Monday, 23 June 2014

ARC Review: Dissonance (Dissonance #1) by Erica O'Rourke

Dissonance (Dissonance, #1)Dissonance

Author: Erica O’Rourke
Series: Dissonance
Pages: 496
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: 22nd July 2014

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

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.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Dissonance is a book that kept me riveted and wanting more right from the beginning of the book, admittedly I found it extremely confusing but the overall concept and Erica O’Rourke’s writing and wonderful characterisations definitely held my attention. It’s a book that I’d definitely buy for the stunning cover alone!

Our main protagonist is Delancey Sullivan, a Walker who can navigate between the Key World where ‘originals’ belong and the alternate world where the ‘echoes’ belong, Delancey and her family navigate between the worlds to keep them all in harmony.

When Delancey accidentally ‘cleaves’ a whole alternate world, she is suspended by the council and forced to train alongside her sister and grandfather but being the nonconformist she is she still walks through the other worlds in the hopes of seeing echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane but things aren’t quite right and she is drawn to something that’s not quite real and altering the key-world.

The world-building was extremely intricate and I was confused in the initial stages by the terminology – Key-world, pivots, branches, cleaving, echoes, transpositions etc. and whilst I was aware of the individual meanings when it came to the Dissonance world it became quite complex but by the ending I was able to grasp what was going on. The plot was evenly paced and intriguing with ongoing investigations happening because of inversions in the key-world.

The characters were each well developed, Delancey did come across as abrupt, self-absorbed and stubborn at times but she felt like an outsider in her own family which I empathized with. I felt sorry for Eliot, he seemed like a sweet guy and better suited to Delancey and Addie wasn’t the most endearing big sister. I did enjoy Del’s interactions with her grandfather Monty and I liked Simon the further I progressed with the book, all of the character interactions were done well.

I’m not sure I completely felt anything for the romance until towards the end, it seemed a little forced – Simon was the star of the basketball team and Delancey an orchestra girl, they hung out in different circles, he didn’t know she existed until they were partnered on a project but even then I didn’t feel their connection until they started spending a little more time together and he knew her secret.

I thoroughly enjoyed Erica O’Rourke’s detailed writing, it flowed beautifully and her story-telling is extremely creative. After the ending we are left with, I am definitely eager to read the sequel.

Thank-you to Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review Dissonance.

“Every time you make a decision, from what you had for breakfast to who you fall in love with, the universe splits in two. One half is the part you remember. It’s real. That’s the decision you made. The other half is what-if”


Erica O'RourkeAbout the author (Goodreads):  I write books about girls who make their own fate and fall for boys they shouldn't.

I live outside Chicago. I like to travel but I'll never really leave this city. 

I prefer cookies to cake (even cupcakes), television to movies, and autumn to all the other seasons.

I like sushi, naps, coffee, and driving stick shift. 

I hate fish, emoticons, bridges, and talking about myself. 

Click here for more about me.


  1. A book that kept you riveted and wanting more - definitely convinced me. Adding it to my list Great review!

    1. I was great Ellen! I hope you get a chance to read it :-)

  2. OH OH OH! I just read this one yesterday! My review will be posted tomorrow. I LOVED THIS ONE SO MUCH!! Although the ending... my heart! So glad there will be more books in the series. *phew*

    Awesome review, Sharon!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I loved your review! we had similar thoughts :-) I'm super excited for the next book.

  3. Yay, I've been waiting forever for this one and almost forgot I had a copy. I hope this isn't too confusing for me...

    1. The terminology in the initial stages baffled me but I was still able to follow along and enjoy it all :-) I hope you enjoy this one Nereyda!

  4. I have been hearing that this one can be confusing at first and that the world building takes time to get which worries me a little but I guess if you stick with it then it is worth the read.

    Thanks for the great review!

    1. Thanks Alexa! I definitely agree with that, the first part definitely had me guessing at what was going on but despite the confusion I was really enjoying it.

  5. Oh, I've been so curious about Dissonance and I'm glad you enjoyed it! Parallel worlds are always so intriguing and this one sounds well done. Adding to my wishlist for sure. Thanks for the great review, Sharon :)


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