The Dissonance

Pantheon. Jul. 2024. 496p. ISBN 9780593317259. $29. FANTASY
Hal Isaac is facing prison time. Athena Watts is a teacher of sex magic in her occult café. Erin Porter struggles to hold down a job. The one thing they have in common is that their lives peaked as teenagers, when they discovered the magic of Dissonance, a source of power that’s rooted in disharmony and pain. As teens, Hal, Athena, and Erin formed a coven that was eventually disbanded by tragedy, the consequences of which still haunt them in adulthood with apocalyptic magnitude. From the author of the well-received debut A Cosmology of Monsters, this is another bold and bizarre tale that follows the misadventures of a cataclysmic coven. With exceptional plotting, the drama shifts back and forth between the trio’s teen years and adulthood, as palpable menace seeps through. This is dark academia that takes place in someone’s backyard, sweeping the protagonists into a whirlwind of cosmic horrors and alternate dimensions. It’s also a moving tale of the friendship between believable characters that are rough around the edges.
VERDICT A great pick for fans of Stephen King’s It, only with a more fantastical and angsty edge.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing