• STAR RATING:  5 stars
  • PAGE LENGTH: 389 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: January 15, 2019
  • PUBLISHER: Page Street Publishing Co
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Torture, Violence, Emotional abuse
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY:  Half A Soul by Olivia Atwater, Curse of the Wolf King by Tessonja Odette


Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart when her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf—the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an ultimatum: If she lives with him for one year, he will ensure her father makes it home safely. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.

In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, each room must be sewn together to keep the home from unraveling, and something new and dark and strange lies behind every door. When centuries-old secrets unfold, Echo discovers a magical library full of books-turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, the rooms begin to disappear, and Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up, otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.

Before I get into my review, I have to thoroughly thank Stephanie for recommending Echo North to me! I knew I would enjoy this book, but I had no idea how much I would absolutely adore it! I completely fell in love with the world that Meyer sets up — much of the novel takes place in a magical house, and it is that setting that I really just fell head over heels for. I’m a sucker for a magical house, and well, Echo North‘s house did not disappoint.

Echo is our main character — she’s extremely intelligent, clever, and wants the best for her family. She’s also heavily scarred on her face — a wolf attacked her when she was young, and left it’s mark. Much of the villagers think she is marked by the devil because of her scars. Echo is shunned in town, and lives a very lonely life as she grows up. Some things happen — cue me being extremely vague on purpose — and Echo must choose between her life or her father’s. She, of course, chooses her father’s life. This bargain is where things really kick off in the novel. It feels very much like a Fae bargain — one that means you get what you want, but at the expense of something else you hold dear. For Echo, it means that her father will live, but she will have to live with the wolf in his house for one year. At first, you’re not sure if you (and Echo) should trust the wolf. He is, after all, the same wolf that scarred her when she was young. But then, as you read, you realize that he is so much more than just a wolf.

I mean, it’s obvious, because he’s a talking wolf, but still. Meyer did a phenomenal job of weaving the story in just the right way that you aren’t sure if you’ve figured out the mystery at the core of the book or not. You’ll be guessing until suddenly the answer is right in front of you, staring you in the face. It was done masterfully, and I thoroughly enjoyed being led around here! The characters are all done fantastically — a few are straight up archetypes, but that works for a fairy tale retelling. I do wish we had seen more of Echo’s father actually fathering — I wanted to see him show his love for her more on page, but we did get a small snippet that made me happy. Echo’s brother never treated her any different because of her scars, and I loved how much he loved her.

The Beauty and the Beast story is only vaguely retold here — the wolf was obviously once a man — but I didn’t care that it didn’t follow the original story closely. Hopefully, you won’t either. Echo North borrowed from a few other myths and fairy tales, but none of it feels like an exact copy. It feels as if Meyer really wove something new here, something both heartbreaking and completely lovely. I will admit I was a bit confused by the ending of the book, but it all shakes out by the time you’re done reading. In fact, it even makes some prior things in the book make sense! (If you’re wondering who all those things in the house belong to, I promise you get your answer, but it’s not spelled out for you.) And yes, before anyone asks, this does have a happy ending. Anyway, now that I’ve basically word-vomited about this book at you all, I give it five stars. Was this a review? I’m not sure. Oh well.

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