[Pegasus Publishers] Ecuador, at Last by Philip Peereboom
I received a review copy for free via Pegasus Publishers in exchange for an honest review
Hey guys! So I’ve been reading this book for about the past week and I just finished it. This review might sound like it was a bad read but it wasn’t (lol)
Ecuador, at Last is an almost 400 page book about various characters who end up leaving their homes and moving to Ecuador. Some of them, like Roonah, have firsthand experience with the war’s (WWIII) destruction, while others like Erasmus are only in search of settling their past. The setting is WWIII and the Chinese are in control of travel and communication.
I requested this book from Pegasus Publishers because it had a dystopian feel to it. I was really curious about what would happen since it took place in the future where a World War III had occurred. Wars fascinate me. Of course, it turns out that the story was less about the war and more about a handful of people with life troubles, who happened to be in this setting.
I say life troubles instead of affected by the war because we have characters like Erasmus who is trying to find his father, who abandoned him and his mother when he was still a child, and Albert, who decides he needs some time away from his hometown after he breaks up with his boyfriend. They do end up caught in some of the war’s troubles during their travel to Ecuador but the reason they started their trip wasn’t because of the war.
In a way this makes me wonder how important the setting is. Why did it have to be during WWIII? Why couldn’t this happen right now? In 2016 (when this was published)
Out of all the characters, I really liked Albert. His journey feels the least complicated out of everyone’s since he’s mostly only dealing with heartache and self-hate. He ends up meeting a lot of people, he’s emotional, cares about people, and just everything about him screams ‘likeable’. In a way that’s a bit boring to me but there was just a lot of background to his story that I just couldn’t dislike him. And there were characters I disliked (like Bernard).
I was also pretty curious about Roonah, who a lot of the male characters seem attracted to. Roonah ends up moving to Ecuador with her partner Desmond as a way to help calm her nerves. She’d been working as a nurse during the war and pretty much saw some gruesome things. But what I was interested in was her relationship with Desmond. Desmond is an older man, described as already having grey hairs, while Roonah is in her prime.
They’ve pretty much been together since they met one another and I thought that was really nice. A couple that didn’t care for age or norms, but after a while, especially near the end, there was something frustrating about them. Did they actually love each other? Their relationship just felt…regretful on Roonah’s side. And for Desmond it was like he knew Roonah no longer loved him, but they were still together. It was rather maddening to read them interacting.
I suppose in my eyes they should have broken up if they no longer loved one another, but I’m sure there’s other things to take into consideration once you’ve lived together for years.
Another thing I liked was that there was no clear ending. All the characters started a journey and some of them had conclusive endings like Albert, while others like Roonah and Desmond didn’t. That just reminds me that nobody’s journey is ever really finished, especially not after just one moment in time
Overall I really didn’t have an issue with the book outside of genre and enjoyment. For a moment, I had wished the book was shorter but once I finished it, I felt like everything was relevant to each character’s growth. I ended up giving this book a 2/5 on Goodreads for an ‘it’s OK’ rating but I think it could have been a 3 (or even a 4) out of 5 if the right person had read it. I recommend this book to people who like a spiritual read.