Review: Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke

DissonanceDissonance by Erica O'Rourke
Series: Dissonance #1
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on July 22, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 496
Source: Edelweiss
Book Details
Rating: ★★½

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.

Dissonance was:

  • Interesting. The concept was pretty cool.
  • A little confusing. There were pivot points, inversions, baroque events, and more. Just when I thought I’d be getting the hang of one term, another would be introduced, then I’d lose my grasp on BOTH of them. After a certain point, I gave up trying to fully understand and remember everything.
  • Waaaay too long. I got bored. By the last quarter, I was skimming like a mad woman.
  • Repetitive. A lot of the book was just going on “assignments”, visiting worlds, and pointing out technical aspects of them. Over, and over again. It’s like reading about a character going to math class every day, but this “math class” was more of a “world hopping” class.
  • Weird in the romance department. I don’t even know how to explain it, it was just strange. She dated like 3 “versions” of the same guy.. at once..
  • Pretty cool with the secrets and conspiracies. I really love that kind of thing in a book.

I wasn’t crazy about Dissonance just because it was sooooooo freaking long, and that made it boring. Then mix in the other issues like the repetitiveness, odd romance, and confusion, and it wasn’t a fabulous book. But it was an interesting idea and I did love the “big organization is hiding things” part of the book. I wish I had a chance to see it develop more!

Dissonance had a lot of potential. I think it would have been better if the characters were a bit more relatable and like one third of the book was cut out. Seriously, it was way too long!

The Verdict


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  1. Good to know. I have this one to review, but I won’t get started on it unless I have plenty of time! It seemed interesting, but I didn’t know if the execution would be good enough to make it a great book. Thank you for sharing Ashely!

    1. I really hope you like it! I don’t think it was an objectively bad book, I just didn’t click with it, you know?

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