Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Published by HarperCollins
Published on 1 November 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: my local library
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The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite’s hands in the final installment of the Firebird trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.
Ever since she used the Firebird, her parent’s invention, to cross through alternate dimensions, Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud. Now she has learned that the evil Triad Corporation plans to destroy hundreds of universes, using their ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite who is wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.
Even though her boyfriend Paul has always been at Marguerite’s side, the Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man, and he may never be the same again. Marguerite alone must stop Triad and prevent the destruction of the multiverse. It’s a battle of the Marguerites . . . and only one can win.
In the epic conclusion to the sweeping series that kicked off with A Thousand Pieces of You, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed.
This was an epic conclusion to an incredible series.
I enjoyed this book so much. Not only did Claudia Gray deliver an incredible story, but Tavia Gilbert, the audiobook narrator, also delivered another impeccable, incredibly emotional performance. I was so heavily invested the entire time that I even shouted so loud my husband heard me at the other end of the house – and I only ever yell like that when I’m really frustrated, and I often was… but in a good way! My reaction was to Gray’s twisty plot and her determination to not just give us characters sitting around smelling daisies. To be honest, I’m so invested at this point that I would read about Marguerite doing her grocery shopping, but Gray always went one step further than I imagined she’d go. She didn’t coddle her characters, and that was, although heartbreaking, also quite refreshing.
I really loved that Gray went so deep and dark with the plot and characters, but kept the whole thing in the realm of possibility. I loved the motivation of everyone involved, especially the bad guys. You can kind of almost understand it?!
Gray’s imagination is seemingly without boundaries. There were new worlds to explore, new versions of characters to meet, and plenty to say goodbye to.
However, there were a couple of things that bothered me, and it boils down to the basic plot: in the book, Marguerite is chasing after her Home Office evil twin ‘Wicked’, who is hell-bent on murdering all the other Marguerites and our OG (which she only can’t reach because our Marguerite’s body is untouchable on account of her multiverse jumping).
I had two problems with this:
It was reactionary instead of being proactive.
This very plot always leaves our Marguerite reacting over and over again, always following and trying to clean up Wicked’s various messes. Marguerite spent way too much time chasing Wicked as opposed to trying to find a way to stop her for good.
On the one hand, it does lead to plenty of conflict. PLENTY. I really enjoyed every aspect of our Marguerite trying desperately to save the others, all the new worlds she visited and the situations she found herself in. However, for a cast of characters that consists of the cleverest people in the world, it was not a good plan.
Marguerite ‘rescuing’ the others
The other problem was that our Marguerite always thought that she had to rescue the other Margeurites, despite her not knowing anything about the world or situation she was jumping into. She took over the other Marguerite’s lives without giving them a chance to save themselves. That meant she had to figure out the world and the trap really quickly. It would have been much smarter to let the native Marguerite fix things – for example, in the SpaceVerse, the native Marguerite would have known to check for things that the OG Marguerite did not. They didn’t actually need Marguerite to jump into their bodies and save them. They are all Marguerite! They could have saved themselves. What made OG Marguerite better at saving them? Absolutely nothing. Native Marguerites had the advantage of knowing about the world. OG Marguerite’s involvement only made it more dangerous for them… which is good for a storyteller because it adds extra conflict.
So while I do have those issues with the basic plot of the novel, I can’t deny that it was incredibly thrilling and engaging. I don’t think it detracted from the story at all, in fact it was necessary to make it more exciting. So even though I have these issues, I am still rating the book 4.5 stars, largely on account of the plot surprises, and how invested and engaged I felt listening to the audiobook.
Side note: I really wish they had called Wicked ‘Meg’ instead, since that was that universe’s Theo’s nickname for her. Wicked is a dumb nickname.