Book: A Thousand Skies Above You
Author: Claudia Gray
Standing: Book 2 (ongoing)
POV: 1st person by Marguerite, present tense
Setting: San Fransisco, New York City, Paris, Cambridge (alternate realities)
Genre: YA sci-fi
Source: Physical Copy
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release: November 3rd, 2015
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.
Before I begin, let's all take a moment to marvel at the beauty known as the cover. Isn't it absolutely stunning? This definitely is on my top book covers of the year!
Ten Thousand Skies Above You begins just like A Thousand Pieces of You did: you're thrown right into the fray with Marguerite, confused and disoriented. In this one, we're thrown in just as Marguerite is being chased by an angry mob, claiming she's a witch. Talk about a hook! But once everything calms down, we discover the reason for Marguerite's dimension-jumping: Paul, having been attacked, is missing, and his consciousness has been scattered into numerous dimensions. In order to bring Paul back, Marguerite must travel through worlds to collect all the shards of his consciousness to make him whole again. In exchange for the coordinate of the pieces of Paul's consciousness, Paul's attacker tells Marguerite she must sabotage her parents work in those very dimensions...
"This is no time for tears. Paul needs me. Crying can happen later."
I thoroughly enjoyed Marguerite's voice and narrative, much like the last book. She was a complete breath of fresh air: funny, logical, and smart. One would have to be, since she she needs to bluff her way through every world she enters. Her deductions of what kind of world she has jumped into is brilliant. In this book, rather than being revenge driven, Marguerite is struggling to find a way to both save Paul and find a way to get around sabotaging her parents' work, regardless of the fact that they're not her parents from her own dimension. A key point for Marguerite is that she continues to meet various versions of Paul, but as none of them are her Paul, the differences is startling. We see different sides to Paul, and you can't help but know that Marguerite's Paul has the capability to become those other Pauls...
"During my time traveling through dimensions, I've been kidnapped, held at gunpoint, bombed from the air, nearly crushed in a submarine, exposed to the Russian winter until I nearly died of hypothermia, and chased by a torch-bearing mob intent on burning me for witchcraft. Every time, I've kept myself together.
Every time, I survived."
Margerite's traveling companion is again the one and only Theo Beck. Much like the last book, Theo brought a some-needed comic relief along with his physicist brilliance. His cheerfulness made everything easier for Marguerite, especially since we know that it's Marguerite's Theo travelling with her now, not the impostor. However, Theo isn't without scars, as he's haunted both by the actions the impostor used Theo's body to do and at the fact that in some dimensions, Marguerite ends up with him instead of Paul. The events of the last book regarding him is also the driving force of the events in this book, adding onto another layer of guilt, and the things he does for Marguerite when they're in the other worlds just...yeah. I really hope he gets a happy ending, I really do.
"He stole my body for months, and now I get the chance to steal his. If I have the chance, that SOB is going to get the ugliest haircut of his life." I burst out laughing. Theo grins wickedly as he continues, "I'm serious. If anyone in the entire multiverse deserves a reverse Mohawk, he does."
Another thing that I particularly liked about this book were Marguerite's parents. They're not absent parents; they play a huge role in the book beginning to end, and are in every world Marguerite visits. They're absolutely hilarious, sometimes getting a little too carried away in their scientific talks, and care very much for Marguerite, Theo, and Paul. They're the kind of parents you'd be willing to do anything for, which is why sabotaging other dimensions of their work is a source of heart-wrenching conflict for Marguerite.
Paul stepped forward and said, as if he were defending his dissertation, "We should have first informed you that Dr. Caine is alive."
"Oh!" Dad said, as Mom put her hand to her mouth. "Right! Thought that was obvious--but ought to have gone over it anyway. I'm not dead! Body not lost in at sea or the river, wherever it was supposed to be. I'd been kidnapped into another dimension instead. Left out that important detail, didn't we?"
The worlds were fantastic. Apart from one, we get a completely new set of worlds than the first book. A medieval Italy with steampunk technology, a San Francisco in the middle of a war, a New York City with deadly criminal nightlife, a 1900s Paris, a California where corporations are everything, and this world's version of Cambridge. In each, Marguerite has a slightly different identity, and has to bluff her way as that dimension's version Marguerite. I absolutely loved the different worlds, loved how vivid the author describes them. They're so realistic, it's as if they're actually real. (Of course, there probably is a dimension where they are)
We get new light on Triad, the company who kidnapped Marguerite's father in the first book and who splintered Paul's soul. Their head, Wyatt Conley, is ruthless in trying to recruit Marguerite to work for him and do his dirty work. But as we discover, there is a higher reason for his persistence, a reason which we discover will lead them to make absolutely insane decisions. Will they succeed? Now that's a good question...
And, finally THAT ENDING. I had a feeling something terrible was going to happen, especially since the pages were dwindling down and there was no indication of a conclusion yet. But I was not expecting THAT to happen! Honestly, the author cannot drop a bomb like that and expect us to wait an entire year to find out what happens! I'm going to be losing my mind while I wait, indefinitely!
This is a fantastic book, and I strongly recommend you to read the series. The characters are great, the plot has a powerful drive, AND THAT ENDING will leave you devastated and begging for more!
"Ten thousand skies, and a million worlds, and it still wouldn't be enough for me to share with you. Nothing less than forever will do."