Book Review: A Thousand Pieces of You & Ten Thousand Skies Above You
So I decided to combine these two books because I slacked off and didn’t read A Thousand Pieces of You a year ago, when I should have.
A Thousand Pieces of You
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.
Ten Thousand Skies Above You
Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.
Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.
The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.
A Thousand Pieces of You was beautiful. I have to say, it was the cover that pulled me in, the sci-fi piece of the story that started me reading, but it was the love story that kept me reading. Claudia Gray weaves together a love story that spans dimensions, and makes you question whether the concept of fate is actually true. But, a fair warning, if you are expecting this to be a sci-fi book first and foremost, be prepared to be disappointed because this beautifully written book is first and foremost a love story. There is a bit of a love triangle, so be ready for that as well, but it is small, and pushed aside relatively quickly. If you appreciate an epic love story, you will love Claudia Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You.
Ten Thousand Skies Above You continues the well-written beauty that was A Thousand Pieces of You. This book pulls you deeper into Marguerite’s world, and the complications that come with it. We get to visit five more dimensions, and return to one that was introduced to us in the first book. It is in Ten Thousand Skies Above You that we see just how deep Marguerite’s and Paul’s love goes. Assuming alternate dimensions are real, it examines the ethics of interdimensional travel. Is one version of a person more important than another? The existence of destiny and fate. Are we only one soul that is the same across all universes? Should one soul be held responsible for the thoughts and actions of another? The ethics of destroying other universes…Is it ok to destroy them if they don’t know they aren’t the only ones that exist?
Unfortunately, the characters don’t seem to grow much and stay rather one-dimensional (no pun intended), but it is really the themes of the books that drive the plot forward and cause you to think, that makes the book a great story.
Marguerite – Marguerite is so unsure of herself, and she stays this way for the vast majority of both books with very little growth. Although, she does seem to gain some strength and independence toward the end of the second book. As I write this I am realizing that it can be hard to see a character arc because there are multiple versions of the same character due to the multiple dimensions. Each version can be very similar and/or very different from the original.
Paul – Paul never really changes. He is delightfully awkward and anti-social because of the scientist that he is until Marguerite starts to bring him out of his shell. After Paul starts to become more social, he is one of the sweetest and adorable male characters I have ever read. He cares so much for Marguerite, and I am so interested to see what happens with his character in the next book.
Theo – Theo is a bit of a bad boy in the beginning. There is a tiny love triangle in A Thousand Pieces of You between him, Marguerite, and Paul, but don’t worry, it is quickly swept to the side. Theo is often kept on the outside of Paul and Marguerite’s relationship for a variety of reasons despite the fact they are all friends. It almost gets to the point where you start to feel sorry for him.
Conley – Oh, Conley. In many ways you are the perfect villain: cold, heartless, always justifying your actions and insisting you are helping the world by doing the terrible things that you do. And you are like this in every version of yourself. Conley is probably the most one dimensional character out of all of them.
I feel the need to rate these two books as a whole because they should really be read together considering the cliffhanger at the end. Really, I should have waited until the series was done before reading them because Claudia Gray is outstanding at cliffhangers. The love story is beautiful and fulfills my YA indulgence of a good love story with a minimal love triangle. Overall, these to books get a B+ rating due to the one-dimensionality of the characters, but they get boosted due to the amazing thematic questions that I am forced to ask myself while reading them, even if inter-dimensional travel isn’t currently possible.