher the riddle of the elusive gateway that offers a return to the world of the living.
My Thoughts
Echoes of Reckoning is a very different book from what I expected, but in a good way. This is a story about an average man who lives an average life, but his story and life was so compelling, and his character so relatable, that I found myself unable to put down the book.  I think that being told in the first person helped with this as you can't help but be sucked into the story.

The story has quite a slow burn to it, but it was so engrossing that I enjoyed the backstory we were given to Clay's life and his relationship with Ava.  Normally, this would not have appealed to me at all as I prefer to discover this information as I read about the main conflict, but again, I found the storytelling engaging and interesting.  Being written in the first person connects you to him so when he suffered the biggest loss of his life, I suffered right along with him, shocked at how brutally everything changed even though I was expecting it.  While I would like to say my favourite part was when he was in Purgatory, it wasn't as I appreciated both parts of the book for different reasons.  However, I did really enjoy the atmosphere of Purgatory as well as the creativity of the setting; it certainly made me think about my own life and the choices I've made throughout the years and how they could affect my own afterlife. 

Clay was an enjoyable character and I enjoyed his development quite a bit. I was happy to learn more about Ava as the story progressed as I didn't feel like I really knew her until she landed in Purgatory; the part about how they finally connected was fascinating and it gave me some food for thought when thinking about my own relationships. I particularly enjoyed Grayson and would have liked to learn more about him as he was such an intriguing character. 
Echoes of Reckoning was a slow-burn type of novel that definitely drew you into the setting, the characters, and the story. Even though there wasn't a lot of action, the author had a way of connecting you to the story and the characters which made it very compelling and hard to put down.  And that ending caught me completely off guard. I am hoping there will be another book after this because I need to know what happens to my buddy Clay next.  Highly recommend this book!!



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