Published: November 3rd 2015 by HarperTeen
Format: ARC, 432 pages
Genres: Science Fiction
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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.
I loved A Thousand Pieces of You. I ranted and raved about it and practically forced it into the hands of every unsuspecting friend and acquaintance I had. And I’m happy to report that I loved the sequel just as much. Claudia Gray knows how to write a book!
Ten Thousand Skies Above You begins with a separation between Paul and Marguerite. Marguerite hops through dimension after dimension trying to save his life while digging deeper into the mysteries of the multiverse. I liked the alternate dimensions that we visit in this book – one still in the grips of a war, one where she’s embroiled with criminals, one where she’s a princess in Paris. As expected, the world-building is absolutely gorgeous. I loved each new setting, and I especially loved exploring the different iterations of Theo, Marguerite, and Paul.
Which brings me to the next point. Marguerite has, understandably, become mistrustful of Theo. Having seen the ‘evil’ Theo from another universe, she believes that the qualities that made that version of Theo ‘evil’ must be present in every version of him. This makes her wary of Theo, which in turn frustrates him because he cannot prove that he not ‘evil’ and feels as though he’s being held accountable for another Theo’s crimes.
What Marguerite doesn’t do – what she seems incapable of doing – is extrapolate this line of thought to realise that the capacity for ‘evil’ is inside everyone. So she’s – unduly, in my opinion – surprised when she meets a less than sweet version of Paul in one of the universes she visits. She’s shocked. Her entire world-view shifts (understandably). And yet, again, she’s incapable of taking that thought to its natural conclusion – until it’s revealed to her near the end of the book.
This has, of course, been one of the things that has drawn me to Marguerite since the first book – she’s brazen and confident and brave. All good qualities, but Ten Thousand Skies Above You shows how such a character can delude themselves into thinking that they always, always, know best. Even when it’s obvious to everyone else when they aren’t. For example, a series of major, irrevocable and life changing decisions she took in Ten Thousand Skies Above You came back to haunt her, and she will realise that for all her talk about not disrupting the lives of the other selves she jumps into, she’s made the biggest blunder of all. This will be irritating to some readers, but I don’t think Marguerite’s attitude or unique logic detracted from my enjoyment. She is who she is.
Finally, I must speak about the plot. The central theme of this book is Marguerite’s journey to save Paul. Their relationship is shown through flashbacks, and Paul is always on the forefront of Marguerite’s mind. Sometimes it felt like there was very little plot to this book aside from Marguerite’s dedication to save her boyfriend, but I think it was fitting because their relationship is at that stage where everything feels fated and destined and right. When she unexpectedly lands in a universe where she and Paul are not together, despite already knowing each other, Marguerite’s ideas about souls and destinies are called into question. So, I feel like there was a plot to this book, but it was largely internal to Marguerite and her world-views. She did a lot of growing up in this book.
Ten Thousand Skies Above You is a marvellous, gripping, exciting read that will entertain fans of the science fiction genre. I’m loving where Gray is taking this series, and can’t wait for the next instalment.