Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father’s killer through multiple dimensions. Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.
A Thousand Pieces of You, the first book in the Firebird trilogy, explores an amazingly intricate multiverse where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.
1. The main character, Marguerite, really annoyed me for the most part.
Marguerite is the daughter of two brilliant physicists who invented this dimension hopping device called the Firebird. She missed the blessed genetics that allow her to be great at science and instead she is the artsy one of the family. She paints, and it brilliant at it. However, throughout the whole book, she’s always doubting herself and calling herself stupid because she isn’t a science genius. This really bothered me, because her narrative is riddled with self deprecation and very nearly self-loathing. I don’t like this in main characters, especially girls, who are supposed to be the heroine. Everyone has doubts, yes, especially when dealing with something this monumental. She spent most of the book worried that she’s not enough, when she very clearly IS. I wanted to scream at her to believe in herself through more than half the book.
2. I really enjoyed the parallel dimensions.
I had to read Cloud Atlas for a college course called Writing About Literature. I loved that book. I liked that book’s version of fate and choice. This book had elements of that, yes, but combined with parallel dimensions! I thought it was super interesting and intricate that the rules of parallel dimensions were that a version of you had to exist in whatever dimension you were traveling to. I thought that was really creative. Sometimes, it got a little confusing, especially when Marguerite was in one dimension, acting like a different version of herself, while she was still herself. But, if you pay attention to the rules, you should be fine.
3. The world building! Wow!!
Usually with a sci-fi like book, the author has to build just one world. In this one? There are at least 4 very well built worlds with consistent rules and characters. My favorite world was the first dimension they jumped to, in a futuristic London. It was insanely impressive how well these worlds were developed and how much time it must have taken to dream up all of them – even the original dimension where Marguerite is from. I’m not telling you much, because I want you to form your own opinion! Don’t take my word for it – but these worlds are seriously crazy and cool.
4. The love story makes me want to vomit.
I usually do an insanely heavy eye roll when I read any type of love story, regardless of genre. This one was so confusing at times, that I couldn’t keep up, even if I thought I was rooting for someone. At first, I thought there would be a love triangle (which elicits my most extreme eye roll – I hate them) but that fizzled out quick, which I was grateful for. Marguerite falls for one version of Paul, then can’t call up those same feelings for her Paul, and tells her Paul she’s feeling unfaithful. I hated that SO much. It’s the same guy!! This is where the parallel dimensions thing gets a tad confusing.
5. This book started out with a bang, and I thought there would be a ton of scientific mumbo jumbo (I’m an English major, I don’t speak science) and I was right.
There was a LOT of science jargon, but I’m glad the author made Marguerite the artsy one, because that made it acceptable by the world’s standards to explain all these huge science terms in normal English that even I could understand! I really appreciated that. As far as I know – which isn’t a lot, admittedly – the science stuff is pretty spot on, and it looked like Gray did a ton of research to get into this. I appreciate that immensely, especially because I didn’t get super confused between all of these rules set forth about parallel dimensions.
OVERALL: 3 stars! This book was overwhelmingly meh for me. It wasn’t super exciting, it wasn’t engrossing, but it was a really cool concept. I loved Marguerite’s parents and the graduate students that were like her adopted brothers. I liked the mystery of this, but I was so bored through most of it. I’m proud of myself for finishing it. But, please, DO NOT take my word for it and read it yourself! I only write these reviews to help, but I really want you to form your own opinion! Click the link to order!