‘Dissonance’ is a young adult science-fiction novel and the first in a series of books about the main character Delancey Sullivan (Del for short).
Del is able to “walk” between parallel realities that occur for every choice someone could have made in life, and whilst the boy she is into (Simon) in her own world doesn’t notice her, she is able to freely interact with him in the other realities. These different versions of Simon (and others) are known as Echoes. While she is in training in learning how to keep her world and the others in harmony, things are unravelling fast and all the worlds are struggling to be maintained.
This is a solid first of a series. The plot is at the right tempo and keeps enough secrets that you will want to read the second book. I enjoyed the connections between understanding “walking” and linking it with music. This was very interesting and allowed readers to still follow all the technical terms and knowledge the characters had.
The book itself is probably rather long for a young adult novel; however, I have a feeling that comes from the science-fiction genre and trying to create the worlds and rules. Some readers might find the writing too overly-descriptive and might even find the overall plot a little thin, but I think that this can happen when trying to create a series. I’m not excusing it for those readers, I’m just acknowledging the fact that it all has to go somewhere. Maybe the following books will be fuller in regards to the plotline.
The characters weren’t overly two-dimensional either. Whilst each one had its traits to mark them as different to the others, there were also layers I enjoyed learning about. I particularly liked the dichotomy between Del’s ability to challenge authority and keep her innocence in places within the book. I also enjoyed the way she related to her sister. I did think there was too much pointing out how much she lacked in terms of her sister Addie, but I did enjoy watching how they struggled and accepted each other in their relationship.
I really enjoyed the concept of this book and the idea for multiple universes existing because every choice we make has the “what if” attached to it when we think about what could have happened if we hadn’t chosen that way. I enjoyed most of the characters and the pace of the book overall. I would probably not recommend this for readers who don’t like romantic relationships at the forefront of their science-fiction reading, as there is a large focus on Del’s romantic life. However, I think it is a strong concept and there is some great world-building and detail in the reality of this book.