Review: A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray

November 14, 2014 Review 0

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia GrayA Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Series: Firebird #1
Published by HarperTeen on November 4th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, YA Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Source: NetGalley
Sexual Content: One scene of sensuality.
Reviewed by: Megan
4 Stars

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.

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray is a charming, romantic adventure across multiple universes, though as with many fantastical stories built on a vague, pseudo-scientific premise, the souffle falls if you poke at it. As long as you're the type of reader who can ignore inconsistencies in the rules of made-up technologies, Marguerite's dance between dimensions in pursuit of revenge, love, and loss should spark your imagination.

The scenes describing how the multiverse-hopping Firebird device supposedly works tend to stumble over themselves - rather than dwelling on the 'hows' and 'what-ifs,' better to just go with the flow. Gray goes into great detail with each universe, describing all the ways they differ from ours, but because of that extensive exploration, Marguerite only visits a few alternate dimensions in this book. Granted, A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU is billed as part of a trilogy, but the promise of an infinite number of realities leads to a little  disappointment when three or four is all it takes to wrap up the main story - and two of them are very similar to the norm. I think it's the universe where the Romanov dynasty is still going strong and Marguerite is a Russian princess that jarred me. It's radical, interesting, and carefully thought-out, but bookended by far more 'normal' dimensions. Perhaps if we get to see a few more universes where things are so radically different but populated by the same people, it won't feel like such a leap.

Though Marguerite's through-line in the novel is tied to the strength of her parents' love, her own love life is at the forefront. The romances of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU are complicated, not just by a love triangle, but by competition from alternate universe versions of the same men. Marguerite's drawn to the hot-tempered, cocky Theo, her comrade-in-arms in the search for retribution, but she also can't fight the feelings she has for Paul, her parents' reserved and thoughtful lab assistant, even when she believes he's guilty of murdering her father. She's further torn by her feelings for another Paul, who doesn't know her as Marguerite the artist daughter of two brilliant scientists, but as Grand Duchess Margarita, adding social constraints to the mix. All of these potential relationships spark different feelings, and I appreciate that Gray resolves Marguerite's love life by the end of the novel, but doesn't make it simple.

More Reviews: Similar Titles:
  • If you're looking for stories about romance across alternate dimensions, try One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington
  • If you're looking for stories about young women entering unfamiliar worlds and finding their preconceived notions challenged, try The Selection by Kiera Cass
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