Echo – Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Echo, written by dutch writer Thomas Olde Heuvelt, is a creepy horror tale about a mountaineer, Nick Grevers, who together with a friend sets out to climb an obscure mountain in the Swiss alps that they have caught a glimpse of during one of their climbs. They both feel strangely drawn to this mountain, although when they start researching, information about this mountain is strangely scarce, something that’s weird in a time when almost every inch of the alps has been mapped out.
Something goes horribly wrong and Nick ends up in a coma, having been found on the mountain with his face halfway torn apart, his climbing-buddy nowhere to be found. His boyfriend Sam comes in from the Netherlands to be with Nick, but he soon finds out that that Nick brought back something more than just bad memories from that mountain, and pretty soon weird things starts to happen around Nick.
The story is, with some exemptions, told alternatively trough the eyes of Sam and Nick. It slowly reveals what has happened up on that mountain while building up the tension. We also get to know the circumstances that has made Sam into what he is today, and how this background influences his decisions and feelings towards Nick.
The story is pretty supernatural, which of course isn’t uncommon in a horror story, and even if this is largely a story of the relationships between a man and the love of his life, as well as that between sister and brother, there are a lot of supernatural stuff going on. But there’s also some good descriptions of how to deal with traumas, perhaps best described through the way Sam reacts to his once beautiful boyfriends mutilated face. The tension builds throughout the book, but it also tends to drag a little bit at times, and could perhaps have been shorted a bit. This would probably have made it keep the momentum a little bit better, but despite that I had no troubles keeping on reading. It’s got a nice foreboding beginning and builds towards the climax from there. The tone in the writing is trying for hip for some characters, in my opinion it works decently but some people might be put off a bit by it.
It was a fresh take on the supernatural theme, having a mountain being such an integral part in the horror, which was nice to read. A pretty nice novel if you’re into the horror/supernatural genre. I gave this a 4 out of 5 on Goodreads.