Thursday, January 14, 2016

Book Review: Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

*** This is the second book in a trilogy and there may be spoilers within the synopsis and review. If you have not read A Thousand Pieces of You proceed with caution. Here's my review if you need encouragement. ***

Title: Ten Thousand Skies Above You
Series: Firebird Trilogy #2
Written by: Claudia Gray
Published: January 5, 2016 by Tor Teen (Macmillan)
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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. 

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

I read the first book in this series, A Thousand Pieces of You, last December and liked it even though it didn't blow me away. But I liked it enough to give the second book a try and I'm glad that I did. This book was just as good, if not better. It took the likable characters and allowed me to further connect with them and at the same time it expanded on plot points making this a much more intricate story.

The best part of this book, and the series, is the world building. Dimensional travel is sometimes hard to pull off but Claudia Gray does it brilliantly. I'm a fan of science fiction but I don't often enjoy when books get bogged down with the science. In this series, complicated scientific concepts of theoretical physics are dealt with so well that not only do I understand them, but they seem possible. The idea of multiple universes (or multiverse) and consciousness traveling between those universes seems outrageous but possible. That's what makes this book so interesting. What I particularly like about these universes is that they are not all that different from our own. I mean even when you're going to a war torn dystopia or a Europe where the monarchies never fell, it's all rooted in logic and/or history. But it's also just different enough to keep my interest. That is the mark of a good multiverse for me. It walks the line between seeming familiar and different. Each of these worlds were just that.

And because the worlds were only slightly different, they also had this subtle character development which was cool. Here the characters arcs are not so much about what the characters we know did to change, to make themselves different. No, here it is more about how one choice, or a different surroundings can lead to different behaviors and attitudes. It's kind of a cool nature versus nurture argument. Are people always the same or is their surroundings that make up their personality? Then there is this whole theme about fate. Are people meant to find each other and to be together or is it just circumstance. It was all very different and interesting.

I was also able to connect much more with the characters which was nice. In the first book I liked them enough but I wasn't really invested in their struggle. By the end of this one I was totally invested. Maybe it's the fact that we were able to spend more time with them. Each of these characters has strengths and weaknesses which is nice, so being able to spend more time with them allowed me to get to know them better. That was particularly true for Marguerite. She's our main character here and the one who stayed with the same consciousness as she jumped between universes. I also felt much more connected to Theo in this book. "Real" Theo is such a fantastic guy. He's smart, funny, and caring. I'm not saying I'm Team Theo for Marguerite but I'm definitely Team Theo for me. No, for Marguerite I am much more invested in her relationship with Paul. They had some trials in this book and I like that they came out of it stronger. In the first book I didn't totally love the romance because it felt strange at times and the love triangle was forced. Here that triangle rears it's ugly head again and I did find myself rolling my eyes at some parts, it worked better here. It actually worked more as part of the plot development instead of against it so it made more sense.

A visual representation of my feels at the end of the book.
And that plot too was much more intricate. On top of that, the stakes were incredibly high here and there was a lot of action scenes that had me on the edge of my seat. On the whole it just felt more fast-paced and thrilling than the previous book which I liked. I like when a series has a really tight plot that has a clear resolution with each specific book but then builds up a larger story as part of the series. That's what Ten Thousand Skies Above You did. It had a very specific plot, getting back the splinters of Paul's soul, but it also takes moments from the previous books and expands on them to make a different and larger plot point. And that larger plot is the one that was all the more interesting to me. It had huge and shocking twists that caught me off guard, and a crazy cliffhanger that has me desperately needing book three and so very excited for what will happen in the final book in the trilogy.

On the whole, Ten Thousand Skies Above You was a great sequel to an interesting book about dimensional travel with likable characters and truly fascinating world. The plot was engaging and intricate and left me so shocked and invested that I need book 3 so badly.

I give Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray 9 out of 10 stars



Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy/Borrow. If you liked A Thousand Pieces of You then definitely read this one. It expands on things that were only a small part of the first book and the stakes are really high here. If you are looking for an interesting series about dimensional travel and multiverses then I would absolutely suggest this one.

Have you read Ten Thousand Skies Above You? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

8 comments:

  1. OOoh nice! I still need to read this one but I really enjoyed the first book. Yeah, that love triangle was so coming, sad to hear it's still around in this one! Looking forward to reading this, but not for that cliffhanger I keep hearing about! Great review!

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    1. Yeah, I mean I'm romancephobic so love triangle always make me cringe a little bit. But it made more sense here and like I said, it was part of the larger plot. I'm glad you're excited to read it. It's really great!

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  2. Well, I have book 1 already in my Kindle and although I've skimmed-read your review to avoid spoilers (thank you for the warning!) I'm quite excited to start the series!
    Although with the cliffhanger warning I'm sort of ready to wait for book 3 to be out before I dive into the series!

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    1. It's a really great series. I think you'll love it. The cliffhanger is pretty serious but you could read book 1 without needing book two but maybe wait for the final book to be out before you read this one.

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  3. What's the ending? Can you please spoil it for me? (T_T) As detail as possible.

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  4. What's the ending? Can you please spoil it for me? (T_T) As detail as possible.

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  5. The first book was kind of a love square for me. hahaha. Lt. Markov from Russia is differenet from Marguerite's dimension's Paul and then we have Theo. I really fell in love with Lt. Markov in Russia (Russiaverse is just romantic) and hated Theo even though his body was actually inhabited by bad Theo from the other dimension. In this book, it was actually great to see our real Theo and I kinda fell in love with him. I mean, why not right? For Marguerite? The possibility is endless and in other dimensions, she kinda looks like she's destined to be with Theo so maybe there's a possibility that it could be Theo. But the series has invested much in Paul. Paul being the one they were after in book 1 and then Paul being saved in book 2 so I guess I would have Theo for myself and not for Marguerite. He's such a sweet guy.

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  6. I recently bought Ten Thousand Pieces Of You. I just randomly bought it from the bookstore and I didn't know that it was a trilogy (my bad). Can I read this one even if I haven't read the first one yet?

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