Like much science fiction, The Echo spends a significant amount of time setting up the major plot points and establishing the characters and their motivations. While some readers might find this takes too long — I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of the extended set-up — it does perfectly set the scene for the story to come. The Echo is not simply a science fiction thriller — it’s also an entertaining character study, making it accessible to fans of psychological suspense.
Twenty years after the disappearance of Ishiguro, the first manned spacecraft to venture farther into space than any before it, humans are once again looking to test the limits of man’s ability. Identical twin brothers Mirakel and Tomas are the two brilliant scientists who have taken up the cause. They have handpicked a crew, taken every variable they can into account and Mira and the team are ready to set out on their journey as Tomas watches from the command center. Just one problem: There are other things in space, things humans were not supposed to know or understand, and Tomas fights to rescue his brother as Mira begins to fray. (HARPER VOYAGER, Feb., 320 pp., $14.99)