Series: Dissonance #1
YA Science Fiction
This is the book for you if you like:
- Alternate universes
- Original world building
- Romance in your science fiction
Summary: (from author’s website)
For Delancey Sullivan, alternate universes aren't just a theory: they're a way of life. Every time someone makes a choice—to eat breakfast or skip it, to sneak out or stay in bed—parallel realities are created, and echo versions of ourselves take the roads not traveled in the Key World. As a Walker, Del navigates between the Echoes, keeping the dimensions in harmony. But when her own choices go horribly wrong, she must decide between her heart and her duty—and live with the consequences.
It seemed like a lousy way to remember someone: two aging strips of wood nailed together in the shape of a cross, stuck into a weed-choked ditch on the side of the road.
Thoughts on covers:
I love the colours on all the covers (hardcover, paperback, Spanish edition respectively), but I love the middle cover the most. Maybe because I usually prefer covers without people, but also because I think the origami stars are important enough to the story to warrant being on the cover.
I love the title. It fits the story, both because of its content and its atmosphere.
Why did I read this book?
I love parallel universes. It’s one of the science fiction themes I love best, so when this one came up on Riveted I didn’t feel like I had any choice but to read it.
Dellancy Sullivan, named Del, is a girl with
a rebellious an independent streak. She’s always had to fight against her sister’s perfection until the point where she just gave up and wholeheartedly embraced the rebellion. I liked her. She was reckless in a way that I could understand, in a way that didn’t make me want to scream at her on every other page (which has definitely happened with other main characters, let me tell you). She’s a bit self-centred at times, but again, this was written in a way that made sense to me; she’s a teenager, and her world, sheltered as it’s been, pretty much existed of just her, so how could she not be?
It’s hard for me to pinpoint Simon, the love interest. He’s important to the story, sure, and we get a sense of how important he is to Del and how he makes her feel; both crucial to understanding the book, but as a reader you don’t really get a feel for Simon. But seeing him through Del’s eyes, it’s almost impossible not to like him – the author certainly didn’t go out of her way to give him a personality, but on the plus side, she also didn’t make him a complete jerk.
Monty, Del’s grandfather, is the most important side character and the character I was most fascinated by. I would love to hear his entire story; love to follow some parts of his life and try to figure him out. He’s suffered from frequency poisoning and while he’s presenting himself as not entirely lucid, he seems perfectly fine when it’s about things that are important to him. Addison, Del’s sister, is quite interesting too; even though we see her through Del’s eyes, which do not paint her favourably, I still felt drawn to her. She might be the ‘perfect sister’, but I don’t think that truly came naturally to her, and she must struggle with a lot of demons herself.
Dissonance is set in a world just like ours, except in this world there are alternate universes; every choice someone makes, springs up an echo in which that someone made another choice. Walkers go between worlds and ensure that the Key World, where the Originals live, stays whole.
I absolutely loved the world building in this story. Some chapters open with excerpts from the Walkers training manuals, which is a structure I will never tire of. But even without those excerpts, there are details sprinkled over every page, and I thought it was absolutely fascinating. However, that also means this isn’t an easy read; you need to pay attention to every page and really absorb the terminology in order to get a feel for this vast multiverse.
Dissonance is a science fiction story with a distinct romantic flavour; while I wouldn’t call it a romance per se, it is true that Simon, the love interest, is at the centre of the story. It didn’t bother me as much as it could have, though maybe that’s just because I’m a sucker for an impossible love story. But also because the romance is very much in function of the story; without Simon the events between worlds wouldn’t have happened either, and his tale is as much caught up – maybe more even – in the alternate universe part of the story as it is in the romance.
The rhythm ebbed and flowed, with some chapters rushing through events while others lingered for a while. I really enjoyed following the tide of this book, until it picked up speed at the end and it sacrificed some making-sense to finishing the story. I suppose the second book will help with the making sense part, and I wouldn’t be surprised if on rereading after having read the second part, the ending doesn’t feel rushed at all. But for now, I would have appreciated a little more time to figure out what was going on and who was involved.
Will I read the other instalments in this series?
Yes, I’m very excited about that!
Overall rating: 5/5