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.
Man, I was so happy to dive back into this inter-dimensional adventure once again. I had loved A Thousand Pieces of You very much – with its romantic subplot against a multiverse background. The idea of destiny and soulmates was something very strongly felt by Marguerite in the first one, and this one is about shattering those illusions of people in different universes. Marguerite is, once again, traveling through dimensions, this time hunting down the parts of Paul’s consciousness. She has finally caved to Triad’s games and has to play their puppet to save the lives of Paul and Theo. In doing so, she also comes across so different versions of the people she knew, she starts questioning things about souls.
Just a few days before I took up this book and was planning to, you know, start reading, I was ruminating on A Thousand Pieces of You, and wondering about the nurture vs nature argument in terms of multiverses (it’s the scientist in me, okay?). And then I was reading this book and it was like Gray sent the answers to my existential question. You see, Marguerite continues to believe that all the lives across the dimensions are the same, having the same base consciousness, or soul if you would call it. The fact that they are evil or good, is also part of their base consciousness. Finding some versions of Paul who are in love with her, some who are slightly twisted versions of the one she knew, as well as knowing other versions of Theo and herself, and other realities where she doesn’t choose the same guy puts a big question mark on her destiny theory, that she and Paul are meant to be, in every dimension. What she didn’t take into account was a person’s experiences, the choices they make, the free will that even destiny can’t shape – you end up with people distinct from each other, individuals in their own right.
The whole thing about individuality, while seeming to be based on the romance, also serves to make a point on the antagonists’ motivations. While that is strictly under spoilers, all I can say that Marguerite finds versions of her loved ones she never expected. The worlds she visits this time around are RenaissanceVerse, a WarVerse, a MafiaVerse, a HomeTriadVerse and also a brief sojourn in RussiaVerse (where some interesting questions about last book are also answered). And each of these worlds? So well constructed, and each with such well defined alternates of our characters. Theo makes a great addition this time, when he is not the diabolical spy from the other world, and also adds to the romantic tension, but in a very different way. Overall, this book was just as awesome an adventure as the last one, but with a really shocking ending.
Received a free galley from HarperTeen via Edelweiss; this does not influence my opinions or reviews.
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