Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cover image and summary from 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.
I really loved the idea behind this book: parallel worlds created because of the choices that we make. When I try to think about it, the endless possibilities are dizzying!
The world-building seemed a bit complicated to start, but was really interesting. I liked the idea of Echoes (the versions of people that exist in the alternate worlds) and Originals (the ‘true’ versions of people who exist in The Key World), and that Walkers (those who can traverse the alternate universes) don’t have Echoes. The idea of frequency poisoning (which can affect Walkers after too much time in an off-key world) was very cool, as was the way Walkers and the multiverse tied into historical events (e.g. Roanoke).
As for the characters, I actually really struggled to care about Del at first. She was so impulsive and reckless, doing things that she knew she shouldn’t. I liked her sister Addie a lot more: she was all about following the rules, which is very ‘me’ so I could relate, but that’s part of the reason that she and Del really didn’t get along. However, Del grows over the course of the story, and it felt very well done and not rushed.
The romance was the one part of the book that I wasn’t really all that interested in. I was much more interested in Del’s family and her best friend Eliot than I was in her crush, Simon.
There was a twist at the end that I really liked, and which has me really excited to read book two and see where the story goes! I liked Dissonance a lot. Definitely recommended.