Dissonance (Dissonance, Book #1)
by Erikca O'Rourke
Release Date: July 22nd, 2014
2014 Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Hardcover Edition; 484 Pages
Genre: Fiction / Young Adult / Science-Fiction
Source: Review copy from publisher
3 / 5 Stars
Every time someone
makes a choice, a new parallel world is spun off the existing one.
Eating breakfast or skipping it, sneaking out instead of staying in
bed—every decision creates an alternate universe in which an Echo self
takes the road not travelled. As a Walker who can navigate between these
realities, Del is training to help keep the dimensions in harmony.
Del secretly starts to investigate other dissonant worlds, she get
tangled up with an Echo of her longtime crush. She knows she shouldn't
keep seeing him. But as Del persists, she uncovers a truth that the
Council of Walkers is trying to hide—a secret that threatens the entire
Dissonance is one of those books where the premise of it was quite intriguing. Imagine, if you were sixteen years old, and you had all of these dimensions / worlds to explore, what would you do? I was a good kid at school and rarely skipped classes, but I would be sorely tempted to ditch chemistry and physics to explore multiple worlds at my fingertips. I'm just thinking of all of those minus zero temperatures we had to deal with this past winter and all of the snow - wouldn't be a problem with this skill; just go find a nice beach on an alternate world to go hang out on for a few hours.
Obviously a lot of research went into this, and many of the terms used were defined for us to make it easier to understand and I really appreciated that. It is science-fiction though, and like most science-fiction I tend to read, when it gets technical, I just go with it and enjoy the journey, so to speak. I don't need to understand all of the scientific particulars, which is why I gave up physics when I exited university, never looking back, and I definitely don't read a novel to pick apart the science - I'll leave that for someone else to do. Personally, I liked the concept of alternate worlds and Echoes and thought the idea was pretty interesting.
Unfortunately, while I
really enjoyed the premise and the science behind this novel, I wasn't
as crazy about the plot and the characters. While I liked the characters, I didn't really feel attached to any of them. Delancey was okay, but I think I preferred Addie the best as she seemed the most honest of them all. Del had a major attitude problem, didn't really follow rules very well, and had a problem with authority figures, all of which didn't always make her that likeable. She did grow on me as the plot developed though, although I still couldn't really connect with her the way I wanted to, and I'm not sure why. As for Simon, I didn't really care for him at all; he was selfish, vain, boring, and his Echoes were only interested in one thing most of the time. As most of my readers already know, I tend to be a bit picky in the romance department anyways, and insta-love has never been my thing. I actually thought the romance was a negative aspect of this book and turned what had potential into more of a romance-dump situation. I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if the romance had been left out of it and Simon and Del had been just friends. And poor Eliot; I think he's the only one for whom I had any empathy. Del didn't really treat him very well and was a bit insensitive to his feelings.
Dissonance is one of those novels that really had a lot of potential; the science of the different worlds was interesting and fascinating and the concept of escaping the Consort and surviving in the Echo worlds is very intriguing. Unfortunately, much of the plot and the character development was overshadowed by a weak romance and some weak writing; by weak writing I mean that some of the things could easily have been cut out as they didn't really figure largely in the story, and the whole Simon thing completely ruined it for me. Maybe if Simon was more interesting, or the romance was more plausible, then it could have been a very different story. In the end, while it had a great premise, too many annoyances lowered my opinion of the book, and left me feeling a bit numb by the end. Will I read Resonance? At this point, I'm not sure, but I may give her one more shot.