Review – Ten Thousand Skies Above You
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  • Posted:
  • May 29, 2015


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Ten Thousand Skies Above You is the next book in Claudia Gray’s intense Firebird series. The first book passed me by last year lost in the midst of chaos and the moving shuffle. This year it firmly caught my attention when I acquired this book and caught up in the series. Now, having stayed up late last night to finish this book, I will try to assemble my thoughts about it. I haven’t stayed up late to complete a book in a long time, so that says a lot. The read, however, was not without its problems along the way.

*Spoilers ahead for those who have not read A Thousand Pieces of You *

Marguerite Caine, the daughter of two physicists, is not your normal teenager. Since her parents discovery of the multiverse, a series of infinite parallel dimensions layered upon one another, her life has been turned upside down. In book one, she pursued Paul Markov through the multiverse with the aid of the Firebirds; devices that facilitate the travel of one’s conscience from one verse to another. Marguerite can travel to inhabit her own body so long as it exists in another universe. Marguerite, the only known perfect traveler, remembers everything that occurs in the multiverse and is wanted by Triad, an evil corporation in charge by Wyatt Conly, her newly sworn enemy.

Conly wants to use Marguerite’s innate ability for his own purposes. Since most travelers cannot hold onto their existing consciousness for more than a few minutes they have to rely on programmed reminders in the Firebirds themselves or Nightthief; a highly addictive drug that allows them to remember everything. To that end, he has used the one thing he know Marguerite can’t do without against her; Paul Markov. In the last book as Marguerite was pursuing Paul she discovered that he was not the one at fault. This helped allay her feelings of guilt and shame that she had once possessed romantic feelings for him. By the end of the book they were ardently and staunchly in love, having also discovered that their love for each other transcends the dimensions. Now, Paul has been splintered by Conly, his soul broken up into four pieces and spread throughout the multiverse. Marguerite must restore Paul’s soul by gathering the pieces of him and, hopefully, evading Conly’s requests along the way.

Marguerite’s journey in this book is not as smooth as the first book. The first seventy pages or so are broken up by a fractured story line that jumps around, jarring the reader. This bit of narration unsettled me and made it hard to get into the book. Once Gray established a linear storyline, I got into the book with less resistance. However, the thematic issues of this book are harder to stomach as the implausibility factor becomes a little heightened. There’s a lot of good versus evil and nature versus nurture. There becomes this greater question of purpose and the ability to rise above one’s destiny. To put it simply, I didn’t initially love this one as much as I loved the first.

And then, last night, I powered through the last seventy-five pages of the book and everything became clear…Crystalline, even. This is a book that requires the reader to devote their attention until the very end before they know what the hell is going on. The entire plot line is hinged upon one awesome moment at the climax of the book, one very satisfying cliffhanger that draws everything in this book together…and leaves me most impatient for the sequel next year. Like always.

Marguerite is still a very appealing character. I appreciate her take-charge ways, her progressive attitude towards sex and love (for YA), and the way she moves throughout these stories. Paul and Theo are also excellent counterpoints as well as Marguerite’s own family (the side characters are what make these books so interesting). The romantic love triangle is as expected in this genre but the characters are what make it so dynamic. You know that Marguerite is in love with Paul in many of the dimensions, but Gray has given Theo a chance in this book to redeem himself from the events of the last book…and redeem himself he does indeed. Theo’s path is one of the more interesting journeys in the book and raises most of the questions that Gray puzzles throughout.

I wanted to say that this was a disappointment, that the struggle was too real and that my lengthy reading of it was because the book is not well done. But, having arrived at the end, I can see that Gray has structured everything towards that one awesome point, that one revelation that astounds the reader. And, because of that, I can no longer say what I once was going to say. These are excellent books, thrilling and wondrous and full of original, thought-provoking twists and turns. I won’t forget what happens in them anytime soon.

4 out of 5 stars.

And I need the sequel. Like, tomorrow.

– BP

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1 Comments

Allie

2015-06-27 10:51:37 Reply

Oh my goodness!! I want this book SO badly!! UGH! I loved the first one and November is just too far away. Your review makes me want it even more. Knowing that everything builds to one moment will be awesome to keep in mind if I get frustrated on the structure too, so thank you,