🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟Five bright shining stars to Alice Ewens for her book Dissonance (The Orpheus Files Book 2).
Dissonance (The Orpheus Files Book 2), by Alice Ewens
Find this book on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Dissonance-Orpheus-Files-Book-2-ebook/dp/B0BTFTBNM8/
Second Book in This Series Blew Me Away!
I fell in love with author Alice Ewens’ characters in Resonance (The Orpheus Files Book 1) — which for me, was one of the best reading experiences of 2023. The ending of that book intentionally left some important “loose ends” (understatement), and I couldn’t wait to find out how Ewens brought everything together in book 2 of the series, Dissonance.
I came to this book with some assumptions about how the storyline would play out. I was wrong! The author went in the opposite direction of what I expected, once again pulling me in with a compelling storyline that often had me reading “just a few more pages.” I did not want to put the book down. I needed to find out what would happen.
The story picks up with Nothing in the Cage bandmates in Arizona, looking for Shins, the guitarist they lost to the vortex in the English countryside. At the same time, the band is sucked into a whirlwind of fame, but it’s not destiny pulling the strings. There is a bigger force at work, and through its power to compel and control, it pulls the group of friends apart, interrupting their search and isolating them from each other.
As before, Ewens brings multiple POVs to her story. We’re swept along the nightmare, knowing that Nate, Jack, Cora, Sadie, and Junk are being horribly manipulated. We also know they have no clue. Mentally, they are shot; they are not in their right minds. Physically, they are failing (exhaustion), and yet unaware. The reader also knows what is happening to Shins, and he’s barely holding on under the abuse and exploitation of his captors. The person assigned to watch over him — who is actually concerned — is a total shocker. But it works.
What readers will learn in this book is that Dawn Chorus is frighteningly huge. And…there are others like Nate, Cora, and Shins. You will meet one or two of them — for better or worse — in this installment. You will also meet some truly horrible characters that have no humanity. There were a few side characters that added more layers of mystery and complexities to the story, such as a Native American named Pauly who talked about a sacred thin place out in the desert — but also how the “juice all dried up in the rocks.”
The author creates compelling imagery alongside a frequently disturbing scene or chain of events. It is surreal. Dissonance is a deep book, which probably should be read more slowly than I consumed it. Then again, maybe I was compelled to keep going and not stop, too. Oh, book magic at work!
There is so much more I would like to share — but they are spoilers!
I was worried about how the author would handle the ending, and there were some unsettling moments, but it was written in the way the story needed to go. There were definitely big surprises in this book, and I know the future for the members of Nothing in the Cage is going to be dark, but I was completely satisfied with how the book ended. Of course, the author lets the reader get an idea of what’s coming. It’s going to be a tough journey for these characters. I’m curious as to their fates. Bring on book number three!
Once again, Ewens writing is perfect. For lovers of urban fantasy, sci-fi-fantasy, the interconnectedness of everything, and a hard-driving beat, The Orpheus Files series needs to be on your bookshelf.
Five loud-and-clear stars to Alice Ewens and Dissonance! If you haven’t started this series yet, please pick up a copy of Resonance (the first book in the series). You’ll be hooked.