Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke


Author: Erica O'Rourke
Release: July 22nd 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Science Fiction, Mystery, YA
#1 in the Dissonance duology
Sequel: Resonance (#2)


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.


This book is way too long for its own good. If it would have been a few hundred pages shorter, and a lot of the unnecessary romance cut out in the process, I'm sure I would have enjoyed this MUCH better.

Because in the end, the heavy focus on the romance was what killed this book for me. The first time Simon (a version of him, anyway) and Del kiss is on page 100, which is way too early in my books, and I mean it's not like the book has to rush anything since it's 500 freaking pages. The next thing that bothered me about their relationship was how stereotypical and clichéd it was. Star-athlete man-whore with a troubled past and a not-so-great home life, falling for the under the radar underdog, although he only first noticed her because he had to work with her on a project for school. That doesn't sound familiar at all. I admit I'm not being completely fair with the novel, because it's essentially my own fault for having read so many books and come across this trope so often that this cow has been milked one too many times for my tastes, so I'm sure readers who haven't had the misfortune of reading about cases like these before won't be as annoyed.
Anyhow, I for my part couldn't stop rolling my eyes at them right from the beginning and I knew how their relationship would progress every step of the way, and it happened just how I thought it would. Ultimately, it was just boring and lame and too sappy, how Del risks everything for this boy, thinking she's "meant to be with him" or some shit like that. Ugh.

The main plotline suffers dearly for the annoying romance, not coming into play basically at all up until way after page 300, really. It just baffles me, how inconsequential the first 300 pages truly are, in a 500 page book. This isn't supposed to happen! Damn it. When it did come into play, though, it was well thought out and you could feel how much effort and thought the author has put into this project every single page. It's nice to see an author actually taking the time to set up such a great and detailed world, even though I have to admit, as someone who has always had failing grades in music up until I could drop it, I did not get any of the musical mumbo jumbo or the metaphors connected with it. Since all of the how's and do's of this Walker thing were explained via those music metaphors, the concept of this is still lost on me. How... how does that work with those strings? Like, does she really just lift her hand and pull some strings out of thin air? Huh?! There's a scene where she's tweaking those strings, but they are special strings connected to a person and she had to stand close to that person, but she kept her fingers under a table so the one involved wouldn't see her pulling the strings? Does everyone see the strings, or did she just do it so they wouldn't catch her making weird hand gestures? I don't know man, it was mysterious and incomprehensible, but it was definitely there.

The characters.... I don't know. I'm kind of really sympathetic towards Eliot, the poor guy, but he was just another good ol' cliché that I have come across a million times in literature: the childhood best friend who's hopelessly in love with the heroine and jealous of the athlete jerk because he thinks he'll just cause his sweetheart heartache and misery. The whole set-up really reminded me of City of Bones, not to mention that the main love interest's name is Simon Lane. I can't tell you how many times I misread it as Simon Lewis. 
Nevertheless, the only character I really liked was Monty, although he was kinda annoying too whenever he encouraged Del's crazy affair with Simon, other than that I also liked the dynamics between Del and her sister Addie, it was really interesting to see that particular kind of love/hate sibling relationship, especially with two sisters since I personally only know it in the brother/sister way, as I only have a brother and no sisters.

In the end, I think the second half was a lot better than the first half, since it finally focused more on the actual plot of the book than the stupid romance, but it was also just waaay too long. Its length and the pointlessness of said length really drove me to desperation a few times over, with me contemplating dropping the book entirely multiple times. Ultimately, if you don't mind stereotypes and a big emphasis on romance, this is your book. Sadly, it wasn't for me, even though I was so pumped for it.

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