Synopsis for Dissonance: 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 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.
Synopsis for Resonance:As a Walker between worlds, Del is responsible for the love of her life—and the fate of millions—in this thrilling sequel to Dissonance. Del risked everything to save Simon, and now he’s gone, off in another world with no way for Del to find him. She’s back at the Consort—training to be a Walker like everyone in her family. But the Free Walkers have other plans for her. This rebel group is trying to convince Del that the Consort is evil, and that her parents are unwittingly helping the Consort kill millions of people. The Free Walkers make Del the ultimate promise: if Del joins their fight, she will be reunited with Simon. In agreeing, Del might be endangering her family. But if she doesn’t, innocent people will die, and Simon will be lost to her forever. The fate of the multiverse depends on her choice...
My take on the series: I'll be honest -- the idea of a multiverse freaks me out quite a bit. The idea of multiple versions of me (and everyone else) running around in alternate versions of our world is pretty disturbing, to be honest. The physics/science behind the idea of the multiverse is complex and I'm sure I don't understand it at all. That, along with the huge love triangle potential, makes me a bit wary of multiverse books.
But I thought Dissonance and Resonance were stand-outs in this sci-fi/fantasy subgenre. They were beautifully written, with complex and skillful worldbulding. Just when I'd get that huh??? feeling, the narrative would explain exactly what was bothering me.
The premise of the story is that Delancey Sullivan is a Walker, someone who can travel between different worlds. She's kind of like a safety patroller -- in training to walk between worlds, making sure everything as it should be.
Of course, everything isn't as it should be. Her grandmother has been mysteriously missing for years, and she's falling for an alt version of a guy who goes to her school. Del is smart and she's curious, and before long she's figured out that certain things she's been told just can't be true, and can't be right -- and she may be the only one who can fix them.
For me, the romance in this moved at a slow burn pace, but toward the end of Dissonance, I was all on board. Yes, multiverse books do hold the possibility for sort-of love triangles, but Del stays true to the guy she falls for.
I also really liked the ethical questions that are raised in the course of the story. Del is caught between two warring factions, both of which have a different take on right on wrong, and Del has to sort it all out. And I loved the complicated relationship between Del and her sister -- very realistic!
I really enjoyed this duology. If you like multiverse stories that don't skimp on the world building and explanation, stories with a lot of action, and sweet, slow burn romances, you definitely should give these a try!