I received this book for free from From Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Firebird #1
Published by HarperTeen on November 4th 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: From Publisher
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Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.
A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.
I’m not ashamed to admit the GORGEOUS cover is what intrigued me the most about A Thousand Pieces of You before I got my hands on a copy. I mean, look at it! The colors, the two skylines, the almost watercolor type feel… just beautiful. I’ve always been fascinated with time travel and parallel worlds as well but haven’t had a chance to read as many books from this trope as I would like. I’m happy to report I found the words inside this novel to be just as amazing as the pretty cover!
We start out by meeting our main character, Marguerite, who is mourning the very recent death of her beloved father and is out for revenge. Her father, along with her mother, believed in a multiverse where an infinite number of dimensions exist with infinite possibilities. As long as a version of yourself existed in an alternate dimension, you could travel to that body with the help of a device they invented called the firebird. When their work is seemingly betrayed by one of their students and her father murdered, Marguerite joins another brilliant friend in an interdimensional hunt to find the one responsible.
So the entire concept was pretty amazing. The science aspect was primarily explained very early on, within the first couple chapters. And any little questions I still had were eventually cleared up, making this incredibly complicated structure must more easy to understand than I initially thought it’d be. What was probably my favorite aspect was getting to see the characters in completely different settings. From their ‘normal’ world, to a highly technologically advanced world, to a Russian empire severely behind the times, to an under the water environment. I wasn’t sure how quickly we’d jump from dimension to dimension but the readers are allowed time to enjoy each without being rushed. My favorite was when Marguerite found herself to be a Russian princess. I think this was because this section of the book allowed us to really get to know a few of the characters better, one in particular. It took on almost a historical fiction type vibe during this time and I feel like this section was also when some huge turning points take place. And hey, that pretty Russian architecture on the cover really fit! See, I knew that cover was awesome for multiple reasons!
The romance is… complicated, to say the least. At first I thought Theo was the obvious love interest but then we get to meet Paul and then I wasn’t so sure. But if that wasn’t enough, there was more than one version of the characters she was interacting with. So yeah, complicated. What was obvious though was that Marguerite had a connection with both boys before all of this. I know some people are really anti-love triangle but I liked what was done here. It’s not your average run-of-the-mill triangle. The multifaceted romance was interesting and kept me on my toes. The direction felt obvious by book’s end so I am curious to see if that will remain the case with future installments.
If I had to pinpoint things that bothered me, for one I didn’t like how quick Marguerite was to jump into this mess in the beginning. I mean, it served a purpose because PLOT, but I can’t deny as a reader on the outside of the situation I was yelling at the girl to slow down and think rationally before diving headfirst into danger so quickly. The one she is hunting, Paul, was more than an assistant but like family to them. She reacts rashly and on little information with the help of another like-a-family-member-assistant, Theo. And the trouble kept on coming and coming for them after that. I also was slightly bothered with how quickly the characters transitioned into each dimension and the versions of themselves. I would have expected more freakouts and confusion with how different their lives were in each dimension, almost wished for it, but they fit in seamlessly. And were even able to find each other fairly quickly. It’s kind of explained why that is so but for some reason it just didn’t sit completely right, like it was too convenient for me. But these were very minor blips in my reading experience.
It’s really hard to share much more without giving certain plot points away. But I thought the whole journey was done pretty spectacularly. The way everything came together made the sci-fi elements almost plausible to me. The plot was very intricate but at the same time easy to follow and fun to follow along with. When truths are revealed, it really set up the rest of what is to come with the series. I am absolutely looking forward to exploring more crazy and interesting worlds with these characters!
Guess who has an extra hardcover of A Thousand Pieces of You to give away?! US only.