By Emma Trevayne
This is the sequel to Coda, an intriguing futuristic story about a society that is controlled by addictive music until a boy named Anthem creates his own music and leads a revolution. Chorus is the story of his younger sister, Alpha, who has moved to Los Angeles and is working hard in school so she can discover a cure to strange and powerful flashbacks that have been haunting her and her twin brother, Omega. There was a lot that bothered me about this book. There was one of the most pointless deaths I have read (which I won’t expound on to avoid spoilers) as well as a character just being able to guess a super important password, which is something that always bothers me in books. When setting a password on a top-security system, it’s not going to be something that someone can just guess. However, what bothered me most of all was that the author hid relevant information that the main character knew. For the first few chapters of the book, Alpha is worried. But does she say what she’s worried about? No. The worry is a primary driving force to Alpha’s character, and the reader is kept in the dark. The back cover states that “it takes only one call to bring Alpha back to the brother that raised her ... and to the Web.” And the call comes at the end of the third chapter. So this is when the reader is finally told what’s bothering Alpha, right? Wrong. She and her friends are set into a frenzy, immediately packing up to go back to the Web. They were clearly all prepared for this and they all know exactly what’s going on, but the reader doesn’t. It isn’t until almost forty pages in that it’s finally revealed that Anthem is dying. There were hints - a snippet of dialogue, for instance, but the connection between the call and Anthem’s illness are thin and I only found them when I went back to reread the beginning and was looking for them. All it would take is one explicit thought of Alpha’s to flesh out her worry and save the reader a lot of confusion. Maybe this was mentioned at the end of Coda, but I read that a long time ago (when it came out as a galley), and again, all it would have taken is a simple thought and everything would be clear. Because of things like this, the story was difficult to follow at times. There was a lot of inferring left to the reader, which can be good at sometimes, but it happened way too much in this story. It made me think in the wrong way - not a thought-provoking thinking, but more of trying to piece the plot together thinking. The author took the “show don’t tell” a little too far. It’s one thing to wonder about motivations, secrets, or plot twists, but another thing to wonder about what happened five pages ago.
This book is a 2. There was nothing especially special about this book and there were too many things that bothered me peppered throughout. There were some old characters and some new ones. There were some cheap plot devices, but there were also a few interesting concepts, though nothing that wasn’t done better in Coda. If Chorus were a food, it would be overly-processed chicken. The chicken is dependent on packaging to sell itself, and you’re not really sure what you’re eating as you chew.