Resonanceby Erica O'Rourke
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/i>
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...
“O’Rourke brilliantly builds an intricate and complex alternate science-fiction universe…fans will be longing for the next installment.” —School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Delancey Sullivan's world has just been turned upside down. She is a walker, someone with the genetic ability to travel to parallel worlds. Walkers working for the Consort maintain order and balance between these multiple universes and the original Key World to ensure harmony for all. Del has been raised to believe that the Consort's main purpose in cleaving a parallel world and its echoes is to make the Key World stronger and more stable. As it turns out, not all is at it seems. Del learns from the Free Walkers, a rebel group trying to expose the Consort, that much of what she has been taught is lies designed to keep the Consort in power. When the love of her life, Simon, a half-Walker and echo, is lost in a cleaving, Del is devastated. Soon after, she finds out that Simon is not lost and the Free Walkers can reunite them. But the price is high—she must join them and go against the Consort, her family, her friends, and all she has known. In this sequel to Dissonance (S. & S., 2014), O'Rourke once again captivates readers with an intricate and complex alternative universe that is full of suspense and intrigue. Such descriptive and vivid writing not only drives the action-packed plot, but makes the link between the musical threads and science of free walking easy to visualize. Some strong new characters are added to the mix, allowing questions about a person's worth, honor, and value to be explored. VERDICT A fascinating and gratifying conclusion to this original and unique series.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
This sequel to Dissonance (2014) continues Del's adventures in a musical version of parallel universes. Sixteen-year-old Del can, like her parents, Walk between worlds of the multiverse. She knows how to find the musical strings that bind the worlds together. However, the ruling Consort strengthens their own Key World by "cleaving," or unraveling, other worlds. When Del learns that cleaving actually destroys billions of lives, she joins the rebel Free Walkers. She also learns that her sweetheart, Simon, has survived the cleaving of the world he was on and has become a major player in the fight against the Consort. Hiding on various different worlds, the rebels race against time to stop the Consort, which includes Del's parents, from cleaving massive numbers of worlds. Opposing them is Lattimer, leader of the Consort and a run-of-the-mill megalomaniac-style villain. O'Rourke does her best to balance suspense and romance. Her multiverse premise is hardly original, but she freshens it a bit by tying it to music, plucking that string consistently. Both plot and worldbuilding are so complicated that it will be difficult for new readers to follow—newcomers need not apply. Two escape sequences are too easy for the supposedly impossible-to-escape setting, but they do supply action. Standard rebels-against-impossible-odds plot with a mild twist. (Dystopian romance. 12-18)
Read an Excerpt
Days until Tacet: 25
WHEN I WAS LITTLE, MY grandfather told me nothing was impossible. Given enough time and the right choices, anything could happen. I believed him.
Then I grew up. I stopped believing.
Turns out, he was right.
• • •
Walking between worlds turns you invisible. Echoes don’t notice you until you touch one of them, so people are forever looking past you. You’re a vague impression, more sensed than seen, a flicker in their peripheral vision.
Invisibility suited me fine. Coming here was a risk; I wasn’t allowed to Walk unaccompanied, and there was always a chance an Original would spot me crossing. But some things you need to see—or hear—to believe.
I hovered like a ghost at the edge of the crowded hallway. But when Simon Lane came around the corner, dark hair falling into blue eyes, jaw square and stubborn, smile full of trouble . . .
I knew I was the one being haunted.
Pain roared through me, hungry as a wildfire. Not my Simon, though the pitch of this world was sharp and familiar. An Echo of him, and one I knew well: the shape of his hands fitted with mine; the feel of his mouth against my throat; the lazy, prowling movements that made my knees go weak. Doughnut Simon—as vibrant and magnetic as his Original—should no longer exist.
The sound of him reached me clearly, despite the distance and bodies between us. The same frequency as the rest of the Echo, but stronger, as if his volume was turned up to eleven when everyone else was a ten.
He should have been silent. A terminal Echo, one whose Original had died. A little more than a week ago, his Original had trapped himself in a world unraveling to nothingness to save me and the rest of the multiverse. His death in the cleaving should have unraveled his Echoes, robbing them of their frequency and their lives.
This Simon should have been silent, but his pitch was true as ever.
The only explanation was that my Simon had survived the cleaving. He’d escaped, somehow, into the vastness of the multiverse.
Hope beat in my chest, the faintest of wings. I tried to smother it, but hope feeds on the impossible as surely as grief feeds on memory.
Simon’s voice reached me first, a baritone resonating warmly through my bones.
One touch, to be certain, and I would leave. He might not remember me. Echoes didn’t, usually. A few minutes, or hours, or days after a Walker left a world, her impression faded from the minds of Echoes like a mirage in the desert. This Simon might forget we’d ever met. I didn’t know if the thought relieved me or broke me anew.
He swaggered through the hallway, surrounded by friends, all of them in similar layers of leather and flannel and denim, Simon in the center like a sun amid planets. I readied myself, muscles tense and ears attuned. Time slowed as he drew even with me, and my feet moved of their own accord.
He turned, laughing offhandedly at some inane comment, and caught sight of me.
His eyes met mine.
He stopped laughing.
I froze. He’d seen me. He remembered me. Before I could react, he broke away from his friends and grabbed me. The shock of his frequency made me go limp with relief.
My Simon was alive.
This Simon, though, was pissed.
“Del,” he growled, waving his friends along and yanking me to the side of the hall. “Where the hell have you been?”
“I’m not supposed to be here,” I said. His hand was like iron around my arm. “You’re hurting me.”
He let go and I breathed him in, leather and rain.
“What do you want?” His palms slammed against the wall on either side of me, boxing me in. “Why are you here?”
“I needed to know if you were okay.” I tore my gaze away from the silver railroad spike flashing at his wrist.
“I’m fucking awesome.” The bitterness in his laugh made me flinch. “Until now. What do you want?”
I curled my fingers into fists, fighting the urge to reach for him. This close, he looked the same, right down to the scar at the corner of his mouth. He wasn’t mine, but he was proof the real Simon was waiting for me, somewhere in the multiverse.
He reached for his wallet and pulled out the origami star I’d given him the night we first kissed. The Key World’s frequency drifted from the dark green paper, strengthening as I took it from him. “You said you weren’t coming back.”
I’d broken off our relationship—which wasn’t really a relationship at all, just a series of brain-melting hookups—to be with my Simon. But like every other time I’d messed around with the multiverse, my plan went sideways. The Original Simon had seen the breakup. He’d seen everything. Half-Walker himself, he saw through his Echoes’ eyes any time they interacted with a Walker. All the times I’d kissed this Simon, the real one had experienced it as a dream; when he found out, I’d nearly lost him.
Now, maybe I could use it to find him.
“Simon.” I laced my fingers with his, star pressed between our palms. “I need you to wait for me.”
“I’m done waiting,” he snapped.
I ignored the words and focused on his eyes, a darkly gleaming blue. “Hang on a little bit longer. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.”
“I’m right here,” he said, confusion softening his expression.
“Listen to me. I will find you. I’ll figure it out, but you need to leave me some breadcrumbs.”
Tears gathered on my lashes, and he used his free hand to sweep them away. “Del . . .”
“I’m coming, I swear. I will find you, and we’ll fix this, and we’ll be good.”
“You’re crazy,” he said, but his fingers stayed twined with mine.
Was I? We’d done so much damage to the multiverse, his signal disrupting world after world . . . could my message get through?
I held his gaze, searching for some flicker of understanding, some sign he’d heard me. Nothing. I’d just have to believe.
We both would.
He slid his hand along my neck, drew me closer until our foreheads touched. “Tell me how to help.”
“Listen,” I said, dizzy from his nearness. “I’m not kissing him. I’m kissing you.”
I touched my lips to Echo Simon’s for the briefest moment—a promise more than a kiss, and my heart began to crack, a million tiny fault lines threatening to break wide open. And then, because I couldn’t bear to say good-bye, I ran.
• • •
Losing Simon had turned the music of the multiverse muted and flat. As I raced up the stairs, reality came rushing back. I’d Walked the Echoes since I was a kid, and no matter how changeable the ground under my feet, I’d always found a way forward. Now I had a destination: Simon, wherever he might be.
I skidded to a halt outside the library and slipped inside, heading for the stacks. Tucked amid the biographies stood the pivot I’d arrived through. The air shivered and hummed where the skin of the world had split. I reached for the rift, felt it widen as my fingers hooked along the edge.
The library doors banged open. “Del!” Simon shouted, only to be shushed by the librarian. Through a gap in the shelves I caught a glimpse of him, raking his hands through his hair in frustration. His gaze swept the room.
Time to go.
I lunged for the Key World’s frequency, and the pivot closed around me, the familiar sensation of too-weighty air pressing against my skin and filling my lungs.
An instant later I was home—same library, different books, and no Simon. For the first time in weeks, his absence didn’t fill me with despair.
I’d find him soon enough.
Meet the Author
Erica O’Rourke is the author of Dissonance, Resonance, and the Torn trilogy, which includes Torn, Tangled, and Bound. She lives near Chicago with her family. Visit her at EricaORourke.com and on Twitter: @Erica_ORourke.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Erica O'Rourke has done it again: RESONANCE is a truly fantastic finish to the Dissonance series! I absolutely loved everything about it. The complex characters, the swoon-worthy romance, the intense way the story immediately picked up and continued to build, and of course, it was rounded out with an impressive emotional ending. O'Rourke is a truly gifted storyteller. Her writing is suspenseful, complex, and flows beautifully. I am sad this series is ended, but I am definitely looking forward to reading more from her. Cannot recommend enough!