I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I preferred it when life came in tidy packages. When it didn’t — when something went awry — I was exceedingly skilled at packaging it back up. It was my job to do so, after all.
I was a reconstructionist.
I collected the puzzle pieces, then I gave those pieces to an investigative team to sort out. I didn’t ask questions. I didn’t offer answers. I saw, I recorded, and I moved on.
I didn’t dwell or obsess. I didn’t hunt down suspects. I didn’t follow clues to find a killer. And I certainly didn’t work side by side with anyone — least of all a vampire who I strongly suspected might turn out to be the major missing component when the case was complete.
Then I saw something I couldn’t forget. It wasn’t the bloodiest thing I’d ever seen — it wasn’t even close — but it haunted me. I didn’t like being haunted.
But I couldn’t figure out how to get it out of my head.
Someone was killing teenaged boys in the Pacific Northwest. Despite my misgivings, if I could help catch a killer, I had to at least try.
Catching Echoes is the first in a new series by Meghan Ciana Doidge. The Reconstructionist series follows an Adept witch by the name of Wisteria Fairchild, a witch who has distanced herself from her coven and is working as a freelance reconstructionist. Her job requires her to use magic to reconstruct crime scenes which she then stores in magical boxes to be reviewed at a later date. Through her work, they are able to trace any magical beings and gain an understanding of events that have taken place at the crime scene. In this first novel of the new series, Wisteria is tasked with working with an ancient vampire by the name of Kettil. There have been strange deaths that appear as suicides with the bodies drained of blood. Working together, Kettil and Wisteria must find the culprit and put a stop to the string of dead teenage boys before things get out of hand.
One thing I really enjoyed about this novel was the fact that, though there are previous series linked to these characters, it is not required for you to read those books beforehand. And, though you may think that there will be a lot of missing information and find it hard to connect and understand some of the interactions between characters, it was actually really easy to grow attached to these characters and understand them. Our main character Wisteria frequently mentions her strained relationship with her family, the Fairchild coven, bringing up old memories that I am assuming have been covered in previous books. Though I was intrigued to find out more about these events, it did not stop me progressing through the novel, nor make it hard for me to understand Wisteria as her character and why she is the way she is. Meghan gives us enough information to make us feel like we have known Wisteria for a long time, helped in part by the information Wisteria divulges when she meets new characters or is put into a situation that reminds her of her past.
The friendships within Catching Echoes was an aspect that really helped to lighten the mood of this novel. With Wisteria having such issues with family, it is lovely to see her relationship with her cousin and those who she does sometimes interact with. There is a definite sense of camaraderie. Not only this friendship, but the ones that she develops. I enjoyed the sarcastic comments throughout the way that the interactions appeared genuine, light-hearted, and familiar. It was very easy to immerse myself within these characters lives as the dialogue was so natural and, given the cirumstances, relatable.
Catching Echoes was a light, quick, and easy read that was quick to submerge me. It is filled with magic that reminded me of the House of Night series, especially in relation to Wisteria and her use of elemental candles to create the circles that she reconstructs scenes with. There are different forms of magic brought up throughout the novel that are quite common knowledge, but I also enjoyed that the magic was tailored to the 21st-century with Jasmine’s magic being technologically-based and Jade’s revolving around cupcakes. This novel is perfect for those who are fans of the House of Night series, or even anything within the urban fantasy/supernatural genres. Even the more slower paced scenes had something interesting to keep you hooked within the book, whether it be a bit of backstory or character interactions you want more of.