Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Series: Firebird, #1
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: November 4th 2014
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.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
This book is actually a re-read for me. I read A Thousand Pieces of You for the first time so long ago I’d forgotten a lot of what happened so before starting the second book, and then agonising over the wait for the third, I decided to go back to the first one again. A Thousand Pieces of You is just as good as I remembered it being. I think this is one of those books I can read over and over again and I will probably still love it just as much as the first time I picked it up.
Marguerite has just lost her father. He was seemingly murdered by someone who was as close to her as her family was and she cannot understand why, and she cannot forgive. Fleeing through the multiverses, having stolen a Firebird and destroyed her parents work, Paul is on the run but Theo has two more Firebirds, untested but reliable, that Paul had no knowledge of. Whenever Paul jumps to another dimension Marguerite and Theo will follow him and when they catch him they will make him pay for what he did.
However as Marguerite and Theo travel through the multiverses, constantly on Paul’s trail, Marguerite starts to question whether she really knows the full story behind what happened. And when she finally catches up with Paul he opens her eyes to what is really going on. The deeper Marguerite travels through more and more dimensions the more she learns about Wyatt Conley, his company, and his true plans for Marguerite and her family.
There are other dangers as well in all the dimensions Marguerite travels to, other than what she is discovering about Conley, that she needs to remain aware of. But no matter what universe she ends up in it seems Paul is never far away from her. His life seems to be entwined with hers in all the multiverse they arrive in.
Marguerite is not a scientist unlike everyone else in her family. She is an artist, she sees the truth in people and paints it on a canvas for all the world to see. She had feelings for Paul before believing he killed her father, and even after all she is left with is hatred and a desire for revenge she still can’t forget what he meant to her. When it comes down to it, when she is finally face to face with Paul, killing him isn’t as easy as she thought it would be. No matter how many dimensions Marguerite jumps to and how many alternate versions of herself she inhabits she always has the same core qualities; she is kind, loving, open, an artist in every incarnate, and her family is everything to her.
Paul, when we get to know him, is someone who is willing to do what is dangerous, willing to give up everything for what he believes is right. He is determined to go to the ends of the earth, to flee across the many multiverses, if he can discover more about the threat being levelled against someone he loves. Paul is not like Theo, he is not confident in himself and doesn’t have a light-hearted rapport with Marguerite or anyone really. However he is really sweet and honestly I liked him so much better than Theo just because his actions seemed more real. He didn’t hide behind jokes or light-hearted flirting like Theo did.
I loved the relationship between Paul and Marguerite in this book. Even when she believed he killed her father Marguerite still cannot connect that fact with the Paul she once knew; the boy who was quiet and awkward, the boy who saw her art for what it really was, the boy who made lasagne with her. However she cannot let him get away with what he’s done, until she sees his reaction when he learns of her father’s death and Marguerite starts to doubt what she through she knew about his role in it. Even when she is unsure of his motivations Marguerite knows he won’t hurt her. Like she is the same Marguerite in every alternate Paul is the same as well, his core qualities stay the same.
Marguerite’s relationship with her family plays a large part in this book. When in dimensions far far away from her home her mother, father and sister are never far from her thoughts. And as she sees many multiverses where she has lost everyone, lost her mother, lost Paul, she still thinks of the family she left behind. For Marguerite her loyalty and love for her family mean everything to her. She proves more than once she is willing to go to the ends of the world for the people she cares about. She loves very easily but it’s a great quality in her character.
The only science qualification I have are my GCSE’s, so I’m in no way going to pretend I understand all of the background behind how the Firebirds work and the alternate dimensional travel at play in this book. It is explained, probably really well, but I couldn’t wrap my head around it. There seemed to be a lot of explanations around the alternate worlds as well as all the maths and science behind it, which don’t get me wrong was interesting, but at times it felt like too much. What I loved was seeing all the worlds Marguerite travelled to. An alternate London where technology has moved forwards years ahead of what Marguerite is used to, an alternate Russia where the Tsars still rule and Marguerite is a Princess, an alternate version of Marguerite’s home with only a few subtle differences, and an alternate version of the world where the advanced state of global warming has sent Marguerite and her family to live underwater. I loved the idea that a few changes in history could have a massive effect on the world as we know it, and I felt it was really well explored in this book.
I loved the exploration of all the different multiverses, it was what first drew me to this book, and now I’ve finished I can’t wait to jump back into the Firebird series and continue the journey. This was a brilliant story, with an underlying plot and villain which seems to jump out of nowhere though they were always lurking in the background. Now I’ve finished A Thousand Pieces of You I can’t wait to start Ten Thousand Skies Above You.
What did you think of A Thousand Pieces of You? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.