Book Review: Ten Thousand Skies Above You
By: Claudia Gray
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Page Count: 424
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy, Science Fiction
The first novel in this series, A Thousand Pieces of You, was one of my 2014 favorites, so I had extremely high expectations for this one. I have been craving this read since the first one ended. This installment picks up pretty much exactly where the first one left off. As such, if you have not read book #1, I highly suggest you go pick it up and stop reading this review to avoid any spoilers from the previous novel.
Paul and Marguerite are still trying to figure out how to live as a couple in their true universe. It seems that their romance is not a shock to anyone, but they are trying not to rub Theo's face in it. They are so happy to have him back after all the turmoil the alternate Theo caused for them all. Sadly, the Nightthief that was used on Theo is starting to cause a reaction in which his health is rapidly deteriorating. To save Theo's life, Paul undertakes a dangerous mission to find the antidote to counteract Theo's condition. The Caines are less than thrilled that Paul and Marguerite hatched and launched such a dangerous plan without consulting them first. When Paul doesn't return at the appointed time, Marguerite's worst fears are realized as she knows that he has somehow been held up by Conley. Marguerite launches herself back into the multi-verse to find her love and a cure for Theo.
This installment is as action packed as its predecessor, but for some reason I had a harder time getting into this one. The writing is still beautiful and the characters are still compelling, but I didn't find that I enjoyed the universe hopping as much this time around. It could be because of the splintering situation with Paul. Conley has splintered his soul and split it among the various other incarnations of Paul in various universes. Marguerite must track down all of the pieces in order to repair her Paul and do Conley's bidding along the way. If not, she will lose the boy she loves and her best friend. For whatever reason, I could see why this plot would be compelling, but it didn't pull me in as quickly as the first novel. I can't quite articulate the difference; something just felt off this time around. Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed this one and felt it was immensely creative - but I didn't like it as much as Ten Thousand Pieces of You. This could be based on the utter exhaustion and hectic work schedule I have had lately. I do plan to reread the series once all the novels have been released.
I did enjoy seeing how the different incarnations of Paul and Marguerite manifested and interacted. Things were a lot less neat and predictable this time around. There are numerous thought provoking moments in this one - especially concerning fate and ethics. I love how these novels make me stop and think.
Also, I love the family dynamics in this series. Marguerite's parents and sister are so supportive of her. It's nice to see a tight knit family in YA when so many other novels feature characters braving the world on their own without a strong support system.
It should also be noted that this one ends on a HUGE cliffhanger. I am anxious for the next one to see how everything will work out after all the twists this novel presented.
Claudia Gray has crafted an intriguing world in which fantasy and science fiction intermingle with just the right amount of romance. I highly recommend this series.
One Last Gripe: It took me awhile to warm back up to Marguerite.
Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved thinking through the ramifications of time travel and the implications of various incarnations of the same person.
First Sentence: The first time I traveled to another dimension, I intended to take a life.
Favorite Character: Paul
Least Favorite Character: Conley
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.