Author: Erica O'Rourke
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 3.96
Published: July 22nd, 2014
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.
"Nothing's done that can't be un-,
Nothing's lost that can't be found,
Make your choice and make a world,
Find another way around."
Fair Warning: do not pick up this book before you go to sleep. You will not like what happens. Dissonance is the kind of book that really requires your attention in order to take a grasp of the concepts: Echoes, Pivots, pitches… basically all the science side of things. I made the mistake of picking it up before I went to bed and I just had to start it again the next day cause I had no idea what was going on (I WAS half asleep). Once you have a clear head though you will come to appreciate the complicated science of it all.
I like how ethereal the cover looks, but it just doesn't reflect the story between the pages. When I look at this cover I think of Greek mythology, of a pretty girl somehow sacrificing herself and being delicate; couldn't be further from the truth. Del is tough, a trouble maker. Officially labeled the black sheep of her family she is also naturally talented at Walking; navigating between Echo worlds. She is studying to become a professional Walker, where she would fix disturbances in the real world that come from Echo worlds, or disturbances in the echo worlds that could potentially screw up with the real world. Her job is to protect the real world at all costs.
"It didn't seem possible that the multiverse could contain so much grief, no matter how infinite the branches were. Endless worlds and endless sadness, and I wondered if there could ever be enough joy yo balance it out.There are a lot of concepts to understand while reading Dissonance, and if you don't understand one it is fairly certain you won't understand the rest of it all. Something that really helped (and made the story go on smoothly) is that at the beginning of every chapter there is a "lesson", a chapter from one of Del's Walker books that goes over the anomaly that the author is about to incorporate into the story. A great way to avoid info dumping all over the place.
Del is a trouble maker. They call her reckless, Her sister is the perfect child who must please everybody around her at all costs, she is not above turning over family members if she must. Addie is a little insensitive but I still manage to somehow like the character because she had so many facets to her story (plus I loved to hate her a little as well). Did I mention Addie is into girls too? It isn't a major plot line or anything, just something mentioned in passing. How cool is that? A lesbian character that we don't have to like, her sexuality not having anything to do with it? I think this kicks ass.
"My cheeks heated. He'd told me something tragic and private, trying to make me feel less alone, and I responded by wondering what it would be like to kiss him. If there was a hell, I thought, looking out at the tilted, time-worn graves, I was definitely going there."What can Del say, having other people bare their souls to her is kind of a turn on.
The romance was a little touch and go. I was kind of into it, but at the same time I thought things moved way too quickly. I liked the whole "being into multiple guys who are the same person from various universes" (though really she was only into one other version of Simon). It is incredibly messed up that she basically uses this echo in order to satisfy her need for intimacy with the boy who is unable to really see her, but it is a kind of messed up that is entertaining. Simon is a great guy, I REALLY like him. Though I don't know if I like horny Simon (that is what I call his echo, because he was always putting the moves on Del) or normal Simon more. They are kind of the same person, just some different facets.
One thing I did not like was the relationship between Del and her best friend, Eliot.
Dissonance was a fantastic read. After you get into the flow of things it is pretty easy to read it in one sitting. It is long though, and there are a lot of complicated concepts that kind of make sense but are rooted in so many explanations... your brain might start to hurt. But ride it out and you'll find yourself loving the multiverses, the echoes, the romance, the dialogue, and specially Delancey. I am so interested in reading what will come next, no matter how complicated it might be.