Title: A Thousand Pieces Of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Series? Yes, 1 of 3.
I love the premise of this book, it had so much potential to be world shattering. However, I felt that the primary focus on romance really hurt the story. Nonetheless, it was still loads of fun seeing the protagonists hop between dimensions and world.
“It’s comfort enough to know that there are infinite worlds. Infinite possibilities.
At the start of the novel, Marguerite’s life has been turned upside down. Her father has been killed, her mother left devastated and her family broken. As her parents were renowned scientists in the field of dimensional physics, Marguerite begins a hunt across the multiverse using the Firebird device to find her father’s killer: Paul Markov.
1. Parallel Worlds
“It’s comfort enough to know that there are infinite worlds. Infinite possibilities.”
I loved the idea of parallel universes, each differing by either minute changes such as the paint splatter on your favourite desk – to colossal differences such as technological advances being delayed by a century. Through her travels, Marguerite experiences a futuristic London, an opulent Russian court, an under the sea post-apocalyptic station, and worlds that are just reflection of our current Earth. Each world was its own character, and I love how Claudia Gray addressed the social issues that would give rise to each universe: whether it’s global warming or a stalled Industrial revolutions. However, this fantastic aspect of the worldbuilding was not given nearly as much attention as I would like.
2. Souls and Destiny and Fate
“I would love you in any shape, in any world, with any past.”
So OK, I’m a freaking sap. Love that transcends dimensions gets me EVERYTIME. It’s not just romantic love, but also familial love. I like the idea of the human soul: how we are both the product of our environment (hence, each Marguerite is slightly different in character), but still essentially keeping the selfsame spirit across the different dimensions.Do we love the person because of who they are in relation to us? Or because they possess that kindred spirit we have been searching for all along? I believe in soulmate, There are questions of fate and destiny in amongst all of this theoretical physics tinkering, I just wish we got MORE.
3. Awesome Parents
If your mother had any idea we were talking about this, she’d skin me alive. I’m not being metaphorical about that. I think she could actually, literally skin me.
For a book that is so focused on romance, it’s also really refreshing to see Marguerite caring so much for her family. Ever the cynic, I expected her father to be dropped like a hot potato once the plot got rollling, but to the story’s credit – Marguerite remains very much true to her goal of saving her family. I love her flashback to her mum and dad, I felt that theirs were quite a heart-warming story. I also LOVED that her mother got to be the awesome physicist whereas her dad was basically the assistant to feminine brilliance.
4. Apple Parody
There’s an organisation called Triad in this universe, taking over the world one device at a time – they are EVERYWHERE in the multiverse – being all sinister-like. I sort of loved this little social commentary aspect about Apple. Says the girl who just dropped most of her book budget purchasing an iPhone 6s *cough*
1. The Romance
“I have no need for a world without you in it.”
Every time I see a quote akin to the one above, my eye twitches a little. I LOVE a good ship, but unfortunately I could not be invested in the main romance. I felt that it was predictable, fuelled by idealisation and obsession rather than actual love. It also took centre stage when I would much rather be learning about the differences between all the worlds. I did like the romance between Marguerite’s parents, though.
Also, how Marguerite treated the body of her parallel selves? Have some respect for your fellow Marguerite, lady! You are right, you should be ashamed!
2. Uneven Pacing
The book was quite slow and direction-less for most of the plot, I understand that it was because Marguerite had no effing clue what she was doing – but I felt she was just hopping from world to world and blindly stumbling into answers? I also felt that the story ultimately had no climax as the plot twists could be seen from about a mile off. There was no subtlety to the writing, which is a shame because descriptively it was quite beautiful.
3. Cop-out SciFi
Now, I would NEVER expect a lesson in theoretical physics, but a lot of the technical explanations is swept under the rug in this book by sentences like:
Long story short: the devices are REALLY hard to make.
For a daughter of acclaimed physicist, I am ashamed of Marguerite’s behalf for her poor as understanding of physics. She basically just went *handwave* dimension travel is possible! No believability factor, I still do not have a clue as to the Firebird’s working or limitations or ANYTHING about it. If you want to write scifi, please try a little harder than this.
Overall, I am intrigued enough to check out the sequel. Just read knowing that you are getting into a romance, not a science fiction, and you should be suitably satisfied.