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.
First, can we talk about this cover? I think it might be the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I’ll admit, I didn’t look too closely at it before starting the book. If I had, I would have realized how much it tells you. The cover shows you two of the settings, London and St. Petersburg, and ties them together with a watercolour theme. This fits perfectly since our main character, Marguerite, is an artist. Her art shapes her views, and we see each new place through her eyes. Her art is also a reflection of herself, because though she remains genetically identical in each new world, she is shaped by the changes around her, which manifest through her art.
There is such infinite beauty in the concept of this book. The Firebird can take you to an endless number of dimensions, so long as your genetic self exists within that world. This leaves room for an incredible amount of creativity. Just think, if one of the greatest scientists of our time had never existed, would we be so technologically advanced? Or perhaps there was a scientific genius who was never born in our world, but existed in another. This planet would change drastically. It’s genius. It’s clear that Claudia Gray has done research for her book, but at the same time she has a certain creative license to make each world her own, because technically they never existed, so how can you be factually incorrect? Basically this book is a historical, futuristic sci-fi, contemporary novel. Didn’t you know that’s a thing?
In case it isn’t already obvious, I really enjoyed this book. I loved that it managed to have every element from family, to adventure and romance, and not feel too overwhelming. A lot of the story centers on Marguerite and her multidimensional pursuit, so what I’m looking forward to in the next book is a focus on the dynamics within the family, and an exploration of Marguerite’s relationship with her sister, Josie. As for the romance, things are complicated. Marguerite figures out her feelings over the course of the book in a very natural way, and it’s not nearly as love-triangly as you expect, which works in its favour. I would have liked the “romantic” moments to have been a bit more drawn out, personally.
There is a part of me that wishes A Thousand Pieces of You was a standalone, and not the first in a series. I feel that with some edits and another 50-100 pages, it probably could have been kept at one book. I think the part of me that wishes this is the part that doesn’t want to wait endlessly for more sequels so really it’s a selfish thing. I can’t actually complain if more books means more dimensions explored because I love the worlds that Claudia Gray has already created.
Spoiler Territory! Read at your own risk!
Even from the jacket description, you know there’s more to the story with Paul and Marguerite. What I thought was interesting was the idea that even if you’re physically the same person in another world, how much of the other you is in there. If Marguerite has fallen in love with one version, has she fallen in love with all of them? I think the answer is maybe 50% yes. I believe that we’re equally made up of who we are at birth and who we become through life. I got a little frustrated with Marguerite’s indecision when it came to Paul from her world, versus other dimension Paul that she came to love. I think she was so quick to love Paul 2.0 because she recognized her Paul in him from the beginning. I just wanted to shake her when she couldn’t realize this.
Have you read A Thousand Pieces of You or any other Claudia Gray book? This was my first!
What genre would you consider this book to be?
Leave me your thoughts below!