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Review: Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell


Thanks to the publisher (Tor) for the ARC of this book.

Well, this was fun! I confess: I still haven’t read Winter’s Orbit, but something about description of Ocean’s Echo intrigued me enough to request it. And I was right. Sometimes all you need is some light, queernorm sci-fi. Even though Ocean’s Echo has its flaws, it simply clicked for me.

Tennal is a walking disaster of a person. He also happens to be a mind-reader. When his legislator aunt gets tired of him, he gets forcefully conscripted into the military and ordered to sync with an architect (mind controller). But Sunit, a promising officer who accepted a sketchy promotion unaware of what it contains, doesn’t want to sync with someone who does not consent. So they fake it and start planning for escape. Of course, they accidentally get tangled up into something much bigger.

Though this is, in theory, military sci-fi, the focus is very narrow and firmly on the characters. I loved what a chaotic disaster Tennal was. Charming asshole characters can be very hit or miss for me, but here it clicked. Sunit, on the other hand, is firmly Lawful Good but with a delightful malicious compliance streak. The dynamic worked for me quite well and made the book a breeze to read.

It’s not perfect. The worldbuilding felt very messy and barely sketched out and the plot lost itself a little towards the end (I found one of the character decisions particularly idiotic). But at the same time, none of it mattered or affected my enjoyment. It was fast and enjoyable and very easy to read in large chunks.

If you need a quick read, this is a great choice.

Enjoyment: 4/5
Execution: 3/5

Recommended to: anyone looking for light, romance-y sci-fi and queernorm worlds, fans of walking disaster characters, those who prefer low-heat romance
Not recommended to: worldbuilding-focused readers, fans of military sci-fi

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