Showing posts with label claudia gray. Show all posts
Showing posts with label claudia gray. Show all posts

Thursday, February 9, 2017

[Review] A Million Worlds With You (Firebird #3) - Claudia Gray: Parallel Universes and Evil Twins




In A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU, Marguerite's evil parallel universe self is hell-bent on killing every version of Marguerite in every single universe she can so she can't sabotage the plans of Home Office.

What intrigued me: The conclusion to my favorite series of all time. It hurts.

Chasing through universes

A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU picks off right where the sequel left off. And I gotta say - that premise didn't do it for me. While Firebird is and will always remain my favorite book series, I wish it had been a duology. See, this whole Evil Twin coming to destroy the world storyline does feel a little over the top in my opinion and I just didn't enjoy it as much as the other books and found myself wishing for the story to get wrapped up more quickly. This is absolutely subjective.

The universes Gray shows us this time around are interesting, but not explored nearly as much as they could have! But because the premise is so reliant on the chasing part I was a little sad to see Marguerite spend very few time with the individual Pauls or even just in the universes. Where is the fluff! I feel like sometimes along the complicated plot lines and the excellent world building, the romance fluff got lost. Sure, we had Russia. But that was it? 

Arguably the most interesting parts of  A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU are those when Marguerite returns to previously visited universes. I really loved that in TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU already and I just can't get enough of checking in with the other scientists.  But regardless, A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU feels like a wild goose chase, jumping from universe to universe so fast and filled with barely plausible plot conveniences, I didn't like this nearly as much as the other books in the series.

Still grieving my husband

I have a confession to make: I don't think I ship Paul and Marguerite. I don't think I ever did. The problem is that both the reader and Marguerite get to know Paul on a deep emotional level in the Russia!Verse, where he is the Grand Duchess' protector Lieutenant Markov. And I never got over him. 
See, Lieutenant Markov shows the tender side of Paul, the romantic side - and in "real life" he's this grumpy smart-aleck who's angry all the time. The swooniness and the magic all poofed away with Lieutenant Markov's passing. A moment of silence. Anyway. I'm complaining on a high level here and this might not even ring true for you because you probably really loved Paul. I'm just a sad widow because my book husband was taken from me. 

But I'm so happy that we got another cuddly version of Paul with the sweet Father Paul from the Rome!Verse who has to choose between letting himself love Marguerite or staying celibate. Be still my beating heart! I'll definitely go back to TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU and reread the Rome!Verse parts with him, he's such a gentle flower that must be protected and made up a bit for the chronic lack of calm romantic fluff in this series. 

The Firebird books are excellent and just like the predecessors A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU presents an interestesting journey through the universes. It would've wanted more action and a compelling narrative from this than it actually delivered - it very much feels like an unnecessary sequel with a very disappointing and too convenient ending. However, if you've read one, you gotta read them all. I'm sad to say goodbye.




Rating:

★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

A few words to mourn the ending of this series: Despite A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU's lack of my favorite thing about this series, my darling Russia!Verse including my favorite Paul, I loved visiting these different worlds.

I surely wouldn't mind returning to the world of Firebird with a prequel about Conley and Josie's romance from the Home Office!Verse. So if Claudia's up for that, I'll be back.

The rest of the series reviewed
A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU (1) | TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU (2)


Note: A thing that seriously worries and confuses me is that out of ALL the worlds and universes we visit, there isn't a single one where Marguerite/Paul/Theo are lgbt. There is only one universe where one of them is disabled - deaf, actually - though the time spent there is so short that you can barely call this representation. (Well then there's one where a character loses a leg but they don't appear on-screen after that so that doesn't count either.)

While there is an explanation for this lack of marginalizations/diversity in the books ~wishy washy we're meant to be together fate yada yada~, I think it wouldn't have been that hard to even just add -one- universe where they're lgbt. Out of all the decisions they have to make to lead to Marguerite and Paul's epic love 90% of the time, you can't try to tell me that there isn't a single universe where Paul ended up with Theo, or Marguerite decided she liked neither and is a lesbian or is bi and ended up with a girl. [Totally seeing her and Romola. Yes.] What do you guys think?



Additional Info

Published: November 1st 2016
Pages: 419
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA / Sci-Fi / Parallel Worlds
ISBN: 9780062279026

Synopsis:
"A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead."
(Source: Goodreads)


Have you read any books by Claudia Gray?

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

10 New-To-Me Authors Whose Books I Loved in 2016 feat. Melissa Landers, Sylvain Neuvel & more | Top Ten Tuesday




All of these people write fantastic books and contributed to making 2016 a *great* reading year for me. Looking forward to all their new releases.




Louise Gornall
She absolutely slayed me with her fantastic and beautiful debut UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES. A must-read for anyone who has an invisible illness.

Julia Ember
She forever won my heart through UNICORN TRACKS. The first fantasy novel set in an African setting that felt authentic to me and that I wholeheartedly loved. Also it features lesbians. She's got a couple more queer books coming in 2017 and I can't wait!

Meg Haston
I've absolutely loved PAPERWEIGHT. So much that I actually read it *twice* this year. Such a raw and beautiful and courageous story about a girl with an eating disorder. A must-read if you can handle dark contempories. I can't wait for her next release in 2017, counting the days!




Moïra Fowley-Doyle 
My god, this woman is an artist. Her writing is insanely beautiful. Her magical realism debut THE ACCIDENT SEASON really convinced me to keep reading her books because of her writing style. She's got something involving witches coming in 2017 and I've already put my spyglasses on, I'm waiting.

Melissa Landers
I really liked ALIENATED and will probably read STARFLIGHT soon. I'm a sucker for YA aliens, this was just a matter of time until we two cross paths. She totally snagged the YA alien throne from JLA for me. But psst. 

April Genevieve Tucholke
It's been months and I'm still not over the brilliance that is WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT. I love her writing style and ideas so much.



Zoraida Córdova
Y'all know how much I love LABYRINTH LOST, considering that I can't stop talking about it. I'm dying to get my hands on the sequels, we all need more bisexual Latina witches in our lives

Sarah Crossan
ONE and APPLE & RAIN both absolutely shattered me emotionally. I plan on reading a lot more books by her, she's just such an extradordinary feel for her characters. My new contemporary queen and a worthy addition to my list of favorite authors!

Sylvain Neuvel
SLEEPING GIANTS was the cause of the biggest reading slump I've had. I think, ever. This book absolutely killed me, I'm writing this from the afterlife. I need book two. Like, yesterday.




Claudia Gray
Of course we cannot forget the author of my favorite book series in the entire world. A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU was all I talked about mid-2016 and will probably forever be a favorite. I just love a good parellel universe novel.


Which authors slayed you with their brilliance in 2016?

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Recommendation: Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2) - Claudia Gray: Multiple Universes and Epic Romance





In TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU, Marguerite is forced to help their enemies from the Triad Corporation by sabotaging other dimensions' research if she wants her boyfriend Paul back, whose consciousness has been splintered and has to be retrieved in four different dimensions.


What intrigued me: The first novel in this series was phenomenal.



Less romance, more action

TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU takes a little different approach to the story than the previous novel. Instead of focusing on the romance, I'd rather call this one an action-like novel with a side of romance. The pace isn't necessarily picked up, but it feels like you're rushing through every mission with Marguerite. 

Mostly I got this feeling because to me the respective universes we travel through aren't explained or explored as much as I would have liked. The universes we visit are much more grounded in reality and I would have loved to visit a crazy universe like the Oceanverse from the first novel. However, each universe just feels like a quick rest stop instead of a complete world. There is so much potential in the wonderful worlds we get a glimpse of and it's really disappointing that Gray this time decided to swap world building for dialogue. 

Masterfully crafted and addicting

Aside from this, TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU was breathtaking. Gray paints such incredible characters that are so real it feels like you actually know them while you read it. Again, I was absolutely swept up in the romance and happy to return to the Russiaverse from the first novel, that absolutely broke my heart the first time. Gray isn't miserly with plot twists, throwing the reader from one intrigue to the next. It's impossible to see them all coming, and insanely impressive because most of these had to have been planned from the beginning. Hats off, the structure of the Firebird books is just impeccable.

TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU absolutely made me want to read the next book, ending on the biggest and most insane plot twist I've read about in a while. November can't come soon enough and I am absolutely, positively sure that I will recommend this incredibly addicting and mind-blowing series to a lot of my friends.


Rating:

★★★★

 




Overall: Do I Recommend?

Absolutely. If you like scientific concepts, conspiracy theories, and a romance that will break your heart, pick it up. TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU proves to be a worthy sequel to a stunning debut and surely sealed the deal on the Firebird series becoming one of my all-time favorites.



Additional Info

Published: November 3rd 2015
Pages: 424
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA / Sci-Fi / Parallel Worlds
ASIN: B00TE8LHXI

Synopsis:
"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. "(Source: Goodreads)



Have you read the Firebird books?

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Six 2016 Releases I'm Buying the SECOND they come out






I feel like I'm always waiting for a book to come out. I think we all are. 
Here are some of the books that I NEED I just NEED them right now and I will immediately buy them the minute they come out.



6. ALIGHT (Generations #2) - Scott Sigler: April 5th 2016
The world Sigler created is absolutely amazing. The first book, ALIVE, ends in the most inconvenient cliffhanger of all time, I need to know what happens next, oh my god!

5. SLEEPING GIANTS - Sylvain Neuvel: April 26th 2016
I feel like this has been on my wishlist for 37292 years. I just want to read it already.

4. MY BEST FRIEND'S EXORCISM - Grady Hendrix: May 17th 2016
This premise is absolute gold and I am confident Hendrix will yet again give me another trauma. Bring on the creepy stuff!



3. THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER - Jennifer L. Armentrout: May 17th 2016
I just can't say no to an Armentrout book. Always chasing that high I got from her Lux Series. This sounds promising. I want to read it.

2. YOU KNOW ME WELL - Nina LaCour & David Levithan: June 7th 2016
This has been on my blog 3216 times and it's not even released yet. I just really love David Levithan.

1. A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU (Firebird #3) - Claudia Gray: November 1st 2016
DONT GET ME STARTED ON THIS THE FIREBIRD SERIES IS ONE MY FAVORITE SERIES OF ALL TIME AND I AM FOREVER BITTER THAT I HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL I AM GOING TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT OH MY GOD


What are your most anticipated releases of 2016?

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