Review: Dissonance – Erica O’Rourke

Posted 18 July, 2014 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 20 Comments

Review: Dissonance – Erica O’Rourke |
4 Stars

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

*I received a free ARC of Dissonance from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers via Edelwiess in exchange of an honest review*

Dissonance opens up multiverses of possibilities so vast it made my head spin in a good way!

My Dissonance review:

The concept of Dissonance – that each and every time a person makes a choice in the key world, they create at least one echo world where the echo of themselves made the other choice – is one that I love. If you have ever thought ‘what if…’ you will get the excitement I felt when I started reading. I stayed glued to my kindle reading throughout the whole day – and awake part of the night thinking about all the different and complex aspects of this amazing young adult story.

Dissonance starts when Del is walking in other worlds, there is one she is supposed to analyse to see if it can be fixed, or if it should rather just be cleaved. She meets the echo of a guy in her school, one she has had a crush on for a while, and they chat when she realizes that he is the dissonance in this world. When Del’s sister Addie shows up to supervise her, things go bad very quickly, as Del accidentally pulls on one of the main strings of the Park World, and it starts to unravel extremely quickly. Only Del’s quick wit and the fact that she isn’t a stickler for rules as her sister is, save them and manages to get them back to the key world safe and sound.

The world building in Dissonance is very complex, both because it involves multiverses, and because the terms used for the exact place it is possible to walk into another world – a pivot point – and other terms have to be learned as the story unfolds. I utterly loved everything about it, though, because it is the kind of thing I would think about when I was younger – the what ifs, the possibility that there was another me somewhere living a different life because of different choices and so on. Del is an awesome heroine, because while she is strong and can certainly take care of herself, she is also flawed, and she tends to act before she has thought something all the way through.

Dissonance is also about friendship, family relationships, romance and betrayal. I didn’t particularly enjoy that there was a pseudo love triangle, because I never think those are necessary to make a story move forward. I loved the sibling rivalry between Del and her sister, though, as well as the strong and trusting relationship Del had with her grand-dad Monty. More or less a loner, Del mostly hangs out with her best friend Eliot, who is a very smart and geeky kid, capable of making a software that can analyze the dissonance and possible danger in a world before they actually enter it.

The writing in Dissonance is really good, because even with the complexity of the world, there is no info-dumping, I learned stuff because someone was teaching Del, or because she explained something she had seen to Eliot. Written in third person past tense, from Del’s point of view, the story also has dialogs which helped me understand and get to know the other characters of Dissonance.

If you enjoy stories with parallel worlds, a great female main character who doesn’t listen to authority, and a possible conspiracy high up in the government, Dissonance should make it onto your TBR shelf as soon as possible!

Some of my favorite Dissonance quotes:

Given a choice, it seems like pity would be easier to bear than mockery, but that’s not true. Mockery hardens defenses; pity slips through, finds the softest place you have, and slices to the bone. 

Okay. Clearly, this was Angry Dystopian Simon. Monty’s choice made more sense now. A world with fewer choices made for a more stable environment, and the breaks would be easier to identify.

I’d thought being a Walker meant freedom, but lately, it was beginning to feel like a cage. Elaborate, beautiful, and so large that the boundaries were barely visible. But stil a cage.

“You know you can talk to us,” Mom said. “About anything.” At that, I rolled my eyes. Parents said you could always talk to them, but whenever you took them up on their fofer, ti was less of a talk and more of a lecture. I got enough of those as it was.

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Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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20 responses to “Review: Dissonance – Erica O’Rourke

    • I absolutely adored the story, the complex universe and the characters, Lola. I can’t wait to read the second book in this series, because the ending left me wondering about so many things!
      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Brandee, you are going to love Dissonance! There are so many possibilities, and Del is really good at what she’s doing.
      Thanks for stopping by, my dear. *BIG HUGS*

  1. Well I am THRILLED that you had such a positive reading experience with Dissonance!! I’ve been looking forward to this one for over a year, seeing as I have a thing for parallel worlds and multiverses (pretty much anything sci-fi hah!) but those themes can be tricky if they’re not dealt with properly. It sounds like the author did a fantastic job, building the world and it’s rules. The characters sound awesome too 😀 Eeep! I’m even more excited for this one now, thanks for the fabulous review Lexxie ^^ x

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted: Review: The Night Gardener
    • Micheline, you are going to love it! I love parallel worlds and multiverses too, and Dissonance was really, really well done! I can’t wait to see what you think of it 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. First of all: THAT COVER!

    I loved Pivot Point, and this book reminded me of some of the things I loved about that story. I really am enthralled with the idea of multiple universes, and since there seems to be more than just romance, I am definitely going to have to get this one!

    Lyn Kaye recently posted: Forgotten Fridays: Vampire Academy
    • Oh my gosh, yes! The cover is gorgeous, isn’t it? I haven’t read Pivot Point, but I’m guessing I really should. I love the multiverses, too, and the romance isn’t completely a romance, the story really focuses on other and more important things.
      Thanks for stopping by, Lyn 🙂

  3. I can’t read your review right now because I’m about halfway through reading this right now 😛 But I’m so so happy that you gave it four stars. I’m loving it so far – the concept is so cool and everything going on with Simon has me so nervous! I’m so anxious and excited to see what’s up with him and I’m just certain whatever it is will be the reason the pond world fell apart and the reason her parents are working on that super secret project. Ah! Oh and I LOVE her grandpa and I think that creepy guy – Latimer? – knows about her grandma. Ok, I’ll stop. But yeah, I’m loving it 🙂

    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted: Sunday Post | 50th Edition
    • YAY, Berls, I’m so glad you are enjoying Dissonance as well! We should have a Facebook or Google+ chat once you’re finished 🙂 Share our squeeing, you know?

      Thanks for stopping by.

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