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A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird) Hardcover – November 4, 2014
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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From the Back Cover
A thousand lives.
A thousand possibilities.
Marguerite Caine grew up surrounded by cutting-edge scientific theories, thanks to her brilliant physicist parents. Yet nothing is more astounding than her mother's latest invention—a device called the Firebird, which allows people to leap into alternate dimensions.
When Marguerite's father is murdered, all the evidence points to one person—Paul, her parents' enigmatic star student. Before the law can touch him, Paul escapes into another dimension, having committed what seems like the perfect crime. But he didn't count on Marguerite. She doesn't know if she can kill a man, but she's going to find out.
With the help of another physics student, Theo, Marguerite chases Paul through various dimensions. In each new world Marguerite leaps to, she meets another version of Paul that has her doubting his guilt and questioning her heart. Is she doomed to repeat the same betrayal?
As Marguerite races through these wildly different lives—a grand duchess in a Tsarist Russia, a club-hopping orphan in a futuristic London, a refugee from worldwide flooding on a station in the heart of the ocean—she is swept into an epic love affair as dangerous as it is irresistible.
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The problems I had with her most recent release, A Thousand Pieces of You, had nothing to do with her technical writing skills. Rather, it was the plot and development of the story itself that fell into, well, a thousand pieces.
A quick synopsis: Marguerite's parents are famous scientists who not only discover that multiple dimensions co-exist all around us, but invent a small device that allows a person to travel among these dimensions and inhabit our "other dimension" self, one at a time. Needless to say, it's a world-altering discovery/invention but Marguerite's father is murdered immediately following the discovery. One of his two trusted lab assistants, Paul, is accused of the murder (we don't know by what evidence), and Paul skips town. Or rather, he skips their dimension entirely using the newly invented device called the Firebird, hence the series title. Marguerite and the other lab assistant, smarmy Theo, take two more Firebirds and chase after Paul to extract revenge.
So you might think this book is a thriller. It is *not a thriller.* There is very little action in this book. It is more a romance because Marguerite is in love with Paul. It's not a spoiler to tell you that she catches up with Paul very early in the book and based on the look on Paul's face, she determines Paul did not kill her dad. I was cool with this. Unfortunately, Marguerite expressed zero interest in even asking who did then kill her dad. None at all. From there on out it was just all about her crush/love for Paul. So this is really a love triangle book since the other lab assistant Theo is crushing on Marguerite big time and trying to convince her Paul really *is* a killer. Who to believe, who to believe? Most of the book from there on out is all about whether you are Team Paul or Team Theo? Marguerite can't really seem to be definitive about it....when she's with Paul she's all about him, when she's with Theo she gets all weak in the knees for him. So if you like that kind of story....well, this may be right up your alley.
There were other inconsistencies that bugged me, as well. For example, when Marguerite would arrive in a new dimension and occupy her other dimension "self" she would retain this other "self"s" abilities (like language and motor abilities), which I was completely good with - it made sense, right? But then it was as if the author would forget it all of a sudden....like when she was in her Russian Tsarina self. She knew how to speak Russian and all that, but all of a sudden didn't know how to waltz? The author did that so that she would have to take "private" dancing lessons from her guard who was really Paul. Convenient, yes. Inconsistent though. Grrrrrr. It bugs me when authors break their own rules to make something happen....don't be lazy, find another way to write around it!!
Anyway. It's a romance. Like Twilight books were. But the Twilight books (forgive me for saying so) brought forth a visceral emotional reaction on the part of the reader and that's why they sold millions and millions of copies. This book doesn't evoke that same emotion. Mostly I was irritated with Marguerite for being a do-nothing whiner who just wanted in Paul's pants. And sometime's Theo's. I wanted her to be MORE than that. Then she could get in their pants, lol.
Your mileage may vary, of course. And this is supposed to be a trilogy so the books may get better. Someone will have to let me know because I won't stick around to find out. Good luck and happy reading!
Firstly, the author's writing is superb, characters are so well developed I felt like I was inside their heads, and the worlds are so well build that I felt I was there. I felt fear, I felt sadness, loss, love, everything!!! It was thrilling and scary at the same time.
The main topic here is technological advancement and inter-dimensional travel. Marguerite is a daughter of two geniuses who invent a device they call Firebird, which allows an individual to jump into a version of themselves from another dimension. Unlike her sister Josie and her parents, Marguerite has no inclinations towards science and physics in particular, she is a talented artist, a painter capable of capturing essence of people in her portraits.
As university professors and highly respected researchers funded by a Triad corporation, Marguerite's parents are in constant need of research assistants, who they treat with fondness and respect. Most of the time, the research assistants become an integral part of the family. Theo and Paul are the current research assistants working on Firebird, and have been with the family for several years.
And this is where the plot starts after a tragic accident, and a perceived betrayal, Marguerite and Theo start chasing Paul across dimensions. The other dimensions are different, some more advanced some less advanced but all of them vivid and real. And the versions of characters are different but somehow carry certain similarities. The author brilliantly portrayed the subtle differences in characters and dimensions and created scary world of possibilities.
And romance... Although it took backseat to action and inter-dimensional travel , I could not help myself getting lost in it. It was more pronounced in one of the dimensions, and I caught myself re-reading certain pages because I wanted to stay there forever, just like the characters. The author managed to translate such profound feelings in only few words. It was the most beautiful of romances.
Reading order is A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1), First Impressions: A Firebird Ficlet (Firebird, #1.1), Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2), and A Million Worlds with You (Firebird #3).