A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Published: November 2014 by Harper Teen
Genre: Sci-fi, Romance
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♡
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Claudia Gray’s new sci-fi series has captured the imagination of many readers. This is a book I definitely judged by the cover (guilty!) and like a lot of people, I think it is undeniably gorgeous. I like that it hinted at the protagonist’s talent as well as the dimension-travelling theme of the book rather than just a generic pretty cover which can be common these days.
A quick summary: Marguerite Caine is the daughter of world-famous physicists who have managed to invent a device, the Firebird, which enables inter-dimensional travel. But knowledge like that puts the entire family into danger and soon Marguerite’s parents are betrayed by their assistant Paul. Marguerite, joined by Theo, another of her parents’ assistants, is soon jumping dimensions chasing after Paul in a bid to avenge her murdered father. However, she quickly realises people and things are not as they seem and some would kill to get their hands on the secrets of the Firebird…
The story was set up using flashbacks showing how the Firebird came about and the dynamics between the characters. Marguerite has grown up having her parent’s assistants around and often living with them in the family home. Paul and Theo have been around longer than usual and have become fixtures in the Caine home and so Paul’s betrayal stings Marguerite badly. It was inspiring to see her fight through her raw grief for her father and pursue Paul despite the dangers.
I loved the intricacy of the world building which is crucial to any fantasy or sci-fi book and Claudia Gray has done a fabulous job. Each dimension that Marguerite travelled to was really creative in its inception and (sometimes radically) different so it kept me on my toes trying to anticipate how similar or different each new dimension would be. I particularly enjoyed reading the science behind the Firebird (I know!) and it made the whole premise more believable.
[BEWARE HERE BE SPOILERS: A couple of thoughts on why the book lost a star in rating. There were points where I would’ve liked to see a bit more independence from Marguerite. She was accompanied at most points throughout the book by either Paul or Theo who were on hand to help her out of tight spots. Also the fact that both her father was alive and Theo absolved of guilt in the end felt a little too convenient to me. It would’ve been interesting to see Marguerite grow from her experience of these negative aspects of the Firebird. That said though, I did like how there were clues in the flashbacks as to what was really going on – it made me go back to chapters as I read the book to find hints and that kept it fresh and intriguing!]
To finish, one of my absolute favourite bits was the Russian dimension (not a spoiler I hasten to add! Get a closer look at that gorgeous cover because it’s on there clear as day). Yes, it was a little clichéd and there were some plot holes that went against the laws of dimension travel that Gray had outlined BUT I’m a huge historical fiction fan so I fell totally in love with this world. Gray’s description was lovely and vivid. Also, the question of fate and whether love can transcend time and place was something I enjoyed and I’m looking forward to seeing it explored in the next books.
The next book is due out in November later this year and I’m already salivating after the sure-to-be beautiful cover! There will be three books in total in the Firebird series. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in sci-fi especially for fans of David Levithan’s Every Day and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas.
Have you read A Thousand Pieces of You? Did the cover draw you to it? What did you think of it? Sound off in the comments below 🙂