Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Thousand Pieces of You

Marguerite Caine is an aspiring artist who happens to have physicist parents. These physicists have made groundbreaking discoveries, including inventing a device called the Firebird that can take a person into one of the infinite parallel universes that exist. Unfortunately, this revolutionary invention makes them a target for opportunists. Paul, a graduate student who earned the trust of the scientists and Marguerite, seems to have murdered Marguerite's father and escaped with their invention into on of the multitudes of universes to escape the law. Marguerite and another grad student have to follow Paul through these dimensions and bring him to justice.

Based on the description, you might assume that this book is an action packed thriller, but you would be very wrong. This is a romance through and through, which I don't have a problem with, but it would have been nice to know beforehand. Like a typical teen novel, a love triangle forms and troubles our heroine, but then turns into a love square. The romance isn't terrible. I like how the different romances develop, but not always how they end. The science fiction takes a backseat to the romance, but is still intriguing. Travel to the parallel universes is something that I don't read about often, so I was excited to see this author's take. When travelling to these other dimensions, a person takes over the body of the version of themselves in the universe. The traveler has no memories of their alternate life, so they have to find out more about their life and fake like they are the version that belongs there. (Although there are convenient inconsistencies that help forward romances.) This is an interesting take and takes away the confusion of having two of the same person in one dimension. I loved the different dimensions and looking at the different ways civilization, technology, and pop culture developed. Some dimensions aren't very different from this one. Others are drastically different. My favorite was the one that seemed to be a century behind due to slow development and alternate history.

I had numerous problems with the novel. A lot of technical questions are avoided because Marguerite is an artist with little to no knowledge of the science. This is a bit of a cop out and allows the author to create the science fiction without fleshing out specifically how or why it happens. I had a big problem with Marguerite assuming Paul killed her father on no evidence at all. Is it so much to ask that some characters have half a brain and ask some questions before jumping to huge conclusions? Also, Paul and Marguerite are in love in all of the dimensions they go to. It stands to reason that this would not be the case in all dimensions because one or the other wouldn't exist or might be evil or simply living in different parts of the world or one of them might be dead. However, they seem to be in love because they are fated to be together forever. I personally find fate incredibly boring because it doesn't bring free will or the circumstances I mention into account and also does not mesh with the scientific aspects of the novel. The true villain of the piece is revealed to be  an evil and young version of Steve Jobs. He's one dimensional caricature, practically twirling his mustache and tying a girl to some train tracks while he swims in his mountains of dirty money. This aspects was ham handed and boring to read,

The overall concepts were much more interesting than the actual story. Many aspects simply didn't mesh well together. There were a lot more things I had a problem with than I enjoyed. I enjoy Claudia Gray's work and will continue to, but this was a miss for me. I won't be continuing the series.

My rating: 2.5/5 fishmuffins

No comments: