When 16-year-old Rett Ward wakes up in an unfamiliar industrial-metal room with a scar on his head and blood on his clothes, his first thought is "[s]omeone is calling to me...." That "someone" is 16-year-old Bryn, a fellow ward of the state from the same boarding facility as Rett. They don't know where they are or how they got there, but know they need to escape. Just as Rett is getting his bearings, something sets him "spinning into blackness." He wakes up in an unfamiliar industrial-metal room with a scar on his head and blood on his clothes, his first thought that someone is calling to him. When it seems that Rett and Bryn will never escape this recurring nightmare, fleeting memories and just-on-the-fringe revelations point to something even more sinister waiting for them on the other side.
Each iteration of this mental puzzle lasts longer than the one before it, as Rett and Bryn begin to fill in the gaps in their memories. Parker Peevyhouse (Where Futures End) manages to avoid repetition fatigue by giving new information--about Rett and Bryn, the dystopian future in which they reside, their true purpose for being in the depot--that pulls curious readers into the storyline. The stakes get drastically higher when the teens gather enough information to complete their mission. What follows is a whirlwind of close calls and shocking disclosures with a mind-bending twist.
The Echo Room submerges readers in its video game-like atmosphere, holding them in its grip till the gratifying ending. --Lana Barnes, freelance reviewer and proofreader