5.20.2022 | Friday

Burn Down, Rise Up

category: Book Reviews

Burn Down, Rise Uptitle: Burn Down, Rise Up
author: Vincent Tirado
published: 3 May 2022
publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
genre(s): horror, thrillers
pages: 352
source: NetGalley
format: eARC
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

rating: five-stars

the blurb

Mysterious disappearances. An urban legend rumored to be responsible. And one group of friends determined to save their city at any cost. Stranger Things meets Jordan Peele in this utterly original debut from an incredible new voice.

For over a year, the Bronx has been plagued by sudden disappearances that no one can explain. Sixteen-year-old Raquel does her best to ignore it. After all, the police only look for the white kids. But when her crush Charlize's cousin goes missing, Raquel starts to pay attention—especially when her own mom comes down with a mysterious illness that seems linked to the disappearances.

Raquel and Charlize team up to investigate, but they soon discover that everything is tied to a terrifying urban legend called the Echo Game. The game is rumored to trap people in a sinister world underneath the city, and the rules are based on a particularly dark chapter in New York's past. And if the friends want to save their home and everyone they love, they will have to play the game and destroy the evil at its heart—or die trying.

my review

This was such an engrossing read! From the first page, the story is riveting, fast-paced and nonstop action. It’s dark, it’s creepy, and it’s full of suspense. For me, what really drove the story were the characters. Whether a main character or not, they felt real. They felt like people I know, which drew me into the story, into their lives and feelings.

And the premise was wonderful. It was a take on the multiverse that I loved. In this interpretation, the Echo exists as the link between worlds. The idea is that collective trauma lives an echo on the world, and the effect that has going future. There are Echoes all over the world, but this one is set in the Bronx, harkening back to a particular time in the history of the place, one entirely true. And it’s up to Raquel to overcome the Echo and set the world to rights again.

There are threads of social awareness woven into the story, issues that led to the collective trauma faced by those in the Bronx. Gentrification, racism, racial profiling… all of these things played a part in the horrors that served as the inspiration for this story. Things that played a part in creating the Echo in the world of the book.

This book was a brilliant combination of social commentary, horror, and creepiness. So good!

About Vincent Tirado

Vincent is a nonbinary afrolatine living in New York City with a background in biology and research. Sometimes they have an insatiable hunger for horror and existential dread. Sometimes they have a craving for the whimsical.

But no matter what their appetite, they are always looking to share.

Rating Report
Overall: five-stars

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