Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Book Review: Dissonance

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.  Quoted from Goodreads


This book was so much fun.  I love the whole idea: the different worlds, the variations on echoes, how much one choice can make a difference.  I'll be honest, when I read the description it reminded me a little bit of this really cheesy TV show from the nineties called Sliders, but this is so much better. First, because she's not just exploring possible worlds, but she's fixing them.  I also love the inclusion of music in the role the Walkers play.

As for Del, herself, she is a delightfully flawed character.  She's impulsive, plucky, and disobedient, with little respect for rules and an extraordinary talent she loves: sort of the perfect protagonist mixture, if you ask me. She makes mistakes.  Big ones.  There are a few times she makes me cringe with her choices, but they're always consistent with her character and keep her human.  It's these flaws and talents mixed together that helps move the story along and makes her relatable. I couldn't help but root for her throughout the story. 

As for the world building, it's excellent.  It's one of those tricky sci-fi situations, where you have to pay attention to the world building or it would be easy to get lost. She's crafted so much detail into this world and the science of Walking.  As I mention before, everything relates to music, which I adore, but it's more that that.  I loved the different worlds Del visited and the different versions of the same characters that we get to see over and over again.  I'll admit, she could have taken that farther, but for a first book, I liked the different worlds she chose to visit. I loved the science of cleaving and tuning, inversions and Baroque events.  It was cleaver in intriguing, and I really appreciated the time she spent crafting this world.

As for the rest of the characters, they were fully fleshed out, even some of the smaller ones.  I especially adored her grandfather. He's quirky and supportive, full of secrets and insanity, which made for a delightful contrast against her overly annoying, straight-laced sister.  Then, of course, there's Elliot, the boy that could morph into one corner of a love triangle but never quite makes it out of the friendzone, and Simon.  If you're in the mood for a nice little dose of romance, Merry Christmas.  This book has just the right amount, especially with the mystery surrounding him and all his echoes.

So should you read this book?  Absolutely.  It's fun, with an exciting concept, great world building, and delightful characters.  I realize I'm just finished reading this, so am sort of suffering from a book hangover, but I'm going to give this book a solid 4.5 with the possibility of being upgraded to a 5 star review later.  It was fun, intriguing, and  different, with shadow societies, conspiracies, and much more to look forward to in the next two books.

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