Hello all and a very happy new year! This is going to be my very post AND first book review of the year which means the new year just started and I have already crossed off two books off my BTB 2018 list!! Damn son, am I proud of myself! I largely owe this enthusiasm to my food poisoning which got me stuck in bed for 5 days, leaving me at the mercy of books. Hence, taa-daa!
Anyway, this post is going to be long because I have just so many issues and problems to address like ugghhh. So brace yourselves guys!!
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.
This is the first book in the trilogy and judging from the fact that I completed it in a day, it was an absolute delight reading it! Told in an engaging, thrilling and an unpredictable ride of events, this book takes you into different worlds in different era’s. The world-building is super fabulous. It doesn’t seem too wordy or drag, instead you can actually feel the surprise and the confusion that the characters feel. The firebird (which is really just a necklace around the neck) takes us first to a futuristic world of extreme glam and technology, where Margeurite’s parents have passed away and she has been brought up by her rich aunt of the Upper East Side of New York. Things happen, and time travels to Russia where Marge is now Princess Margarita, daughter of a current ruling Russian Tsar, in short, a princess. I liked this world the best, because it gave a lot of background information, introduced characters, and in a way was a very important part of carrying the plot forward. However, there was one thing that happened here which made me dislike Marge instantly and well, after the second book, there was no going back to liking her again. The third world we step into was the Oceanverse, which was the most boring of alllllllll. Okay, important things happened here, wait no, only one important discovery was made here but damn, was this world hella boring!?! Like, it was sad. LIVING UNDER AN OCEAN. Yes, it sounds extremely intriguing and cool, so I thought too when I jumped with the narrator in this dimension, but eww no it sounded like having rotten shrimps and crabs for the rest of your life. Also, stinky fish alert. *gross*
Moving on, this book clearly has a love-triangle which surprisngly isn’t very annoying. It’s the start, characters are figuring out their feelings and it also seems very rationale. There is also sufficient character developement to get you through the first book. You know Margeurite, the daughter of the inventors of the Firebird and also the person who’s head we are in while jumping through dimensions. There are Theo and Paul, the two graduate assistants to Marguerite’s parents. However, obviously there are flaws. But let me address those in a separate spoiler review for this book, yeah? Quite honestly, I can’t wait to get to write about the second book because that book is what this post is majorly about.
My rating: 4/5! First book of the year, clearly a great start!!
Ten Thousand Skies Above You
Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.
Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.
Oh brother, this is going to be one unpopular review!
This book is exactly the reason why I’ve never liked reading series, and find it hard to keep myself liking them. They become drag, repetitive and pointless, and ruin even the existential plot which might have actually made sense. Almost 75% of this book is repetition of whatever had already happened in the first book and Marguerite’s conflict between two boys. I was literally screaming my guts out for the girl to just fucking stop. It is only in the last 20% of the book, that ALL OF THE SCI-FI THINGS HAPPEN. Yes, there is a plot twist, a major one too, but it just seems like too much information all crammed down in the last 4 chapters. It is too much to take in, and it would have been better for me to actually read ONLY the last 4 chapters and still get the hang of the entire story. To add to it, there is this whole dumb love triangle which I feel is only there in the story to add teenage drama. It is so over-done. It’s honestly a shame to call this a sci-fi book, because it’s not. It’s a mere YA contemporary with sci-fi and dimension-travelling only serving as a background purpose. The only thing which kept me going is the wonderous way in which Claudia Gray tells about different dimensions. Her world building is on point, and I really enjoyed when characters jumped through time to experience other worlds. The way in which different aspects of each characters’ personalities are explored in these different dimensions is very insightful and in a way, funny to read.
- In this book, we explore a teensy weensy part of ancient Rome where Marge is being chased for witchcraft and Paul is a Father at Church.
- We move on to a WarVerse where there is apparently a world war going on (maybe WWIII) since Newyork has been destroyed and The Wharf at San Francisco is literally a wharf.
- We take another jump from here, to a dimension which is very similar to our current universe. I think It shows 7-8 years from now? Because the ticker tapes at Times Square tells us that Hugh Jackman is an Oscar winner LOLOL (loved this part!)
- We then jump into a fourth dimension, the Mafiaverse, where Paul is involved with a highly organized Russian criminal mob. This dimension served no purpose AT ALL, and I think it was only there to add drama to the whole Paul-Margaret thing and make Margaret realise that not all Pauls in all dimensions are the same.
- Another jump to the Russiaverse which was mentioned in the first book and a few important revelations were made here. In short, consequences of Marguerite’s actions in the first book. I liked this part because it made the story seem realistic in a way that every action has its consequences.
- Then we jump into the very last dimension, the Triadverse which is like a very very advanced version of our world. And I’m talking people living and travelling in skies advanced.
Moving on to talking about characters, there were just so many issues I had with Marguerite. For starters, the way she kept telling herself how much in love with Paul she was, when she was really in love with just a version of him she didn’t even know. (Idk why, but I have taken an instant dislike to her from the moment she stole away the precious moment of Lieutenant Markov and Princess Margarita in the Russiaverse). In every chapter, she kept reminding herself that she was in love with her Paul, and NOT Lieutenant Markov. As if she needed reminders on whom she really loved.
“Paul’s old-fashioned, elegant phrasing reminds me of Lieutenant Markov, which reminds me of falling in love with Paul in the first place, and now I can’t take it anymore. I have to go home; the journey to save my Paul has to begin.”
” He speaks so formally, sounds so unsure. I’m reminded of Lieutenant Markov, and the way he loved the Grand Duchess Margarita for so long without ever saying a word. I can feel my smile like sunlight on my face.”
“In my mind I hear Lieutenant Markov whisper, Golubka. He called me his little dove as he held me in his arms. I remember him always standing at my door, protecting me, his gray eyes searching mine.”
Girl, can you bloody stop?! It’s as if she is reminding herself constantly about who she really loves. That just goes onto show how conflicted she is about what she really wants and what a weak personality she has. There was one “Do I love Paul Markov or Lieutenant Markov” line at the start of every chapter, I kid you not.
All she cares about is guys, guys, guys. Her life and the lives of her loved ones are at stake, there is an on-going war, bombs and air-strikes are happening, everyone is running for their lives, and all she notices is how sparks fly when her hand brushes Theo’s hand and how she is “vividly aware of their touch.” Like. Seriously? Is this the time? Also, she is literally a very down-cast, poor weak version of Katniss Everdeen just trying too hard. She clearly has no knowledge whatsoever, and yet every-time she’s tries to be a badass made me bang my head on the wall. She has zero clue about the scientific part of the Firebird. All she knows about it is, that it allows you to travel between dimensions (jeez, really thanks!) and that she is the perfect traveler.
“She puts her head back and let the guys talk science”
“For the next few hours, Theo and Paul get caught up in mega-dense scientific talk, while I drink awful fake coffee and watch them at work.”
Like what really is her purpose in the story?? To act as a perfect traveler and play a major role in the whole love drama? That’s it?
And when the other characters are honest to her about it, telling her that they should have the upper hand during travelling, because they have more knowledge about science, and technically the firebird that they helped invent in the first place, she gets offended! This is even made clear at one point by the mafia Paul when he says, ““You’re insecure,” Paul says flatly. “So you exaggerate your knowledge or emotions to draw attention you think you won’t get otherwise. You have genuine talents, however. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be willing to put yourself forward. Why they’re not enough for you, I don’t know.”
100/100 points to Paul for this!! I couldn’t help laughing at this. Yet again, “this stung her”. Like damn, how dare did anyone burst her little bubble of superiority, perfection and the illusion of Ms.Know-it-all?
I hate her, I really really hate her. I feel like my list of hated protagonists are going to overflow my list of hated books sometime.
Paul – This book had very little about the ACTUAL Paul Markov, given the fact that his soul was splintered within various dimensions. However, we do get to see these different diverse versions of his character and also *finally* resolve the whole Paul-Marguerite drama.
Theo – I totally root for this dude!!! He is funny, charming, smart, and totally physics-savvy. He isn’t afraid to admit his feelings for Marguerite, and has this very cute, smart way of flirting around with her whilst also respecting Paul’s feelings for her. (totally love a smart flirt!) He is Marguerite’s parents’ assistant who played a major role in the invention of the Firebird Technology. What I don’t understand is, that this book literally tells us that characteristics deeply ingrained in a person always remains constant in different dimensions as well. For e.g.- Marguerite’s love for art and Paul’s link with physics is always seen in different dimensions. But why isn’t Theo ever connected to physics in any of the dimensions??? Why is he always portrayed either as a hopeless lover of Marguerite/teenage boyfriend/ military man in love with her or a care-free pretentious flirt??? That really doesn’t do justice to his character. It’s as if the point of Theo’s existence in other dimensions is solely to prove Marguerite that he isn’t the one. Again, serving a romantic purpose rather than a sci-fi purpose. Moreover, his character is the one taken over by an evil Theo, he has to suffer the repercussions of it, he is the one travelling with Marge to different dimensions to save Paul and yet he is always the one to be thrown down the ditch! If there is one thing I could change about this story, well technically it’s a lot of thing I would change, but still for the sake of this post, if there is going to be one thing, it is to do right by Theo. With a little more insight and development of his character, he could even take Marge’s place as the protagonist.
*sighs* Let me take a deep breathe now. Feel SO good letting my frustration out.
Bottom line: The first book of the series was amazing! The second book…uhh not so much. World building, plot twists is on 100/100 but Marge’s senseless POV, and the story-line over-all got blehh. Am I going to read the 3rd book? Umm, no. But who knows, my ability to pick up trashy books, indecisiveness and cusiosity may consume me and I might, just might, skim the third book.
What do you guys think about this series? Have you read it?