Echo Boy by Matt Haig
Book of the Year 2014 (see all)
Echo Boy by Nestlé Smarties Book Prize winner Matt Haig is a stand-alone science/speculative-fiction novel set exactly 100 years in the future. It offers a vision of what day-to-day life may be like in the next century, exploring the likely advancements in technology and artificial intelligence while telling a tale of love, loss, betrayal and corruption.
At the story’s centre is Audrey, whose father has taught her that to stay human in the modern world, she has to build a moat around herself; a moat of books and music, philosophy and dreams. Into her world comes Daniel, an Enhanced Computerized Humanoid Organism (Echo) who has feelings for Audrey. feelings he was not designed to have and cannot explain. And when Audrey is placed in terrible danger, he's determined to save her.
Before reading Echo Boy I realised something that I found very interesting. I had chosen to read the book not because its synopsis appealed (I didn't even read it before requesting a review copy from Netgalley) but simply because it was written by Matt Haig. Certain authors you trust and will read their work regardless of subject matter as you just feel safe in their hands, safe in the knowledge that whatever they write about, it will undoubtedly be engaging and very well written. The other authors that I also trust this much are Stephen King, David Gemmell, Guy Gavriel Kay, Ursula Le Guin, Robin Hobb and William Horwood. If these great storytellers write a new book, well, I want to read it. Matt Haig has reached an exalted status in my household. Shadow Forest and The Runaway Troll are firm family favourites and I also personally loved The Radleys. Add to this just how highly thought- and spoken-off he is in the book world (a few nights ago none other than Stephen Fry tweeted about The Humans, and how wonderful he thought it was) and you will understand why I wanted to read Echo Boy the second I saw it.
So as I began reading Echo Boy and it discovered it was perfectly suited to my own tastes. As a child I loved the Isaac Asimov robot stories and like many others hold Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Spielberg/Kubrick collaboration Artificial Intelligence amongst my favourite films. And Echo Boy has much in common with these, particularly in how it explores the concept of robots developing real human emotions.
I also particularly liked that Haig's vision of the future can be viewed as either utopian or dystopian, dependent on your own views on technological advancement. It is a world where humans live longer, with the life expectancy having at least doubled. It is now very much a small world as travelling from the UK to Canada takes only minutes and even if this seems like too much of an effort you can visit anywhere in the world virtually, thereby deeming it no longer necessary to even leave the house for holidays and family visits. You can even be schooled from home. To me this is utopian, which I'm not certain is an altogether healthy thing.
Echo Boy is an effortless read, which is precisely what I expected, and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to ages young-adult and up who love futuristic, cautionary tales.
This Echo Boy book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read Echo Boy?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Echo Boy reader reviews
9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a reader review for Echo Boy by Matt Haig; it really helps other readers find that perfect next read. Kindly enter your name, country and review below and click the 'Submit your review' button to send.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Time Traveler's Almanac
Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
The Time Traveler’s Almanac is the largest, most definitive collection of time travel stories ever assembled. Gathered into one volume by intrepid chrononauts and wor...
The Graveyard Book
When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resid...
The Treasury of the Fantastic
David Sandner and Jacob Weisman
The fantastic, the supernatural, the poetic, and the macabre entwine in this incomparable culmination of storytelling. Imaginative stories of wit and intelligence weave thr...
Sometimes being wrong is the right answer.Nick Hayes’s genius is in wringing out the universe’s secrets. It’s a talent that’s allowed him to ...
Zombies vs. Unicorns
Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
I’m sure you’re familiar with this typical family dinner scenario: everyone is seated around the table and Grampa- like Grampa always does- turns a perfectly pl...
Yellowcake brings together ten short stories from Australian writer Margo Lanagan, the winner of many prizes, including four World Fantasy Awards. In stories ranging from f...
Gotrek and Felix: The Anthology
Gotrek and Felix - unsung heroes of the Empire, or nothing more than common thieves and murderers? The truth perhaps lies somewhere in between, and depends entirely upon wh...
A year has passed since Auric Manteo descended into the haunted depths of a Djao ruin to return a lethal artifact, only to face down a bloodthirsty, imprisoned god. Now his...
Epic: Legends of Fantasy
John Joseph Adams
From the creation myths and quest sagas of ancient times to the megapopular fantasy novels of today, this quintessential anthology of epic fantasy is adventurous storytelli...
Great books also published in 2014
The Slow Regard of Silent Things
The University, a renowned bastion of knowledge, attracts the brightest minds to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences like artificing and alchemy. Yet deep below i...
Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service ...
Words of Radiance
Return to a planet swept by apocalyptic storms, a world tipping into war as aristocratic families move to control the shard blades and shard plates, ancient artifacts from ...
Only five still guard the borders between the worlds. Only five hold back what waits on the other side. Once the Oversight, the secret society that polices the lines betwee...
Queen of the Dark Things
Two boys, spirited away into a dark world of myth and folklore that has lived, grown and changed alongside our world, have grown into men and now make their way. But faerie...
Prince of Fools
The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire fear her as they fear no other. Her grandson Jalan Kendeth is a coward, a cheat and a womaniser; and tenth in line t...
Dreams and Shadows
The Limestone Kingdom, a parallel universe where whisky-swilling genies and foul-mouthed wizards argue over the state of the metaphysical realm. Having left the spirit worl...
Actions have consequences. For Frank “Triggaltheron” Trigg, those consequences involve prison. Specifically, an extraterrestrial prison where he and pretty much...
In Dark Service
Jacob Carnehan has settled down. He's living a comfortable, quiet life, obeying the law and minding his own business while raising his son Carter ... on those occasions...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: