Oceans Echo

Source: DRC via NetGalley (Macmillan – Tor/Forge, Tor Books) in exchange for an honest review
Pub. Date: November 1, 2022
Synopsis: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Amazon
Other Books in the Series/Universe: Winter’s Orbit

Why did I choose to read this book?

I was so taken with Winter’s Orbit that I had to read something else by Everina Maxwell. That’s it, that’s the reason.

And FYI you could read this without reading Winter’s Orbit first. They are written in the same universe, but they are not connected in any other way (yet?).

What is this book about?

A long time ago people found little shiny balls called remnants after an explosion in space and experimented with them on military volunteers. They discovered that the volunteers were given the power to either (1) read minds (Readers) or (2) command minds (Writers). People are suspicious of Readers, so high level ones are conscripted into the military to be synced with Pilots/Writers to help them navigate chaotic space.

Yeah, I know. It’s a lot but you’ll pick it up quickly.

If Winter’s Orbit was about love and healing from trauma/neglect, Ocean’s Echo is about consent versus control and holding people accountable for their actions.

What is notable about the story?

KEEP WRITING BOOKS THAT SHOW LGBTQIA+ AS A NORMAL PART OF SOCIETY PLEASE I LOVE THEM. I am so over books that only present these identities as something that people fight against. Show how normal it is, show how it works, show how it looks when it’s done right – please Everina, write some more. I will read them.

I am a fan of the uptight rule follower/chaotic disaster pairing in a novel. It doesn’t even have to be a romantic pairing, they can just be friends, or friends to lovers, or enemies to friends or whatever. Tennal barrels into Surit’s life and they basically bounce off each other the entire book like they are in a pinball machine. It was very entertaining and I even laughed out loud several times.

Something I really loved about both of Maxwell’s books is the pacing. The first half or so is a slow burn. She does an excellent job establishing characters, worldbuilding, the magic system, and just as you’re about to be overloaded by all the detail, she slams her foot on the gas pedal and suddenly you can’t read fast enough, you can’t put it down, you have to know what happens next, and you collide into the last page out of breath and wishing there were more.

Maxwell also does an incredible job setting up jaw-dropping twists. No spoilers.

Was anything not so great?

While the love story in Winter’s Orbit felt natural, the love story in Ocean’s Echo felt very strange. The love doesn’t even happen until the VEEEEEEERY end, and I didn’t find it very believable. It would have been better if they could have been like brothers with a strong bond of trust, and then the love could have grown out of that bond. As it was, they were under too much stress for the entire book to make their feelings real to the reader. If I was friends with either of them I would give them the advice that maybe they should be friends first for awhile and live their new normal lives for a bit to get over the trauma before they decide they are in love. Seems fragile, and not in a good way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: not every story needs to be a love story.

What’s the verdict?

Love story aside, this book was both very fun and very suspenseful. Maxwell tells a good tale and will leave you wanting more. 4 stars on Goodreads, and a glowing recommendation from yours truly. Go get it.


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