Published by Harper Collins on November 4th 2014
Genres: Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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, the first book in the Firebird trilogy, explores an amazingly intricate multiverse where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.
My audiobook reviews will be split into two parts — The Sound and The Story where I’ll review the audio itself and then review what I thought about the story.
I liked the narrator in this one! Her voice sounded pretty spot on for Marguerite. The accents were done pretty well too. Sometimes it’d blend a little bit during the transitions, but for the most part, I liked them! It always fascinates me that the narrators can do all these different voices and each was distinctive.
I’ll start off with what I liked first. I’ve always been a fan of multiple dimensions or parallel universe type plots. The science behind it all is just so intriguing. So it’s COOL to see different dimensions in ATPOY. Marguerite’s family is also a bright spot. Her parents are amazing innovative scientists but their work never takes precedence over their family. Her parents love both her and her older sister Josie. I really liked their family dynamic! We also get introduced to another dimension’s Marguerite and her siblings in that world — I love sibling relationships, so her interactions between her siblings there was nice to see.
However, the good couldn’t override the issues I had with this book. The first 25% of the book was very slow to me. Nothing much happens and I was just dying for it to pick up. It does! But the next section didn’t seem to advance the plot much (to me). A large part of the book takes place in an alternate dimension where Marguerite is in the royal family of Russia. She’s the Grand Duchess (I hope I’m recalling her title correctly). To me, this whole section seemed like a deviation to the plot and was only there for the romance purposes. There was also some big plot convenience things that happened. Russia takes up a large chunk of the book (a few weeks!) because of an incident that could’ve been easily avoided, thus stranding her there for awhile. View Spoiler »Marguerite’s Firebird (device that allows dimension hopping) is broken and the other one is taken by someone in the Russia dimension. Marguerite is the Grand Duchess! All she has to do is command him to return it. But she thinks of that a few minutes later and then he is conveniently lost in the crowd. And then apparently this Colonel leaves and won’t be back for a few weeks. Now, would a Colonel really keep a trinket on his person? I would think he’d throw it on the desk in his office or just stash it somewhere — but apparently he keeps it with him for all these weeks? That makes no sense. It was super frustrating for me that Marguerite didn’t seem to FEEL any urgency and just goes oh well, guess I’ll have to wait for him to get back. So convenient for plot purposes. « Hide Spoiler Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Russian culture and if it was its own separate story or something, I’d LIKE the story that happens in Russia. However, like I said, it felt like a deviation to the main story purely for the romance. And I was not a fan of the romance in this one.
It’s basically stated in the synopsis (or hinted at) that Paul is not the guilty party responsible for her father’s death. (It took forever in the story to get to this point.) But you know that he’s going to become a romantic interest. Well the love triangle/love square/whatever did not sit well with me. With all the dimension hopping, there’s some overlap over which person Marguerite’s love interest is. The way they hop dimensions in this book is your consciousness essentially takes over your other self’s body (the one who belongs in that dimension). There’s some hinting at what I believe is the book trying to say people are “meant for each other” or something like that which has the potential to sound utterly epically romantic but I just didn’t buy it.
Now, maybe I’m just thinking too much but what this made me think of is nature vs nurture. There are numerous instances that Marguerite says that all the Marguerite’s have the same soul, that they’re all essentially her, despite some superficial differences because of the circumstances in each Marguerite’s world. I believe that with each set of circumstances, the Marguerite would NOT have the same core personality. Your life and environment shape you. It’s like… when people clone their pets. They’re not going to have the same experiences and are not the same. Marguerite at one point even talks about how a certain person in “her world” would never be like that person in “another world”. Very contradictory then! Especially when Marguerite makes decisions for her self in other dimensions that make me cringe even as she says she believes her other self would do the same thing. HOW DO YOU KNOW? You are taking the free will away from that person, even if it’s your body — that’s NOT you. That is someone else that has their own set of thoughts, opinions and consciousness. I don’t care how much she says she believes everyone’s soul is the same. View Spoiler »It bothered me SO MUCH that she sleeps with Paul in Russia without considering that Marguerite at all. She thinks that it’s what she would’ve wanted but she just TOOK that from her. And the consequences!! Sure, she’s just going to jump out of that dimension and she even THINKS oh, it would be really bad if the Grand Duchess got pregnant out of wedlock — BUT DOES IT AGAIN. What if she did get pregnant?! She just royally screwed over her other self in that dimension then!! God that bothered me. « Hide Spoiler Perhaps there are predispositions but that is like saying a murderer in one dimension would always be like that in ALL dimensions. It’s like predestining everything.
As for the big plot picture…. intriguing ideas but I did guess most of the twists. Plus it took forever for us to get there — see: Russia was a big plot detour.
This one fell short for me. I kind of feel a little bit as the odd man out because a lot of people I have similar tastes to liked this one. But I just couldn’t get over the romance that I didn’t like and the plot convenience that happens. It also took forever before the pace really picks up. While the dimension hopping aspects and underlying science was intriguing, I had too many other issues with it.