Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Published by HarperTeen
Published on 4 November 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: my local library
Add to Goodreads
Buy from Amazon | Buy from The Book Depository |Publisher page
A thousand lives.
A thousand possibilities.
Marguerite Caine grew up surrounded by cutting-edge scientific theories, thanks to her brilliant physicist parents. Yet nothing is more astounding than her mother's latest invention—a device called the Firebird, which allows people to leap into alternate dimensions.
When Marguerite's father is murdered, all the evidence points to one person—Paul, her parents' enigmatic star student. Before the law can touch him, Paul escapes into another dimension, having committed what seems like the perfect crime. But he didn't count on Marguerite. She doesn't know if she can kill a man, but she's going to find out.
With the help of another physics student, Theo, Marguerite chases Paul through various dimensions. In each new world Marguerite leaps to, she meets another version of Paul that has her doubting his guilt and questioning her heart. Is she doomed to repeat the same betrayal?
As Marguerite races through these wildly different lives—a grand duchess in a Tsarist Russia, a club-hopping orphan in a futuristic London, a refugee from worldwide flooding on a station in the heart of the ocean—she is swept into an epic love affair as dangerous as it is irresistible.
I read and loved the Spellcaster series by this same author last year, and although a lot of people have said they love the cover for this book, I never really looked at it that closely when it was available to borrow from my library. I guess I thought maybe it was too busy? Maybe I missed something? I’ve read some books where the titles didn’t have anything to do with the story, and this title didn’t mean anything to me (it does now, it’s beautiful and apt and completely fitting, but maybe doesn’t make much sense until after reading the book, which makes me feel like I’ve entered some kind of club, or sharing a in-joke with the author).
The series name seemed kind of out of place as well (again, a misconception), and for some reason I thought this was more of a contemporary murder mystery than a dimension-jumping sci-fi. All of this led to me putting off reading this book when really, Claudia Gray has been nothing but completely solid and dependable when it comes to incredible storytelling. The only person losing by holding out on reading this book was me, because I should have read this a long time ago.
I mean, the romance is just so… I mean I could literally feel Marguerite’s yearning. I didn’t go into this expecting romance and then WHAM there it is, like, hello! Please come in, make yourself at home. I couldn’t believe how strongly I wanted the love interests to commit to each other. Ah, it was just so sweet!
And the imagination in presenting the alternate realities: the descriptions, the worldbuilding in each of them; I just really loved it, it was so beautifully done. Each world was distinct with its own appropriate culture, history, people, technology, politics, etc.
The writing flowed so well, it was super easy to listen to and I didn’t once get lost. The plot, while a little complicated, was not too complicated, and I always had a sense of urgency and looming deadlines which helped with the pace.
The characterisations were all really solid: I loved that Marguerite was a painter and the black sheep of her scientific family, but they all loved and supported her, even if they didn’t really deep down think she could make a living doing art. It was just super wholesome! I love supportive families!
Marguerite herself was a blast to hang out with. She’s smart, as in thinks about things and comes up with solutions. She loves fiercely. She’s loyal. She’s fearless. Just all around a great character to travel the multiverse with.
The narrator was really great as well, and presented different voices for different characters, which I really appreciate.
What I also love is that the main plot point for this novel was solved and although the overarching conflict for the entire series was not, it wasn’t a cliffhanger, and the first book could be read even as a stand-alone, which I really appreciate. But why would you? I need more Marguerite/Paul/Theo in my life.
Overall it was just such a blast to listen to this audiobook, and I’m really keen to jump into the sequel.