Published by Simon and Schuster Australia on August 14, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Delancey Sullivan knows for sure that there is more than one universe. Many more. Because every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world spins off 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. Del knows all of this because she's a Walker, someone who can navigate between the worlds, and whose job is to keep the dimensions in harmony.
But Del's decisions have consequences too. And when she secretly starts to investigate other dissonant worlds she's intrigued by the echo versions of Simon Lane, a guy who won't give her the time of day in the main world, but whose alternate selves are uniquely interested. But falling for Simon draws Del closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide - a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.
You’d need a physics degree to understand Dissonance, which talks about alternate dimensions in a complex, scientific, confusing way. It took me 2 weeks and multiple books in between to get through it, because every time I picked it up it made my brain hurt.
There’s the Key World, which is the original world where Walkers originate, a secret society of people who can travel through alternate dimensions. They cleave worlds that aren’t needed anymore. Then you’ve got frequencies, echoes, Baroque events, and a whole bunch of technical terminology I couldn’t wrap my head around. Even the little explanations before some chapters didn’t really help, along with the info dumping throughout the book, such as:
Inversions, Baroque events, Echoes that cleaved too fast – something was pulling worlds off balance, creating Echoes too strong and flawed to sustain themselves.
The concept of alternate dimensions was fascinating though, where every decision creates an alternate dimension that these Walkers can travel to to set the world right. I loved the role of the Walkers in the world and how original and complex the world building was. I’ve read a few books which simply take place in alternate realities, without attempting to explain the science of the universe, and Dissonance makes a good attempt at it…if only it were easier to understand.
Most of the book revolves around the romance, which was disappointing because I couldn’t connect to Del or Simon. Del is brash, stubborn and rebellious, who constantly made decisions I didn’t agree with. She’s attached to Simon, in each multiple world, and rebels against the system and constantly endangers her life and those around her. She lets her feelings for Simon get in the way of safety, logic and her duty to the Key World. Simon was perfectly sweet…and boring.
It wouldn’t be a YA romance without a love triangle, which was rather forced here. Elliot, who is Del’s best friend, spends a lot of his time being jealous and whining about Del rather than showing us why he’s even a suitable candidate.
Everything is possible, for a Walker. The multiverse is infinite, like an ancient tree with branches in every direction, each branch sending out countless shoots, each shoot sprouting an endless number of worlds.
Del and her sister Addie were constantly at odds with one another. Addie is the prim, perfect stickler for the rules and Del is the rebel, which wasn’t surprising that they didn’t get along, but it would have been nice to see at least some of their love for one another.
Dissonance approached alternate dimensions in a novel and complex way, with heavy world building on the science behind it. Unfortunately, a lot of the technical concepts went over my head, and I couldn’t appreciate it for what it was. A lot of the book focuses on a romance, which took over the whole book, and I couldn’t connect with the characters. I wanted to read more about the work of the Walkers, the alternate realities, instead of a book bogged down by a romance. The search for a good book on alternate realities continues…
Rating: 3 out of 5
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.