Ecko Rising by Danie Ware

The main reason that I picked up this book was that I read the Anarchy Books anthology Vivisepulture and really enjoyed the story by Danie Ware (there are other great stories in that anthology). The first thing that surprised me when I got the book was how big it is. At over five hundred pages it is a meaty tome so don’t expect to read it in an afternoon.  This is a cyberpunk book, no actually it is an epic fantasy novel. Hang on, this is an epic fantasy inside a cyberpunk story. Or at least I think it is. The next book could quite easily turn and twist that further and really boggle my mind. I don’t want to give you any spoilers so it is easier to say that this is a fantasy story inside a cyberpunk tale.

Although this is a long book it doesn’t seem to drag at all. I didn’t find myself skim reading it at all which can happen during long expositions. I really like the main character Ecko. He’s sarcastic, piss-taking and generally a bit of a fool. Wrap that up inside a child bullied so much that he endures painful adaptation after painful adaptation to become a silent and deadly killing machine and you have a fun character. A lot of Ecko’s sniping comments are very familiar and I particularly enjoyed the reference to Wembley Stadium. I’m not going to directly quote anything because each one is a gem and will make you smile.

I expected to be saying that this book is too long before I even started reading it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it felt a lot shorter than it was. The ending left me wondering whether it was the fantasy or the cyberpunk portion that is real. It could be either or in fact both. I want to read the second part of this story and I want to read it now. This is a great debut novel and well worth a read.

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