Echo Boy by Matt Haig


Synopsis: Audrey’s father taught her that to stay human in the modern world, she had to build a moat around herself; a moat of books and music, philosophy and dreams. A moat that makes Audrey different from the echoes: sophisticated, emotionless machines, built to resemble humans and to work for human masters. Daniel is an echo – but he’s not like the others. He feels a connection with Audrey; a feeling Daniel knows he was never designed to have, and cannot explain. And when Audrey is placed in terrible danger, he’s determined to save her.

I picked this up on the recommendation of one of the librarians.

I don’t know why I keep reading Matt Haig.  Though to be fair I didn’t realise that this book was written by him until I’d gotten home and picked it up to read.

I have previously read both Shadow Forest and The Radleys by Matt Haig, and have found him to be a man of good ideas and failed execution.  He’s like Neil Gaiman without the interesting bits.  Both Matt Haig books I’d previously read started off well and then never built from there, dragged on for a couple hundred pages and then mercifully finished.  I found both of them almost a complete waste of time.

Cue Echo Boy.  The idea is not exactly original but solid, and if the author were to work at it he could get something out of the material that would make it an enjoyable read.  This was not the case.  The plot was obvious from the beginning.  The romance was stale.  The characters were on the whole a little weak, and the obvious drivel over human rights had a moralistic tone that was periodically jumping the line into condescending.

This read like a man trying to hammer home the lesson and making a good job of it, explaining everything in enough detail that no-one would miss the message of morality and the insight that he had into the technology which would be developed.  It’s a lot of things I can’t stand about science fiction, with a teen romance plot sans romance.

I cannot really stress this enough.  NO.  Do not read this book.  Do not read Matt Haig.  Do not let your mind stagnate and do not take boring books for what you get in life.  Do not be condescended to.

Echo Boy by Matt Haig

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