I’ll be honest. I “judged a book by its cover” and that’s how I came to read this book by Claudia Gray, the first book in the Firebird series, “A Thousand Pieces of You.” I don’t think anyone can deny the beauty of the cover but does the story live up to its cover art?
Here’s the synopsis of the book from Goodreads:
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 explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.
Right off the bat, the readers are introduced to the “Firebird,” the device that allows its wearer’s consciousness to travel to different dimensions. In fact, from the first chapter, the adventure starts right away. Marguerite and her friend, Theo, immediately put on their Firebirds to chase Paul into another dimension to avenge Marguerite’s father’s death. That’s exactly why I found it a bit overwhelming in the beginning. I felt like I was being thrown in a battlefield without being briefed on what the war was about.
Getting past the beginning though, I was able to appreciate the multi-universe travel concept more than time-travel mainly because it has less loopholes. With time travel there are problems with paradoxes and the whole thing is just messy once you think about it. With multi-universe travels, only the consciousness of the person travels, not the physical body so there is no possibility of accidentally bumping into your other self in the other dimension. This also means that you may only travel into a parallel universe where your other self exists. Sounds fun actually (unless you’re being targeted by bad guys).
Anyway, back to the story… Marguerite and Theo follow Paul across universes to supposedly “kill” him for killing Marguerite’s father. The thing about travelling to other dimensions is that you never know where and what your other self would be. Even more complicated than that, the other universes could be completely different from your original universe. So when Marguerite and Theo follow Paul into another universe, they also find out that if they take over the body of their other selves, they could also be taken over by that universe’s version of them.
Aside from the multi-universe travelling, the story also involves a love story. In some ways, it’s a love-triangle but most of the time, Marguerite keeps denying her feelings or keeps trying to hide it. She clearly feels closer to Paul over Theo before the whole “Paul-killed-my-father” incident. Obviously this is also the reason why she keeps stopping herself from loving Paul. Who in their right mind would fall in love with the person who supposedly robbed you of the chance to ever see your parent?
Since this is a 3-part series, I can’t make conclusions about the whole story just yet. The first series was alright. It was interesting enough to make me want to read the succeeding books.
NinthMelody rating: 7/10