Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall
Kara Thomas meets Twin Peaks in this supernatural thriller about one girl’s hunt for the truth about her mother’s disappearance.
Sophia’s first memory is of drowning. She remembers the darkness of the water and the briny taste as it fills her throat. She remembers the cold shock of going under. She remembers her mother pulling her to safety before disappearing forever. But Sophia has never been in the ocean. And her mother died years ago in a hospital. Or so she has been told her whole life.
A series of clues have led Sophia to the island of Bitter Rock, Alaska, where she talked her way into a summer internship at the Landon Avian Research Center, the same center her mother worked at right before she died. There, she meets the disarmingly clever Liam, whose own mother runs the LARC, as well as Abby, who’s following a mystery of her own: a series of unexplained disappearances. People have been vanishing from Bitter Rock for decades, leaving only their ghostly echoes behind. When it looks like their two mysteries might be one and the same, Sophia vows to dig up the truth, no matter how many lies she has to tell along the way. Even if it leads her to a truth she may not want to face.
Our Last Echoes is an eerie collection of found documents and written confessionals, in the style of Rules for Vanishing, with supernatural twists that keep you questioning what is true and what is an illusion.
This is the third book I’ve read by Kate Alice Marshall and she’s officially on my autobuy list now. I really enjoy the writing style and how weird the books get.
Sophia has dreams of drowning, but she’s told she never did. She was told that her mom drowned in Montana. Things have never been normal for Sophia. She has episodes that she can’t explain and it’s scared everyone away from her. One day, she hears from a girl named Abby. Abby tells Sophia about this little island in Alaska and that she and her mom were there. Sophia didn’t believe her until she saw a picture. Her mom disappeared on Bitter Rock, not Montana and Sophia wants to find out what happened. She makes up a name and story and then applies for an internship at LARC. They study terns that are native to the small area. When Sophia arrives, things don’t feel quite right, but she also feels like she knows the place well.
Sophia’s boss has a son, Liam, that’s visiting. Sophia and Liam get along well right away. Then Abby shows up. She’s not supposed to be there, but she needs to know what happened on this island. There is a history or tragedy there. And no one can explain it. Very early on in the book, we find out that Sophia’s reflection isn’t normal. There is something weird. She sees herself, but wild and opposite. There are strange songs and a mist that no one can go out into. Abby and Sophia start exploring and they put themselves in danger. There are unnatural things on that island and they’re starting to see that things aren’t what they thought.
The story is told by Sophia, but we also get to read interview notes and transcripts from videos that were taken when Sophia’s mom was there. If I remember correctly, the format is the same as Rules For Vanishing. Abby is Dr Ashford’s ward. She talks briefly about the story from the other book. I like how they tied together, but they were also completely different.
I loved the pacing and the book was so hard to put down.
I gave this book 5 stars.
Warnings for blood, drowning, death, anxiety, depression.
Have you read this yet? Is it on your TBR? Have you read anything else by Kate Alice Marshall?