cover image Our Last Echoes

Our Last Echoes

Kate Alice Marshall. Viking, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-593-11362-2

Sophia Novak, 18, believes that her mother, Joy, died in Montana 15 years ago, so when Abby Ryder, 17, calls asking about Joy’s disappearance from Bitter Rock, Alaska, Sophia tells her she’s mistaken. Then Abby emails a picture of Joy and three-year-old Abby standing on the island’s shore. According to Abby—the ward of Dr. Andrew Ashford, who investigates “inexplicable phenomena”—Joy is not the first to vanish from Bitter Rock without a trace. Sophia, homeless after aging out of foster care, secures an internship at Bitter Rock’s avian research center. Abby also finds an excuse to visit, and with the help of Sophia’s boss’s 18-year-old son, Liam Kapoor, the girls start searching for answers. Atmospheric writing and an abundance of genuine chills distinguish this spine-tingling work of existential horror from Marshall (Rules for Vanishing). Video transcripts and assorted ephemera documenting various experiences on the island—Joy’s included—intersperse Sophia’s narrative, adding dimension and stoking suspense. Aspects of the plot falter under scrutiny, but by and large Marshall delivers a disturbingly imaginative tale that is both deeply human and truly terrifying. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Lauren Spieller, Triada US Literary.(Mar.) [/em]