Hello all, Alexa here! This week, I bring a rather unique fantasy tale from author Mariella Hunt.
Fifteen-year-old singer Allie Grant lives crippled by her illness. Though kept in isolation, she’s never alone: A spirit named Song lurks in the silence of her bedroom.
When Song reveals its dark nature on the night of her recital, the show ends in tragedy. Verging on death, Allie’s taken in by an uncle she’s never met. Julian claims to be a Muse with power over music and answers that’ll heal her.
It isn’t long before Allie suspects her uncle has a secret that’ll change her very identity. But with days left to live, she might fade without learning the truth…like the finishing chord of a song.
I found this plot really intriguing… but kind of confusing, and honestly, I didn’t understand what was going on for most of the story. At first, I tried to hold off judgement because obviously, the author can’t tell you everything at once and in these kinds of books, it’s practically mandatory to have the main character (and therefore the reader) clueless for the first few chapters. But even as I neared the end, I still had no clue on the why for any of the happenings; there weren’t plotholes necessarily, just plot points that I felt weren’t fully explained or took too long to be fully explained (I’m impatient, okay?). Although, to be fair, most of the answers did come right around the end. I just would’ve liked to get to them a little earlier.
Also, I can’t finish this section without saying that I really did enjoy the plot. It was fascinating and exciting, but in a slightly softer way than most fantasies, and I was always eager to know what would happen next.
Plot: 3 1/2 stars out of 5.
There are quite a few characters in this story, so I’ll just go over a few of my favorites, then sum it all up at the end.
Allie: Allie seemed a pretty nice girl with relatable insecurities and fascinating strengths… but she confused me almost as much as the plot did. I didn’t understand her, her actions, or her interactions with other characters. Though Dissonance was done in third person, I spent most of the book in her head, yet many of her thought processes and choices just didn’t make sense to me.
All the same, something in me connected with her. I really did enjoy going with her on her journey and learning more about her character. I can’t even say what it was exactly that made me fall in love with her–the relatable insecurities? The hidden strength that lurked just beneath the surface, waiting for a chance to shine? Her internal struggles as she suffered through the turmoil of her failing health and failing family? I don’t really know–just something about her character resonated with me, and I ended up liking her.
Julian: Julian was probably my favorite in the book: I could get his character and I connected with him, too. Plus, he just gave off this powerful presence, vibrant and passionate, whether sky-high-happy or depths-of-despair-depressed or fires-of-hell-furious. He was fun to read about and fascinating to watch; plus he was willing to do anything for Allie, and I’ve always loved characters who are more than willing to step up and fight for members of their family.
Tyson: I can’t wait to see more of Tyson, you guys. For one thing, his backstory was only hinted at, but I have a feeling it’s a doozy. Even without that, he too was just one of those big, bright, alive characters, and he shone every time he came on the page. He was funny, fascinating, and just plain fun to have around–unless he had matches, in which case, I would be concerned.
Anyways, like I said, cannot wait to see more of him.
As a cast, I did enjoy these characters. Even when I had no idea why they were doing what they were doing, they were still intriguing and fun to follow.
Characters: 3 1/2 stars out of 5.
The writing is probably the strongest part of this story. It’s absolutely stunning. The descriptions in particular are just so unique and alive, I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything quite like them.
You probably haven’t either, so here’s a little taste:
Allie listened to the symphony of rush hour, an echoing buzz she called Citysong. Through it hummed a poignant promise that snow was going to fall. This foreshadowing oath darted through passageways and slid off rooftops, snaking in perfect circles.
She plucked a string on the first guitar, listening to a beautiful hum vibrate from within. The welcoming melody carried on for several seconds; at last the guitar realized she was not the one and fell silent, letting her move on.
Most of the rooms were empty except for the dining room and bedrooms. A single couch sulked in the den; otherwise, the house remained a lifeless victim of Father’s whims.
As for the setting, I liked what I saw, but I felt like there wasn’t enough worldbuilding involved. For example, there were a lot of creatures that one would find in most fantasies, yet their uniqueness to this particular one wasn’t really explained. I mean, I knew why there were Muses (and they were totally cool), but then there were also dragons and fairies and changelings, and I was just thinking, “Where did all these creatures come from? What does being a changeling or a fairy mean here? How does this storyworld work?”
Still, like I said, what I saw of it was gorgeous. I just felt like the rest of it could’ve used a little more fleshing out.
Writing Style/Setting: 4 stars out of 5.
Overall, we come in at a little more than 3 1/2 stars out of 5, but I’m bumping that up to 4 because it’s my review and I can do that. Truthfully, though, I really enjoyed Dissonance. I mean, the day after I finished it, I randomly realized I didn’t have any more of it to read. That fact upset me. So I messaged Mariella to tell her to write the sequel faster.
Honestly, like I said before, my biggest problem was how much of it I didn’t understand, all the little nuances I felt weren’t explained enough. Still, like I also said before, Dissonance was a thoroughly enjoyable tale. I look forward to reading the sequel, and I highly recommend it. If you’d like to take me up on my recommendation (which you totally should), you can get it on Amazon for $9.99.
Comment time! Have you ever read Dissonance? What did you think about it? Also. what’s been on your reading list lately? Any fantasies like this one? Can’t wait to hear from you all! 🙂
Note: I received a free kindle copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.