Series: Dissonance, #1
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Australia
Release Date: July 22nd, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Delancey Sullivan knows for sure that there is more than one universe. Many more. Because every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world spins off 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. Del knows all of this because she's a Walker, someone who can navigate between the worlds, and whose job is to keep the dimensions in harmony.
But Del's decisions have consequences too. And when she secretly starts to investigate other dissonant worlds she's intrigued by the echo versions of Simon Lane, a guy who won't give her the time of day in the main world, but whose alternate selves are uniquely interested. But falling for Simon draws Del closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide - a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.
To make the cake batter, throw in an incredibly flawed and rule-breaking girl, and then mix it in with a strong sibling dynamic slowly then chuck it in the oven and bake it in a sci-fi backdrop. Serve the cake with a heavy dollop of bad romance and a sprinkle of headache ensuing info-dumps, and there you have it: Dissonance.
Delancey Sullivan is a Walker. It’s not that she’s special and skilled enough to become one, but because this ability runs in the family. Each time someone in the Key World (our world) makes a decision ; an alternate universe is created, which the Walkers refer to as an Echo. People like Del have the ability to sense these pivots they can travel to these Echoes. Their job is to maintain peace and harmony in these Echoes so nothing comes to interrupt with the Key World. Another thing about Walkers is that they all have perfect pitch. (AND MY GAWD AM I JEALOUS. I AM A MUSIC STUDENT AND DO YOU KNOW HOW BAD I WANT TO HAVE PERFECT PITCH?!) Anyway, it helps them detect the discord in an Echo world among other things, which I think is insanely awesome. How often do you get sci-fi that incorporates music as a key element?
There is a strong sibling presence in Dissonance. Del’s sister, Addie, is known as the rule-follower, the star student, and the perfect child. She’s brilliant at everything she does and hates it when things aren’t going perfectly. Then you have Del, who is practically the opposite. Del skips class, breaks every single rule in the book and has an attitude. Total. Badass. While I did have issues with Del at the start of the novel, she soon clicked with me for how flawed and realistic she was. As for the sister relationship, Addie and Del were evidently the representations of the North and South Poles at the start of the novel. They also happen to be just as cold to one and another and just as far apart. While the two didn’t end up being attached at the hip by the end of the novel, it’s evident that the frost has started to melt between the two of them. I can see further growth between the two in the future installments, for sure.
My sole criticism for this novel lies in how huge this novel is. It’s not that I hate fat books, but more often than not, it’s a clear indicator how much shaving off this book could have used. There were many paragraphs (sometimes even pages) that I just skimmed briefly because they felt utterly irrelevant. I did enjoy the even and well built up pace of the novel, but some parts of it really didn’t require being here. That said, skimming this book isn’t a fabulous idea either because the info-dumping is a total pain in the ass. Words were thrown around and for a while, I was damn confused. I skipped a paragraph and then I was like “Gah! WHAT THE HELL IS AN ECHO? WHAT IS A BREAK? WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?!” Okay not as dramatic but you get my gist.
I know that several reviewers probably all brought this up but the romance clearly wasn’t O’Rourke’s strong point. Honestly, I kind of wish it never even existed because it just made me want to skim and skim and skim. IT WAS THAT BAD, OKAY? Basically, Del keeps bumping into Simon in Echoes but in the Key World, Simon never bothers to even remember her name. Suddenly, after like 1/3 of the book, he decides to start noticing Del and well, terrible romance ensues. I mean, there were cute moments, but not for one moment was I sold on it because of how unrealistically it unravelled and Simon is so bland.
Furthermore, while this book had a great pace, it never seemed to be going anywhere. It’s like the book was running around corners but it took 4 right turns and ended up back nowhere; completely lost. The plot is utterly lacking, for I don’t feel like this book has a true complication. Sure, Simon is shady, and Del must past her test but other than that, there wasn’t much of a plot at all.
Dissonance did have its imperfections, but despite that, Del’s refreshing personality, Addie and Del’s sibling arc and the world building were all highlights here. I found O’Rourke’s newest to be rather entertaining, and I’ll definitely needing to read book 2.
~Thank you Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me this copy!~
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