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ECHOSTAR is always listening...

"Relatable themes of friendship, falling-out, trust and online safety are explored in this edge-of-your seat tech thriller centred on a sinister app."

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

Interest Age 11+ Reading Age 8+

Globally-acclaimed for her richly-imagined YA fantasy novels, EchoStar sees Melinda Salisbury present a whip-smart tech thriller for our times. Super-readable and dyslexia- friendly, it tackles prescient topics, such as the dark side of new technologies and online safety, alongside exploring the timeless themes of friendship dynamics and the loneliness of falling out.  

From the outset, Ruby’s voice rings through in engagingly authentic style. She’s funny, she’s driven and, in her words, “I really did live for Drama”. On that subject, Ruby and her best friend Deva have been offered places to attend a prestigious performing arts camp. So far, so exciting, except both girls have been told they can only go if their grades improve.   

When Deva starts bagging impressive marks in every subject, she reveals to Ruby that her success is all down to EchoStar, an all-seeing, all-hearing AI app that “analyses what it hears or sees and tells you what to say and write”. Although the app was “originally designed to help people in social situations”, Deva has figured out “you can use it for other stuff”, such as being a tool to get good grades.  

Though Ruby promises to keep EchoStar a secret, she becomes desperate to get hold of it for herself. Cue a painful falling out when Deva finds out, and worse when Ruby realises there’s more to EchoStar than meets its all-seeing eye.  

With a fine twist in the tale setting the stage for the next instalment of this three-book sequence, EchoStar is a suspenseful, timely thriller.

Joanne Owen

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