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ECHO by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

It’s One Thing to Lose Your Life
It’s Another to Lose Your Soul

When climber Nick Grevers is brought down from the mountains after a terrible accident he has lost his looks, his hopes and his climbing companion. His account of what happened on the forbidden peak of the Maudit is garbled, almost hallucinogenic. Soon it becomes apparent more than his shattered body has returned: those that treat his disfigured face begin experiencing extraordinary and disturbing psychic events that suggest that Nick has unleashed some ancient and primal menace on his ill-fated expedition.

Nick’s partner Sam Avery has a terrible choice to make. He fell in love with Nick’s youth, vitality and beauty. Now these are gone and all that is left is a haunted mummy-worse, a glimpse beneath the bandages can literally send a person insane.

Sam must decide: either to flee to America, or to take Nick on a journey back to the mountains, the very source of the curse, the little Alpine Village of Grimnetz, its soul-possesed Birds of Death and it legends of human sacrifice and, ultimately, its haunted mountain, the Maudit.

Title : Echo
Author : Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Format : Physical
Page Count : 416
Genre : Horror
Publisher : Hodder Books
Release Date : February 3, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 4 star review

Just get past the prologue
Shivers, fear and birds
This couple were goals, strange ones, but still goals

I am a no-time horror reader but the climbing element of this book made me sign up. I read the prologue and quite frankly, I was petrified. It plunged the reader into a kind of relatable nightmare but I can say that post-prologue it relented on that level of adrenaline scare. The plot of this story was exceptional in my opinion. The sinister feels, the unthinkable being real had the ability to really capture my attention.

What you get with Echo is a consistent feeling of tension, a background of looking over your shoulder (was that something in your side vision?) and strange happenings following one of the protagonists around. Nick had been involved in a climbing accident that had caused a major injury and his partner Sam found himself plunged into a test of the strength of their relationship.

I really admired Sam, this story was a representation of how we might behave if we found our partner changed by injury. Sam was definitely not sure if he could be up to the task but he tried really hard. I loved how Sam believed Nick, even if he wasn’t sure if this was delusion, psychosis or something more sinister. Nick was difficult to fathom as a person after the Maudit, but he was such an interesting character. I was cheering for them, even though I didn’t have much hope.

I have to make a serious nod to the author for the authenticity of the climbing in this book. An amateur climber myself and as someone who has devoured endless climbing expedition non-fiction, the detail and accuracy made this read something extra. Non-climbers might have to look up some technical words occasionally but google is your friend.

As I look at the Maudit, I realize this mountain’s soul is old and dangerous. I see it as an evil, dark blot. A cancer spreading over the valley. I suddenly become dead scared.

Overall, I will sleep tonight after finishing, which is more than I did after reading that prologue but please do remember I am a 10 on the wuss-scale so this was a read out of my comfort zone. I enjoyed this so much that I might dip my toe into another of Heuvelt’s books, which is something when I never seek out horror.

Thank you to Hodder Books and Pride Book Tours for the review copy.

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