Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Thousand Pieces of You Review: Marguerite

My father was killed.
By one person we thought we could trust.

Paul Markov escaped.
Into a different world, a parallel one.
I intend to follow him.

I will find him.
No matter how many worlds he runs to.
He will pay for his crimes.

My name is Marguerite Caine.
Hi guys! Today, I happen to be the world-jumping Marguerite Caine!

Book: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudie Gray
Series: Firebird
Book Status: Book 1
Setting: Modern day California, parallel universes consisting of a high-tech London, a 1900s Russia, a modern-day (but slightly different) California, and a modern-day Coral Sea (world kind of underwater due to global warming though)
POV: First person, by Marguerite
Genre: YA sci-fi (alternate realities!)

Reading: First time
Favorite line: "You stranded a guy? On purpose?"
"But if I have a power Triad wants--that means I have power. And I intend to use it."
Rating: 5 stars

Guys. You have no idea how awesome this book is. First off, travelling to different realities? Yes, that concept has been around for a while, but I really love the new concept that Claudia Gray puts on this. You can't jump into the past of future, or any other world where you don't exist. When you jump, you materialize inside that world's version of yourself. Say your other self is in the middle of class when you jump; you'll find yourself in the middle of that class. You wait until night to jump again, when you're supposed to be asleep? Chances are that the next you of the next world is sleeping, so you'll materialize in your own bed. You're still in the 21st century, no matter where you jump to. Get the picture? Because it's brilliant!

As I mentioned before in the "Setting" description, Marguerite visits 4 different dimensions. I don't consider telling you what they're about to be spoilers, as they don't give any of the plot away. So let's take a look at these worlds!

1. High-tech London: clearly, technology has advance at a much faster rate in that world. It's by no means the future (like I said, they can't travel through time, only through dimensions so that they end up at the exact same time as they left but in a different dimension), but technology is clearly more futuristic. Hovercars, cool tiny gadgets, holograms, self-defence bracelets? Need I say more?

2. Russia: like, old-ish Russia. Marguerite's mother is Russian, so it makes sense that in some dimension, they're still there. Only thing is that the technology hasn't advanced as far. The technology in that version of the world's 21st century is described as being close to the 1900s. Letters, steamboats, the very first telephones (only used in emergencies for high-class people), all the old stuff. Marguerite describes it as having stepped into a century back, which sums up her experiences there quite nicely. It is a very interesting history context, as it speaks to both the history of Russia. The thing that really got my attention in the world though was the fact that Marguerite has completely different siblings: rather than having her elder sister Josie in that world, she suddenly has an older brother, a younger sister, and an even younger brother. New siblings. Now that is trippy. Because she can't help but love them, because in a way, they are her siblings.

3. The modern-day-but-not-quite-the-same-as-this-world's world: wow, that was confusing. Basically, this third world is very very very similar to Marguerite's original world: same family, same world history, same technology and presidents and world happenings. The only difference is that a) her father is alive and b) there's a lunatic in the form of a highly respected CEO of a technology company (similar to Apple as they produce something called a tPhone). Slight differences, remember? It all harbours on the big question: what if. Brilliant!

4. The fourth parallel world: in this one, global climate change has led to the drastic rising of water levels such that a lot of cities are now underwater. There are a few exceptions, like the taller cities, but even then, they've been changed. New York City is described as being semi-aquatic, resembling Venice, and they're jam-packed with people. A lot of people also live in water stations (think of mostly-underwater buildings), which is where that world's version of Marguerite lives. My thoughts were: WHOA. If that's the state that Earth is doomed to become, well, I'm thinking we need to take global warming a LOT more seriously. It's great that I can swim, but I sort of like living above water without a dense population breathing down my neck. Yikes.

5. Surprise! There's a fifth world, you ask? Of course! That fifth world happens to be this one! The one where I just finished reading A Thousand Pieces of You, and I'm now blogging about it rather than doing actually work! The world where you guys are reading this! The one where authors continue to inspire thought processes and questions! The realm...of BOOKS!!!

Haha, the last one was a bit dramatic, wasn't it? Sorry, sorry! 

This book really got me thinking. What are all the other Erikas in all the other dimensions doing right now? Well, I'm sure there's one version of me who's not blogging and is instead doing the proper night's work. Probably another version who's sleeping right now, too. But what about the version of my who decided to wear blue instead of purple today? Is she doing the same thing as me right now, blogging? Did she even finish A Thousand Pieces of You today? Did she even pick it up?

What about the me who decided to pull an all-nighter to write an assignment six years ago? Where's she at? Is she in the same place I am right now? (For the record, I didn't pull an all-nighter for that assignment. I went to bed, then got up early in the morning to finish it. But what if I did? Where's that version of me now?)


And if you ask me, it is so much fun to wonder about these things! I'm sure that there's also a version of me who's a child prodigy, a doctor, a scientist, and musician, and every other thing I dreamed to pursuit. But that being said, there's got to also be versions of me who dropped out of school, who got injured, who had bad things happen to her... Though I am quite curious to know where they are now...

Anyways, back to the book! One major question I had was this: how on Earth is Marguerite able to pull off the daily notions of acting like that world's version of Marguerite? I have no idea. In the Londonverse, how does she know how to activate all that technology? Or even which room in her house is hers? And again, in Russia, when she's living the role as a princess, how does she pull it off without giving away her real identity? Then again, it sort of would be hard to "give your identity away", as you're not really an impostor. Not physical, anyways...more so mentally or spiritually or whatever. But still! She's expected to check weather equipment in the global-warming-catastrophe world, but she's never done that before. So how does she do it? Muscle memory?

The answer is research. Marguerite does a LOT of research beforehand. Once she gets to a new world, the first thing she does is find out where she is, what's happened in this world that hasn't happened in her own, who she's supposed to be and what she's supposed to be doing. And then, somehow, armed with this newfound knowledge, she is able to blend right in. As if she has been living there all her life. As if she was still that world's version of herself. How does she do it??? Because I know that I would probably be freaking out. Even if I knew in theory what I was supposed to do, the chance of me pulling it off is quite slim. Only a miracle would make me through it. So the fact that Marguerite is able to adjust so quickly is really amazing. She thinks quick on her feet, and I admire her for that!

This is such a gook book. It really invokes thinking, and you get to see the world (or worlds) from both a physics point of view as well as Marguerite's painting point of view. She explains the technicality of dimension travelling, but also describes the new worlds around her through the different shades of colors she would need to paint her surroundings. It's a perfect blend of technology and art, which, ironically, is what a book is.

The next book, Ten Thousand Skies Above You, comes out November 3rd! I'm doing a cover reveal of it very soon (I know, the cover came out a month ago, but hey, I wasn't into the series yet so it's more of a ramble), so stay tuned!

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