You remember how your parents always told you not to judge a book by it's cover? I didn't listen and I am glad I didn't. I realize I am late to the game in reading this, but just reading the blurb told me that I wanted to wait until all three books were out. It was a good decision because the book hangover I would have had without the next on hand would have been bad!
The story centers around Marguerite Caine, the daughter of two scientists. They, along with their grad students, have created a device that allows the consciousness to jump from reality to reality. The Firebird is revolutionary and it's existence has wide-ranging implications in scientific knowledge or discovery. But there are those who want its technology for less altruistic reasons.
This is a story that flawless weaves scientific theory with the imagination. It is also a story that makes you think about the idea of life being a series of random events instead of fate, the reality that there are countless possibilities over the course of our lives, each one of which could change our lives in unimaginable ways. Imagine a reality existing alongside your own, each reality formed because of a single moment of decision. Imagine that existing for every person. It's mind boggling and it really makes you consider the ramifications of even the smallest of choices.
It is a perfect blend of mystery, thriller, adventure, romance, and thought-provoking writing. Marguerite and the two grad students who helped work on the Firebird (Paul and Theo) are involved in an ever-changing triangle as she tries to unweave the mystery that surrounds her father's death. From moment to moment, defining good versus evil was next to impossible. And even when snippets of those things were revealed, the lines were blurred. Sometimes even the "bad" guys have good intentions. But the lines get even more blurry when you add in the infinite versions of a single person within a multiverse.
The story takes place through different dimensions and, because of that, we get to know the characters from a different perspective. All of the dimensions exist within the same time and the differences between them can be subtle or they can be huge. At one point, they find themselves in London, in a world far more technologically advanced than our home world. From there, they travel to another part of the world that seems to be a century or more behind. It is these kinds of juxtapositions that make you, as a reader, think about how the choices we make can change everything.
Overall: This is really a fantastic read! I absolutely adore a book that makes me question things I thought I knew. Definitely a must read novel!
I kind of enjoy the first book of the trilogy. Its quite fast, I love the creative dimensional worlds description in this book and that reminds me a lot of the 1995-2000 Sliders television series that I used to love and of course, the 'taking-over' versions of ourselves in the universe that do feels like Quantum Leap (I am feeling a little old on this but hey, I love TV!) and voila - you have an 18-year old girl named Marguerite Caine travel through alternate dimensions that hunt down her father's killer named Paul Markov (a Russian physics favorite student of her fathers) together with Theo Beck (another physics student) on jumping through worlds. But what it seems to be on a hunt to bring justice to her father's killer may turn out bigger than what it seems into a conspiracy of a bigger league. That's how it sets off with the first book of the Firebirdtrilogy.
Its quite a simple read actually. Easy to follow, not much of science techno-explanation that might give you problems that you need to go back to your school days when you learn about science as a subject. Every thing was laid out pretty well and I do enjoy the actions that go along with it. Some how, it does lay thick with the romance when Marguerite was in Russia but every thing else is enjoyable. I can see why Claudia Gray succeed with this but I felt this first book was short on many things - unexplained loopholes, unexplained events that occurred and of course, the ending. Overall - I do find it an easy read and it can be done in a day (took me 4 because I got work to do). I do hope my next read will fill in the blanks but for anyone that loves science fiction in a simplify manner, this book might work for you (or if you love alternate dimensions that you are curious about what version are you in another dimension).
LIKE ALL THE SPOILERS
YE BE WARNED
Stunning cover, mediocre book. It’s super easy to read and once it catches you, you will find it hard not to want to finish it. But that’s where the good ends. While half of me wanted to finish this book, the other half wanted to fling it across the room and set it on fire.
The writing is pedestrian at best and doesn’t trust the reader to figure basic crap out like emotions. It constantly tried to tell me how I should be feeling in the scene instead of letting me feel it.
It has a completely useless love triangle that makes me wish that Theo would have someone, anyone, to love him. Cause honestly, he deserves it. Even if his other him was the asshole behind everything, he truly loves Marguerite for some reason unbeknownst to me.
I had no particular feelings towards Marguerite until page 196. God, did I want to wring her neck for what she did! Even if she was all contrite and shit, what she did was unforgivable. Not only she stole a precious moment from the real Marguerite in that world, the Paul of that world DIES and she wasn’t even there for him either. So of course, two pages after his death, Marguerite just jumps out of that body and leaves the Marguerite of that world to pick up the pieces. Just thinking about it makes me fucking rage. Like what the actual FUCK. Not ok; will NEVER be ok.
Also, let's talk about Paul, shall we? You don't get to know him at all during the length of the story. In fact, you don't even connect with him except in Russia and that wasn't really him. So after all this crap, after all this suffering, after all this 'angst', I can't really say I cared for Paul.
The science in this science fiction book is never explained. How are we supposed to know how this world works when explanations are reduced to ‘science mumbo jumbo’? That’s just lazy. If you can’t explain how it works, then don’t include it.
I definitely will not continue reading this series. I don’t really care for the main plot or I really don't care for the romance so… ta-ta.
Inspired by the upcoming summer release of the last book in Jo Walton's Thessaly Trilogy, which tells the story of the goddesses Athena's attempt to create Plato's Republic, I spent much of this month happily ensconced in the classical world of Greece (mainly) and Rome (a little). I re-read The Republic for the first time since I was 18, which is a little more than 4 decades ago... And I also listened to two audio courses on Plato and read a book of essays by Mary Beard about classical Greece and Rome.
I started the month with Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage, an audio course by my favorite linguist, John McWhorter. The Day of the Scorpion is the second book in Paul Scott's Raj Quartet, set in India during WWII, Dragon Day is a thriller set in modern day China, Bring the Monkey is a spoofy English country house mystery, and A Thousand Pieces of You is a YA novel that explores the multiverse--it was a reread for me. I was about to start its sequel and just planned to skim the last chapter to remind myself of where it ended, but then couldn't resist diving back into the whole book. My original review is here: A Thousand Peices of You--Racing through a Multiverse of Alternate Lives.