A Thousand Pieces Of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Release: November 4th 2014
Genre: Science Fiction, YA
#1 in the Firebird trilogy
Sequels: Ten Thousand Skies Above You (#2), A Million Worlds with You (#3)
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.
You can't understand the joy and happiness I feel after actually having enjoyed this novel. It has such a beautiful, stunning, breath-taking cover, it really would have been unacceptable if the plot inside would have been horrible. So, I'm extremely glad.
The premise of this is pretty intriguing if you ask me, at first I tagged this under time travel, but as soon as I got into it I had to realize I mistagged it. It's dimension travel, which isn't quite as common in YA and was so, so exquisitely done. It wasn't every really explained, but the whole time, I felt like I already knew how this thing worked anyway, or I just didn't care. I'm not even mad. I don't know how to explain it, but it all seemed so scientific and stuff, but if I actually think about it, I can't think of something that was truly science-y that was ever mentioned. Huh.
The plot was just as well done, seriously. I loved all the hopping about dimensions and living out different universes, different versions of the same people, you know? It was incredibly fascinating and mythical, and Gray managed to squeeze in some cleverly disguised "time travel" anyway, so it was all extremely interesting. The concept of "possessing" yourself, so to speak, was a very difficult topic and forced the reader to actually think and mull it over, too.
In turn, the way the characters dealt with these issues, and just the characters themselves, were pretty fantastic as well. Marguerite's way of thinking totally won me over, she was mostly sensible with just enough of a dash of irrational and vulnerable that it made her a perfect narrator and main character; while I never got around to really loving her, I can't say I have anything against her either. I ended up quite liking her personality and the way she dealt with things, also her decisions and why she made those decisions were all fathomable to me and sort of justified.
The other characters weren't quite as developed as her, especially the main love interest, Paul, really lacked some kind of emotional depth and development if you ask me, but then again, I guess judging from his "cold, stone hard facade" personality, that's kind of what you'd expect from a character like that ... Still, it did bug me a little. The remaining main and side characters were characterized nicely enough, but never stood out starkly or anything; I mostly cared about them too but never that much.
Furthermore, I think the romance was a little too obvious, honestly. About 100 pages in, I already knew that not Theo, but Paul, was going to be the main love interest and, since I just don't know anything about Paul, it was a little awkward at first. However, the time spent in the Russia dimension was purely for developing their relationship and that finally won me over, so ultimately, I did end up sort of shipping them.
The plot twists and just, the plot itself ... I want to say brilliant, but it wasn't quite there yet. Nevertheless, I really really enjoyed all the twists, some more predictable than others, but what I especially loved was that final, gripping twist that you predict very early on in the book, but over the course of the novel completely forget about as well as shove aside as just your imagination... and then, in the end, it just jumps out and punches you in the face. So much yes.
All in all, I greatly enjoyed the novel and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel; the book itself ties up quite neatly with little loose threads hanging, so if you're not a fan of cliffhangers, this is the book for you. Of course, there's still some issues left to be addressed in the next one, so I will definitely be grabbing that whenever it comes out.