Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke combines the favorite sci-fi topic of parallel worlds with music theory for some truly awesome world-building along with the adorable teen romance that we’ve come to expect of the YA genre. On top of all that goodness, Dissonance contains family relationships and develop and actually matter to the plot, a whole lot of feels, and some crazy plot twists of deliciousness. Dissonance really is as awesome as you’ve been hearing ;-).
Note: I received an advanced copy of Dissonance from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke (Dissonance #1)
Published by Simon & Schuster on July 22nd, 2014
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 496 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
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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.
- The world-building in Dissonance is artfully done. I am a big fan of book excerpts being included at the beginning of chapters to assist with filling in details, and Dissonance does this really well. Del and all other young Walkers attend Walker training and have textbooks just like with any important subjects, so we get snippets of her textbooks to explain bits of how the parallel worlds work as we go. These snippets were generally really well timed too, so that I found out about something interesting just in time for it to be relevant to the plot and therefore much easier to remember!
- Del’s family are all Walkers, but they are a regular family too. She has an older sister who she generally doesn’t get along with and her parents are normal overworked parents. She also has a grandfather, Monty, who served as a stand-in parent figure for a lot of her childhood so she is very close with him. Del’s family relationships develop a lot as the events of Dissonance unfold and they matter very centrally to the plot. It was so great to see family bonds being embraced in YA!
- The romance that slowly and sometimes awkwardly develops is pretty adorable. I’ve apparently come to terms with how romance is often portrayed in YA and even though I sometimes roll my eyes, I remind myself that that really was how I felt when I was a teen too ;-).
- OMG I LOVE PLOT TWISTS. I just can’t even express to you the crazy awesomeness that is in store!
- But be prepared with tissues because there are alllllll the feels. One moment I wanted to slap a character and the next I was sobbing my eyes out. There is even proof on Instagram >.>.
- Dissonance pulled off a wonderfully smooth transition between the first and second book. Instead of leaving us with an insane and annoying cliffhanger, events from this first book are nicely wrapped up and just enough hints are dropped to make it clear that Del will have her work cut out for her in the next book. *grabby hands*
- There is a fair amount of relationship angst in Dissonance because of complicated reasons (involving Del’s actions with multiple versions of Simon >.>) and I kind of wanted to knock heads together at times.
- While I overall really loved the plot of Dissonance, there were a couple of times in the middle where I felt like I hadn’t made much progress, so I would have liked it to have been a bit more compact. One or two scenes could really have been cut here or there ya know?
Dissonance does a wonderful job of dealing with the interesting sci-fi topic of parallel worlds and believable builds a multiverse that follows very strict and specific rules. All of my favorite aspects of storytelling were strongly present in Dissonance (world-building and plot twists being the main ones >.>) and the amount of sobbing towards the end best conveys how attached I got to all of these wonderful characters. I can already anticipate Dissonance being the next big sci-fi YA series and I can’t wait!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke
© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.