Slow Echoes by Kristina M. Serrano
Publisher: Forever More Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (108 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe
Selk Baioumi is Croatian. She’s also Egyptian. And American. Despite her vast heritage, the only family she has known is her mom and late grandfather. Other than that, the closest relationship she has is with her boxing/kickboxing instructor, Cliff. And she’s perfectly happy with her life, until two new men show up in her cozy hometown of Snow Hill, Maryland. The first, Whistler, an ill-reputed boxer with a paranormal secret. The second, Zahid, the Egyptian father who’d left her mother the day after Selk was born.
Zahid’s return brings the truth about Selk’s ancestry and promises of death for many, including Whistler, the not-so-bad boy who’s stolen her heart with his dry smile and effortless empathy. In order to obliterate those promises, Selk and Whistler must enter and survive an alternate Egypt where crocodiles swim in venom, stained-glass labyrinths come to life and mummies can slow your every move, even speech—if overprotective Cliff doesn’t kill Whistler first.
How long could you survive in an alternate universe that was designed to be deadly?
Selk was such an interesting and relatable main character. One of the things I liked the most about her was how logically she responded to most of the bizarre things that happened to her. She’s the kind of person I’d want to have around in a crisis because of how level-headed she was capable of being when everyone in in danger. This is is the sort of thing I appreciate in a protagonist. It makes me like them instantly.
There were, however, some pacing issues. The beginning in particular moved much more slowly than than the rest of this tale did. This kind of leisurely introduction would have worked well for something full length, but I found it too slow for a short story. Spending so much time explaining who the characters were and how they were connected didn’t leave as much room for exploring the main conflict as I would have preferred to see.
While every monster in this story creeped me out, the mummies were the scariest ones of them all. The author’s description of what a mummy will do to anyone who is unlucky enough to fall into its grasp sent a shiver down my spine. It was especially fun to see how the characters reacted to the warning about these creatures and what happened when they finally ran into them. These sections were really well done.
Slow Echoes was a wild ride. I’d recommend it to anyone who is in the mood for an adventure.