Review: Dissonance

Posted October 13, 2014 / Book Reviews / 15 Comments

Review: DissonanceDissonance by Erica O'Rourke
Series: Dissonance #1
Genres: Parallel Universe, Young Adult
on July 22nd 2014
Also by this author: Harmonic, Resonance
Format: Hardcover (484 pages) • Source: Library

Some decisions have unimaginable consequences.

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.

When 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 multiverse.

story and plot

Have you ever read the description of a book that felt like the most YOU book of all time? Like the author literally jumped into your brain and wrote it just for you? Yeah, Dissonance is one of those books for me. I’m sorry if this review is just me fangirling like a wild woman, but I’m just too excited. When I first saw this book pop up, right before my blogging days got started, my jaw dropped at the plot summary. This concept of creating new universes based on every decision you make was something I thought about ALL of the time. Anyone remember that episode of the old Disney show So Weird? The girl makes a decision to pick orange juice instead of grapefruit juice, which splits into two different universes.. In one she ends up late to school, gets detention, and falls into a bad crowd. The other world has her day going normally. The two versions of herself somehow squeeze into one world and she has to work to get the other one out. Yeah, well, ever since that episode I’ve been obsessed with that concept. Talk about taking “everything happens for a reason” literally! WELL I DIGRESS A LOT but this book was perfect for me. I talked about it for MONTHS, built it up in my head to be the best book I would read this year, and guess what? It delivered. As far as the actual story goes, we learn about Del and her family, who are Walkers. They essentially keep the Key World, which is our real world, intact by managing all of the Echo worlds created with each person’s decision. There are a lot of complex terms and concepts that you learn throughout, but I didn’t have too much of an issue keeping up. The world-building piece was definitely at the forefront of this book. Other reviewers said that this made the book slow for them, but I was so captivated by the story and the multiverse that I just didn’t care. I was certainly curious about what the Council of Walkers was hiding and was anxiously awaiting some drama. The end of this book was definitely not a cliffhanger by the traditional definition, but it certainly made me want the next books in the series ASAP. There’s a novella from Del’s sister’s perspective that should be really interesting. Del had a weird relationship with her sister that ebbed and flowed like a lot of siblings’ relationships do. I loved reading about her family and the rest of the Walkers’ world.


  • Del was characterized as a reckless troublemaker who didn’t care about rules too much. She Walked when she wanted, where she wanted; her sister and family couldn’t stop her. I liked her and was rooting for her the whole time. I think a lot of people thought she was a superficial characterization of a typical rebellious teenager, but she had so much more at stake than that. I definitely think we could have learned more about her, but HELLO there’s still a few books in the series!
  • Simon was the love interest that Del would visit in different Echoes. There was something a little off about him and I loved figuring out what was going on. (I did solve the big mystery before everyone else did, btw). I couldn’t tell if she was attracted to the real Simon because of the Echo Simons, or vice versa… I didn’t really care though. At first I couldn’t see the draw to him that she felt, but I totally was charmed by him as time went on. I don’t understand how people viewed the Echo vs. Original Simon thing as a love triangle; they were essentially the same person with some differences. It didn’t read like a “love triangle” in my opinion.
  • Addie, Del’s sister, is known for being a talented and smart Walker. She tends to follow the rules a little too closely. I liked watching the two of them develop their relationship over time and could really see both sides of their situation. I’m looking forward to the novella featuring Addie because I definitely want to know what’s going on in her head.
  • Eliot was kind of like Addie in the sense that he was constantly looking after Del and making sure she didn’t get into too much trouble. They had a very typical male-female best friendship but I won’t ruin anything on that end. I thought he was a loyal friend who deserved to be treated a bit better by Del. I’m sure their story is just evolving too.

writing style and flowOh man. Talk about fitting a shit-ton of scientific stuff into a book and still making it readable. Erica O’Rourke has such a great writing style. I will absolutely be checking out her other book series once this book hangover wears off. As I said earlier, a lot of people were turned off by the pacing of the book and didn’t think it went fast enough. I personally LOVED all of the time spent talking about the world. It was fascinating! I’m glad the book was almost 500 pages because I could not get enough.

who should read itI’d definitely recommend this book, like Trial by Fire, to people who enjoy complex world-building over action. If the world is interesting enough, I’m more than happy to read all about it and give up some of the action-packed moments other people expect. Most of this book is spent learning about the multiverse and understanding the concepts. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t completely filled with new terms; there was plenty of plot action and development throughout. People who enjoy books about parallel universes (or any weirdos like me who have considered that every action/choice we make creates a new world) would likely enjoy this one too. A lot of people gave this book mediocre ratings, which I could see based on some people’s preferences, so this is kind of a hard one to choose who to recommend it to!

final thoughtI just have a lot of feelings, okay? A book that is so ridiculously hyped up by YOURSELF and not anyone else could be a disaster. I’m so, so, SO glad this book exceeded my expectations. It was as interesting and engaging as I thought it would be. Seriously, it’s like she pulled the thoughts from my head and wrote them down. I loved the characters, the multiverse, the potential direction the plot can go… all of it. There were some really cool explanations for certain things in our world too, like the Roanoke colony disappearing and what deja vu really is… It’s hard to explain, but you’ll just have to read the book and see what I mean 😉  I hope I’m not the only one out there who is crazy enough to think THIS SHIT MIGHT BE REAL. If you’re a Walker, let me know…   Overall, this book was perfect for me. It was the most Lauren book of all time and I mean it. I’m going to have such a book hangover it’s not even funny. Dissonance gets infinity stars from me; I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like. Maybe some of the explanations and “resolutions” at the end of the book were a little confusing? But even then, everything got repeated and explained more than once. If you think you’d like this book and have been eyeing it as long as I have, just give it a shot. My love for this book spans across the multiverse….. 🙂

15 responses to “Review: Dissonance

  1. I am SO glad you liked this one! I have it on my shelf, and I have heard like, nothing about it! Not positive or negative, so I have been a bit hesitant, but now I am going to need to be bumping it up on my list for sure! Especially with great world-building, that is SO key for me. Great review!

    • Great! You’ll definitely love it if you’re a fan of world-building. I was enthralled the whole time. Some other bloggers thought it could be a little slow because of that, but I couldn’t get enough of it. It really sets the stage for the rest of the books in the series.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.