“Fate doesn’t guarantee us a happy ending … but fate gives a chance.” // Review of “A Million Worlds With You” by Claudia Gray

Title: A Million  Worlds With You (Firebird #3)
Author:
 Claudia Gray
Genre: Sci-fi/romance
Target audience: YA
Date Read: 08/03/2019 – 14/03/2019
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

Please note: as this review is for a third book in a series, there may be mild spoilers for the first, A Thousand Pieces of You, and second, Ten Thousand Skies Above You.

I honestly wasn’t sure how Claudia Gray was going to tie everything up in this last book of the series. There seemed to be so much goinig on and so many variables. But she managed it and she  managed it well.

What I’ve really admired about this series is the way in which little hints dropped early on become so much more important later on. This continued in this book, right down to things that were mentioned as a possibility in the second book becoming important here. It’s clear that Gray had this whole series set out before she delved into writing it.

In this book, several of the universes where Firebird technology has developed are in communication with each other, and sometimes it got a bit confusing trying to remember who was who. Especially in one pivotal scene that I don’t want to spoil, but you’ll definitely know it when you get to it. Once again, some of the sciencey stuff did seem to be resolved a little too easily, but the woorld-building remained internally consistent so I didn’t mind too much.

As I’ve said in my previous reviews of this series, the romance is just as important, if not more important, than the science. THis one is no different. I understand that the splintering in book two is what has affected Paul, but I did just find him a bit mopey at times… and Marguerite thus had to spend a lot of time trying to convince him that their relationship was still something worth pursuing. I don’t know, this just got a bit old after a while. But there was a really lovely moment between Paul and one of the other Marguerites that made me grin stupidly. Again, you’ll know it when you get to it.

Theo was still Theo and I think overall, he actually turned out to be my favourite of the two guys. He just didn’t have as much to do in Book 1, which is why I didn’t realise earlier. 😂 I also want to note how much I loved the different versions of Henry and Sophia, Marguerite’s parents. they are delightful. It has been nice to read a YA series where the protagonist’s parents are not only both alive but actively involved in the events of the story.

I’m really glad I picked up the first book of this series on a whim. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know these characters and I’m definitely going to keep an eye on Claudia Gray’s other series.


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“Ten thousand skies, and a million worlds, and it still wouldn’t be enough for me to share with you” // Review of “Ten Thousand Skies Above You” by Claudia Gray

Title: Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2)
Author:
 Claudia Gray
Audio book narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Genre: Sci-fi/romance
Target audience: YA
Date Read: 31/03/2019 – 08/03/2019
Rating: ★★★☆

Review:

Please note: as this review is for a second book in a series, there may be mild spoilers for the first, A Thousand Pieces of You.

This book was not as good as the first one in the series, and I got frustrated quite a bit! However, it did address some things that had bothered me in the first book, and some of the things that bothered me early in this book were actually addressed and questioned later on, so that was good. 

In the aftermath of the events in the first book, Paul and Marguerite are convinced that destiny brings them together in every universe, which is a bit… *gag*. But as she travels to various universes, this is actually questioned. Theo plays a much larger role in this book than Paul, who is often barely there at all. And after Paul being all Book Boyfriend Material-like in the first book, I have to say, Theo stepped up to the plate here. XD

On that subject, I want to make two notes about the love triangle in this series. The first is that this when you’re dealing with multiple universes and infinitie possibilities, it actually makes sense that a person would have more than one love interest. So I didn’t mind the love triangle aspect so much.

And second, I love the way Theo’s feelings for Marguerite don’t come between their friendship, that he respects that she didn’t choose him in their universe (even if he is jealous of his counterparts where she did), and it also doesn’t come between Theo’s friendship with Paul. Direct quote: “I love Paul just as much as you do. Anything you want to do to get your boyfriend back, I want to do to get my best friend back.” So often the love triangle comes at the expense of everything else and that didn’t happen here.

The plot did get a bit predictable at times. I called three major revelations well before they happened. But I didn’t expect the major twist towards the end, which sets things up for book three.

Once again, the pacing was sometimes strange. I’ve realised that this is a quirk of these books: start by throwing the reader into an exciting scene. Then have a series of flashbacks to explain how Marguerite reached this moment. Most of the time in each world was focused on Paul and Marguerite’s feelings, and often the science-y bit was wrapped up quite easily in a chapter before they left for the next world. The really important information all came in the final quarter.

One of my frustrations with these books is never knowing how the characters’ other-world counterparts feel about having their bodies taken over for a period. To that end, I did appreciate the return to the Russiaverse of the first book, even if most of the chapters spent there seemed a bit… useless. Again, it was mostly just a way for Marguerite to figure out her feelings, rather than there being much in the way of the plot moving forward. But revisiting a past ‘verse did mean that Marguerite had to recognise that her actions have consequences for her counterparts, and that was important.

In terms of the audio book, Tavia Gilbert is once again a really great narrator. I was a bit disappointed that there were fewer accents, though. In the first book, all the Russian characters had Russian accents. Here, they were American, as though we were hearing their conversation through a Babel Fish (google it if you don’t understand that reference). This one does say that Theo has a slightly Dutch accent in the Russiaverse, so I can understand not using the heavy French accent from the first book, but the Marguerite and Vladimir have grown up in Russia, so there’s no reason for them to have anything else.

… sorry, that last paragraph got a bit long-winded.

The book ends on a cliffhanger, and I was glad I had a copy of the third book to move straight onto. Despite these frustrations, I think it is mostly a case of middle-book-syndrome, and i absolutely want to see how everything pans out.


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WWW Wednesday -10 April 2019

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray. It’s been a long time since  I sped through an audio book in a week. Yes, I had more solo driving recently, but i think it was also that I was actively putting this on whenever I possibly could. It’s not as good as the first one (my review will be up tomorrow and explains why), but it definitely does some good setting up for the last book.

On a related note, click the title to read my review of A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.

What are you currently reading?

Of course, I have now moved onto A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray, which is the third and final book in the Firebird series. I am actually reading this one, rather than listening… I’m not very far in at the moment because I haven’t had much reading time. I’m doing a uni intensive this week, but tomorrow and Friday we don’t have site visits so I can bus to campus and read during travel time.

I’m at about 20% on Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine. As I said, I haven’t had much reading time so I haven’t been able to give it much attention. I have a couple of days off next week in addition to the Easter public holidays so I might try to devote a morning to it or something.

What do you think you will read next?

I have some library books but I’m not sure where exactly I’ll go. Does anyone have any audio book recommendations? I can’t decide what to spend my next Audible credit on.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

“I would love you in any shape, in any world, with any past. Never doubt that.” // Review of “A Thousand Pieces of You” by Claudia Gray

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1)
Author:
 Claudia Gray
Audio book narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Genre: Sci-fi/romance
Target audience: YA
Date Read: 23/03/2019 – 31/03/2019
Rating: ★★★★☆

Review:

Well, this was unexpected. I have been aware of this series for years, but it was never high on my TBR. I chose it as a whim when I was looking for an audio book to start while I was cooking. I had no idea I’d end up loving it and being as invested in it as I was.

While ostensibily a science fiction story (the characters are using a device that allows the user to jump between parallel dimensions), I would say the romance plays a larger part. There were aspects of it that I found annoying, such as Marguerite declaring that she was “in love” with a character she had known for three weeks. It also gets a bit love triangle-y, though it eventually becomes clear that Marguerite favours one guy over the other.

While I like the idea of two people being drawn together in every universe, the idea of this transcendtal love did seem a little bit overblown. But at the same time, this isn’t just accepted by the characters. Marguerite wonders whether  being in love with one version of Paul means she loves every version, since the same traits carry over from dimension to dimension. The complications of this are taken into consideration so I was glad they didn’t just decide it was fate and never question it.

I mean, it probably also helped that I liked Paul. Book boyfriend material right there. Particularly the Imperial Russia version of him. But also the home-universe version of him. He’s awkward but protective but doesn’t smother Marguerite in any way.

Speaking of which, I really enjoyed the different universes. Marguerite, Paul and Theo visit a futuristic version of London, a version of Russia still ruled over by the Romanov family, and a version of the world where climate change is much more drastic and most people live in underwater stations. There’s also a world that’s nearly the same as their home universe. In some ways, that was probably the hardest one to pull off and I think Gray did a good job of conveying seemingly tiny differences that are actually huge.

The pacing is sometimes a bit weird. At least a quarter of the book is set in the Russia universe, and that is mostly comprised of a slowburn romance. There are twists in the last third and most of the action happens in the last quarter. The twists had been hinted at early on in the book and I did have at least one moment of “Ohhhhhhh!” when a seemingly innocuous comment from Paul had momentous implications for Marguerite (and the reader, who knew what it meant).

Also shout-out to Tavia Gilbert, who performed the audio book. Not only did the different characters all have different voices that suited them perfectly, she adapted those for each of the worlds Marguerite visited. I was very impressed.

I tried to talk myself into waiting a week for the second audio book to become available through my library system, but I gave in only a few hours later and used my Audible credit to get the next one. I didn’t want to wait!


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WWW Wednesday – 03 April 2019

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished The Dying Flame by R. L. Sanderson, which I didn’t love, but I also want to read the next one. I think this book needed to set up a lot and now that it has been set up, the story can get going in book two. I don’t think I’ll review this one, though, at least not formally. It’s hard to write less-than-glowing reviews of things written by friends.

I also sped through the audio book of A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. This ended up being my favourite book of the month! I’ve been aware of this series for years and only picked up the audio book just on a whim. Who knew that a YA sci-fi/romance was just what I needed?!

Two reviews this week: Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, and Hive by A. J. Betts. Click  the titles to read them.

What are you currently reading?

I tried to persuade myself to wait until the library copy of Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray became available this weekend, but that lasted all of a few hours and I used an Audible credit to purchase it Sunday night  (after finishing the first book Sunday morning). I’m about 30% in already. Also, I want to say, if you are interested in this series, and you like audio books, definitely listen to it! Tavia Gilbert is fantastic.

I’ve also started Amelia Westlake by Erin Gough, which I have heard a lot of good things about. This is a #LoveOzYA contemporary about two girls who create some a hoax at their fancy private school to expose the school’s problems, and it goes a bit too far. I started doing Teaser Tuesday yesterday and shared a quote from this book here.

I’ve also finally started Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine! This comes out on April 23. I’m only 7% in at time of writing but I’m so keen to get back into this series.

What do you think you will read next?

I… don’t know, because when I started this post a couple of days ago I had Wolfhunter River slated for this answer! Most likely it will be Changing Gear by Scot Gardner, another #LoveOzYA that is on the Children’s Book Council of Australia 2019 Notables list. I haave a copy out from the library.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

WWW Wednesday – 27 March 2019

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. I’m not quite sure I “got” this. There is a magical realism component which I figured out fairly early on was an allegory, but there was a lot of telling, even with that… and the main character felt about twelve rather than fifteen…

I also finished Hive by A. J. Betts. This was one of those books that I wasn’t terribly into, but the ending was interesting enough that I still felt that I would continue with the series when the second book comes out.

I posted two reviews this week: Between Us by Clare Atkins and Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein. Click the titles to read them.

What are you currently reading?

I have returned to The Dying Flame by R. L. Sanderson, after being a bit distracted by other things. The MC is about to meet the King, so I think things are going to really start rolling now.

I’m listening to A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. I really enjoy parallel universe stories though this one has a lot of flashbacks establishing life before Meg and Theo jumped dimensions. Still, I’m about a third of the way through and still enjoying it.

What do you think you will read next?

Everything I’ve been reading lately has been YA and it’s beginning to wear a bit. So I think I might read my ARC of Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine.  I have pretty high expectations of this after loving the first two books in the series so much. So I hope it lives up to them.

What are you reading this week? 🙂