Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Last Echo by Kimbery Derting

I almost never have the problem of figuring out what book I should read next. My To Be Read piles are so big that if someone were to knock them down on me while I was sleeping, I would definitely have some major injuries, head traumas, and or breathing problems. That and I have so many galleys to read. It’s just that at this point in time, I have so many books in my possession that I’m so excited for, I’m not quite sure what I’m most excited about reading. This book must have won some serious excitement contest in my inner subconscious because I read it so quickly after getting it!
I love this series! I love Violet and Jay! I love Violet’s creepy ability! And I love how real and down to earth Violet is despite all the craziness in her life. It picks up not too long after book 2 finished. And book 2 finished with a final showdown in a winter cabin with a crazy dad who killed his wife, and then seemed to be on the verge of killing more people close to him. But Violet helped to save the day with a “secret” branch of the FBI, a branch made up mostly of young psychics.
This book begins with Violet helping out the psychic group. She trained with them for a while, while still attending high school, and now gets to start on a real case. And the supernatural teens can do it all: one girl can talk with the dead, another can sense peoples’ essences,  a child genius can sense things from objects, and Rafe (enter teen love triangle!) can sense things from objects as well as predict some future occurrences. And the book starts with immediate action, with Violet using her ability (to find dead bodies). In a mission to a creepy warehouse, Violet leaves the group and finds a dead girl in a freezer.
But, as we know from past books, Violet’s skills don’t sometimes show up and then leave. She feels an echo from the dead body, and an overall sense of depression until the body is buried and at peace. And a lot of these cases take time for bodies to be buried. So, add lack of sleep to the girl’s already hectic life of: evading school friends, dating Jay, pretending her job isn’t as dangerous as it is to her parents, trying to track down a serial killer, and passing high school.
I loved learning about the crew of young people with abilities. Their stories were all so interesting and I loved how shocking their troubled lives were to Violet who has always had two loving parents. There’s some tough stuff going on in this one with foster care, abusive parents, and hiding gifts. And then there’s that other thing that Derting always does, which is make plenty of alternating chapters where we get to go inside the mind of the serial killer. And this particular serial killer is by far the creepiest one I’ve read about.
There’s the start of a love triangle, there’s making friends with others with abilities, there’s getting arrested, being caught in the middle of a gang fight, there’s serial killers, there’s young girls who don’t make it, there’s seeing how a killer thinks, there’s therapists, sleeping pills, loving and caring parents, kidnappings, and some seriously scary escape scenes. This book really just has it all! There was never a dull moment.
I loved watching Violet begin to feel like she truly fit in somewhere and that she could actually accomplish something good with her ability. She wants to help people. I loved seeing her relationship with Jay grow, but also see some realistic teen relationship problems as well. Yes, they seem perfect together at such a young age, but no it’s not easy. They were best friends for years first. They had to get used to a new relationship together, and then once they did they had some very realistic relationship dramas about normal things like jealousy, sharing time with other people, etc. And this just made such a good, normal anchor for Violet with all the other creepy dead body stuff she has to deal with. And this realistic, yet also beautiful, romance just made the character seem so much more authentic then they would have without it.
I absolutely loved this installment to the series! I’m hoping that Derting keeps writing these books, especially after that dark/twisty end. I give it a 10/10.

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