Kent Wayne, Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter, 2015
Kent Wayne’s first instalment of his Echo series introduces us to the characters, the life and the setting for his science fiction series. All the inhabitants reside on Echo, a planet humans have inhabited, and the novel takes place some 1,000-plus years in the future with the planet divided due to a civil war that is raging on.
The protagonist is Atriya and we are informed early on he is a member of the army, and one who strives to be constantly better than what he is. While the army setting ca account for some, one downside of Wayne’s novel is the sheer amount of swearing from all of the characters, narrator included. It seems most of the characters resort to swearing in almost all of their conversations and it does somewhat become farcical towards the end hearing exactly how much they swear. Swearing aside, though, the novel is very well written and it is clear that Wayne has personal experience in the forces (being a former employee) as the detail with which he explains their training regimes, weapons and strategy plans is exceptional. While it would have been nice to hear the characters more to flesh out their inner personalities, I can’t help but feel Wayne’s detailing of everything will be valuable when the second instalment comes around.
Echo Volume 1 sets up a lot of stuff for what the series will probably use, however it seems to sacrifice itself in doing so. The novel itself doesn’t seem to have a clear ending, more of a cliff-hanger leading into the second instalment, and it makes the novel feel like an extended prologue rather than a self-contained novel of its own. In terms of setting up the rest of the series he does a wonderful job in painting all the right pictures and explaining all the ranks within their force, as well as unleash a few surprises along the way, however it does feel like it is simply a set-up for what will come afterwards.
While it’s short, it’s certainly impactful, with a few twists and surprises along the way opening up the reader to a wider world that they live in, and it certainly does not distract you from wanting to read further. Echo Volume 1 makes you have a lot of questions, but, sadly, within the confines of the novel as a whole, doesn’t provide you with any answers.
Final verdict: Short and sweet, but you need to read further on in the series to appreciate this instalment.
*Buy it on Amazon here*
Other works by Kent Wayne:
- Echo Volume 2: The taste of Ashes
- Echo Volume 3: The Dialectic of Agony