Review: Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke


In this inventive romantic thriller, Del has the power to navigate between alternate realities—and the power to save multiple worlds.

Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world is spun 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 alternate universes in which echo selves take the roads not traveled. Del knows 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. Even though she’s forbidden from Walking after a training session goes horribly wrong, she secretly starts to investigate other dissonant worlds. She’s particularly 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.


I could never be happier with a book recommendation. Holly from Holly’s Little Book Reviews recommended this book to me when I came in to her work. (Thank you, Holly!) Erica O’Rourke is coming to my local Barnes and Noble this Saturday, and I wanted to read one of her works before meeting her. When I picked it up, I fell in love with the cover (because I love origami) and the name. Everything about the story is unique compared to other books I’ve read.

First of all, the concept of the story with multiverses and branching with choices intrigues me. The idea has intrigued me for quite some time, especially since I read Tempest by Julie Cross, so I dove in with an open mind to see Erica’s take on the book. The Key World is the main world everyone lives in, basically a contemporary world, with dissonant worlds being the branches of different choices which weren’t made resulting in different consequences. Dissonant worlds contain Echoes, different versions of the people in the Key World. Walkers cross between the worlds to make sure the Key World isn’t affected by the Echoes for multiple reasons. However, Walkers have an extra gene turned on which allows them to walk with the frequencies and have amazing musical talents. I could not believe how complex and thought out the world developed into, and the concept wasn’t too crazy. I felt like saying, “Well, yeah… that makes sense.”

The characters really drew me into the story and the world. I felt like I connected to every character in the book due to their prominence in the story line. Every character introduced had a purpose I could see by the end of the book. No character was introduced only to disappear into the background to be forgotten. The main character, Del, developed realistically along with the events, except for one part at the end which was minor.

I really fell in love with Simon Lane’s character the most. His character had a unique development due to the various Echoes Del ran into when Walking. Through these Echoes readers can see various parts of who the Key World Simon is now. My favorite Echo Simon probably would be the Doughnut World Simon or the Park World Simon. Those two have a special place in my heart. (Taking a moment of smiling peace to reminiscence parts of the book.) I’m not sure I ever would have thought to write a character like this, but, again, Erica flawlessly and fluidly develops the Key World Simon through this process of introducing the new Simons.

Dissonance definitely hits every point of thriller, mystery, romance, adventure, action along with character development and plot action. When English teachers teach students how to write creatively, they need to have their students read this book for perfect weaving of details, background, action, etc. Wonderful job, Erica, with every detail.


Have you read this book? Do you like to do origami/Would you want to teach me how to do the origami stars Del makes? Tell me in the comments below!

Much love, XOXO,

~A Writer Named Charley~




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