September 7, 2014

Dissonance - Erica O'Rourke

Dissonance book cover
Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke
Series: Dissonance #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 22, 2014
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks Simon & Schuster!) || ARC
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.

Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.

But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse. (from Goodreads)

Dissonance is quite a study in mixed feelings for me. I liked the concept of Walkers & Echoes a whole lot, and didn’t get too confused over the terms introduced. I also liked the characters as individuals, though the romance and I didn’t hit it off. With a combination of things that worked and didn’t, Dissonance falls somewhere in the middle on the rating scale.

Here are the things I liked about Dissonance:
  • The concept: The idea of Echoes & Walkers, and all the other things that meant was absolutely fascinating. It was the biggest reason I couldn’t set down the novel, as I rose to the challenge of trying to understand this world. While there are still a few things that aren’t too clear, I think I had the general concepts down pretty well. Plus, to me, the descriptions of how the Walkers moved among Echoes just had a distinctly musical spin to them.
  • The characters: Honestly, as individuals, the characters were pretty good. I’m mostly focused on Delancy, her sister Addie, her grandfather Monty, her best friend Elliot & of course, her crush Simon. Each of these characters had a pretty solid profile, and I appreciated getting to know them over the course of the novel.

Here is the thing that I was okay with in Dissonance:
  • The story: In the end, it worked out okay, as I did start finding it thrilling when the stakes got higher. However, the beginning was kind of… convenient? It also read a bit clunky. I was also not a super big fan of the repetition that occurred in the plot for most of the middle, even though I suppose it makes sense in context.

Here are the things I wasn’t so fond of in Dissonance:
  • The characters: I still do kind of wish that the Council and Delancy’s parents had come into more focus in this story. I get that they were busy handling some big deal occurrence, but still, it would have been nice to have them more involved and less abstract.
  • The romance: If there’s one complaint I had, it was this. I just couldn’t get behind the romance 100%. I mean, I could understand the attraction between Delancy & Simon, sure. But it kind of confused me, and slightly freaked me out that she was visiting the Echoes of him, and falling for him via them. 

There you have it, my quick rundown of thoughts on Dissonance! While I mostly liked it, there were definitely things that didn’t resonate well at all. I’m still undecided as to whether I want to continue reading the series, so that should give you an idea of how mixed my feelings are about it. If you think the concept sounds at all intriguing, and you won’t mind a romance that’s a bit odd, then you should certainly give Dissonance a shot.


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