A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

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The basics

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You

Author:

Series: Firebird #1

- A Thousand Pieces of You (November 2014)
- Ten Thousand Skies Above You (November 2015)
- Untitled (2016)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

in short

Marguerite’s father is supposedly dead – killed by one of his assistants. Theo and Marguerite hop through different parallel worlds to find Henry’s killer. Marguerite confronts Paul and discovers that he didn’t actually kill her father. There’s a lot of time spent in Russia, which includes some sexy times, and several more “normal” worlds are involved. Paul tells Marguerite that the Triad are after her because she’s the only one who can travel through the worlds flawlessly. Theo turns out to be a spy for the Triad, and it’s very upsetting because Theo from Marguerite’s world has had his body taken over for some time. Marguerite finds that her father is alive, and returns home with him. Spy!Theo disappears, and Paul returns home too. Yay!

what went down

  • The book kicks off with Marguerite and Theo setting out to a parallel world in a quest to find Marguerite’s father’s killer.
  • Paul, one of Henry and Sophie’s assistants, is said to have killed Henry and Marguerite wants vengeance. Unfortunately, things are difficult because Paul has a Firebird, a device that allows him to travel through all the different parallel universes at will.
  • Luckily, Theo has constructed two spare Firebirds and he and Marguerite (who really needs a nickname because her name is hard to type) go after Paul.
  • Some quick rules of parallel universe travelling:
    • The original traveller can only visit parallel worlds in which they exist, or where their other self is still alive. If their other self died years ago, they can’t get in. If their other self never existed in the first place, same deal.
    • If the traveller does find a world in which they exist, they take over their other self’s body.
    • The traveller has to keep the Firebird on them at all times, otherwise their other self takes over again and the traveller forgets everything. This can be undone by putting the Firebird back on.
  • Marguerite first ends up in London, where her parents are both dead and she’s living with her aunt. Theo is in the US, and has to catch a flight over. When he gets there, Marguerite finds him shooting up in the bathroom.
  • They both go to a conference because Paul will be there. Marguerite chases Paul and he tells her that he didn’t kill her father, and claims he didn’t even know that Henry was dead. He then switches worlds.
  • Marguerite and Theo follow Paul. This time they land in a world that seemingly never went through the Industrial Revolution. Marguerite is a Russian princess, descended from the Romanov’s, and Theo is stuck in France. Marguerite’s mother died while giving birth to her fourth child, and Marguerite’s father is working in the palace as a teacher. Her fake father is the ruler of all of Russia, and Paul is a palace guard.
  • Marguerite breaks her Firebird and Paul loses his to Lieutenant Paul’s boss.
  • Marguerite’s fake uncle tries to kill the entire family, but Lieutenant Paul helps Marguerite get away and it turns out there aren’t any other casualties. Yet. Lieut. Paul and Marguerite have sex in the woods. Twice. Then he takes her to her family.
  • Marguerite tells both Lieut. Paul and Teacher!Henry about the parallel universe stuff, and they believe her. Henry fixes her Firebird, and Lieut. Paul is sent off to fight fake!Uncle’s army.
  • Marguerite follows Lieut. Paul, and discovers that he is gravely wounded. Lieut. Paul dies and it’s very sad and Marguerite gets upset. Then she realises that her Paul might have gotten away with the Firebird. So Marguerite uses her Firebird to follow him.
  • This time they land in a place that is very similar to their own world. Theo shows up at the house and takes Marguerite to Triad HQ. Paul texts her and tells her she’s in danger, so had better GTFO. Marguerite makes excuses and leaves, and goes and meets up with Paul.
  • Paul tells Marguerite that the bad guys are after her, because they did something to her using a box that enables her to travel between worlds without needing ‘Reminders’ from the Firebird. Paul also suspects that Henry isn’t really dead, and sends himself and Marguerite into another world to get away from the Triad.
  • This time, Marguerite ends up on a submarine, Paul on another one, and Theo follows and ends up in a place called New Perth. Marguerite’s parents are both on the submarine with her, as they’re both oceanographers in this world. Marguerite gives her Firebird to Henry, because she guesses that this is her real father, but he’s just forgotten.
  • Henry remembers, and it’s revealed that he was kidnapped and placed in this world by the Triad. He wants to go home, but the problem is that they only have one Firebird between the two of them.
  • Theo reaches the submarine, and he and Marguerite take a trip down to the ocean floor.
  • Paul calls Marguerite, and tells her that he’s taken some stuff developed by the Triad which prevents travellers from forgetting themselves. Marguerite connects the dots, and realises that Theo has been working for the Triad as a spy this entire time. The Theo that has been travelling with Marguerite isn’t the “real” Theo from her world, but someone who took over the “real” Theo’s body a while ago.

how did it end?

Marguerite and Theo fight in the sub, and Marguerite escapes in a pod. She reaches the surface, and Paul finds her. He takes her back to her parents’ submarine, and then tells her he’s going back for Theo because he’s still a version of his friend. Marguerite luckily grabbed Theo’s Firebird before she escaped, and she gives it to her father so they can both go home. They get back to her world, and there’s a steamy reunion between their parents. The “real” Theo finds them and explains that the Spy!Theo had started taking over his body months ago. He’s sad because now he thinks he won’t have a chance with Marguerite. He goes with Marguerite to Paul’s house, and Paul eventually gets back from the other world and answers the door. Theo leaves, and Marguerite goes inside.

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