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 is 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.
Author: Erica O'Rourke
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Expected Publication Date: July 22, 2014
“Whatever. Can we go now? This place sounds awful, and I have plans.” A sharp ping,like a violin string breaking, split the air. The wobble in the frequency sped up.
“A date with Eliot is not a sufficient reason to blow off training.” She rubbed her temples as she spoke. “Check the swing set.”
“It’s not a date,” I ground out. “It’s Eliot.”
Everything is possible, for a Walker. The multiverse is infinite, like an ancient tree with branches in every direction, each branch sending out countless shoots, each shoot sprouting an endless number of worlds. Walk far enough, carefully enough, and you could find whatever world you wanted. But I was pretty sure there did not exist a world where Eliot and I were a couple. It was hard to feel romantic about someone you’d gone through potty-training with.
I stomped across the playground to the swings, and gripped the chain with one hand.
Discord knifed through me, and I let go as if scalded. Immediately, the noise receded. I bent over, hands on knees, waiting for the nausea to pass before rejoining Addie.
“Done. Bet you they cleave this place by lunch tomorrow,” I said.
“They’re not going to cleave a world because a fifth-year Walker said so,” she scoffed. “On the other hand, if I said so…I bet they’d let me help.”
Naturally, they’d listen to her over me. “I found it.”
“You stole a wallet and let an Echo get grabby. You will not be coming with.” She set off toward the pivot we’d come through. If I squinted, I could see the roadside marker flickering in and out of view, a sign this world was rapidly destabilizing.
I chased after her. “That’s not fair. I should at least get to know what it feels like.”
A thrill ran through me as I spoke, dark and compelling. My fingers twitched, sliding through the atmosphere, through time and space and perception until they touched the fabric of this world, the threads raucous and trembling. Like a key in a lock I hadn’t known was there, the sensation called up something more instinctive than memory, a sudden yearning to fix the snarled, too-tight lines straining against my skin. I hummed a half-forgotten song, only to be cut off by Addie.
“You. Aren’t. Licensed.” She took my arm, looking frazzled. “We go home. We tell Dad. We let The Consort handle it.”
“Why not save them the trouble?”
“Like you’d even know how.”
Over her shoulder, I saw Simon lift a hand to wave at me. I smiled back, then caught myself. Not real. The Original Simon wouldn’t wave at me. He wouldn’t notice me. He definitely wouldn’t invite me out to hear a band or grab coffee or anything else. He wouldn’t have made me feel this uncomfortable regret. Not real — but very dangerous.
“It’s not hard,” I said, the heart of world vibrating under my fingers, as reckless and chaotic as my own. “All you have to do is start.”
I live outside Chicago. I like to travel but I'll never really leave this city.
I prefer cookies to cake (even cupcakes), television to movies, and autumn to all the other seasons.
I like sushi, naps, coffee, and driving stick shift.
I hate fish, emoticons, bridges, and talking about myself.
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