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The Devil of Echo Lake by Douglas Wynne
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The Devil of Echo Lake (edition 2012)

by Douglas Wynne

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9265131,245 (3.79)5
Member:Silverlily26
Title:The Devil of Echo Lake
Authors:Douglas Wynne
Info:JournalStone (2012), Paperback, 252 pages
Collections:Early Reviewers Book
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

The devil of echo lake by Douglas Wynne

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  1. 20
    Horns by Joe Hill (pinprick)
    pinprick: Both books share the idea that music can be of devilish origins; I prefer Hill's book because there's a bit more character work in it. Both are enjoyable, though.
  2. 00
    B-SIDES AND BROKEN HEARTS by Caryn Rose (AlexDraven)
    AlexDraven: For the music, rather than the horror. The Devil of Echo Lake really reminded me of B-Sides and Broken Hearts, as they share a common deep-rooted-ness in the music industry of the end of the 20th century.
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The Basics

Billy Moon is an international rock star. He should be happy, but he’s haunted. He’s fairly sure he might’ve forfeited his soul when he agreed to become famous, and with his next album in the works, he feels like the devil himself is on his heels.

My Thoughts

I feel like I should’ve loved this book, but it lacked something. Partly in this being a debut novel, it has that “first time out” feel. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the writing style or characters, but none of it sang. It feels like Wynne is an author that wants to be the next voice of horror, but he ends up being a pale imitation. “Imitation” feels like a keyword here, because this book felt a lot like Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box. Once you read enough horror, it starts to feel like everyone is mimicking someone else, but to this degree, it’s bothersome.

The Devil of Echo Lake is trippy in its horror at times, but it’s never flat-out scary and rarely visceral. Studio time spent in descriptions of the technical aspects of the industry could’ve been interesting and impressive if the book had delivered on any other level. Instead, it makes those passages seem slow and plodding because there’s generally no horror payoff to be found. I don’t mind story-driven horror whatsoever, but the story was flat.

The one thing that does deliver is the twist. I won’t give it away, but it was a great direction to go in. It’s the strongest thing about the plot, but it sadly doesn’t compensate for the so-so characters. Especially when calling it a “twist” is probably generous. It’s more just a change in pace from one possible plot-point to another. So even that fizzles when I wish it had popped.

It passed the time. It was all right. That’s really the most I can say.

Final Rating

3/5 ( )
  Nickidemus | Sep 18, 2014 |
Pretty deeply mediocre on all levels - writing, plotting, characterization. Protip: If your main character is going to spend a lot of time complaining about how unoriginal his own art is, don't make the reader think, "yeah, you'd know." ( )
  jen.e.moore | Apr 8, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book from a librarything.com giveaway.

I really enjoyed this book. The characters got better as the story went on. It kept a good pace for me and there was never a dull moment.

The only thing that was weird for me was the scene between Billy, Rachael and Rail towards the end of the book. I won't give it away, but I am not sure it really needed it to be in there, or it could have been written by using a different situation. It just threw me for a loop not expecting that at all.

Would definitely read more of Douglas Wynne's books in the future! ( )
  Sara2012 | Dec 29, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I started reading this recently, but found that I could not get into this at the time. I do not think it was from bad writing though, so I fully intend on trying to read this again, and will leave a proper review at that point if I can get into it enough to read it. My guess right now is I just was not in the right mood for this story, which happens from time to time.
  RobertJK | May 6, 2013 |
Billy Moon is about to record his third studio CD with the last man he wants to see Trevor Rail. Billy is pretty afraid of him and how he makes feel. Billy is totally not looking forward to recording yet doesn't have any other options. When Billy's father unexpectedly dies, Billy's world crashes down around him in ways he didn't think possible but does. Billy wants to do a different kind of recording this time around which Trevor nixes right away saying you want to make crap do it on your own dime. Jake is a new sound tech wanting to learn the ropes from Kevin Brickman, the engineer for Billy Moon's newest CD. Jake is excited about the recording process and what he'll learn. Jake doesn't like Trevor Rail very much gets a creepy vibe from him. As recording process gets underway another tragedy strikes which could hold up the recording process. Jake and Billy both have heard haunting note playing yet can't explain it either. Billy is more moved by the acoustic songs he's been playing on his own than by what Trevor Rail has him recording. Will Trevor get what he wants? Will Billy continue to do his own thing? Will Jake help Billy? Your answers await you in The Devil of Echo Lake.

I'm a fan of music much like any one else yet I struggled to read this book at the beginning. It did get better as the page advanced. It's a good book just not one of my favorites or one I'd read again. The author crafted the story well and characters were well developed. Just not my style of book. Read the book for yourself. ( )
  WolfFaerie17 | Mar 31, 2013 |
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For Barbara Whitehouse
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Billy Moon didn't know exactly when he had sold his soul.
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"Billy Moon would have given his life for rock 'n' roll stardom, but the Devil doesn't come that cheap. Goth rock idol Billy Moon has it all: money, fame, and a different girl in every city. But he also has a secret, one that goes all the way back to the night he almost took his own life. The night Trevor Rail, a shadowy record producer with a flair for the dark and esoteric, agreed to make him a star ... for a price. Now Billy has come to Echo Lake Studios to create the record that will make him a legend. A dark masterpiece like only Trevor Rail can fashion. But the woods of Echo Lake have a dark past, a past that might explain the mysterious happenings in the haunted church that serves as Rail's main studio. As the pressure mounts on Billy to fulfill Rail's vision, it becomes clear that not everyone will survive the project. It's time the Devil of Echo Lake had his due, and someone will have to pay"--Back cover.… (more)

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