Showing posts with label time travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label time travel. 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, August 23, 2016

[Review] A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) - Claudia Gray: Dimensional Travel and Parallel Universes





In A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU, Marguerite is determined to hunt down Paul Markov, the man that killed her physicist father and subsequently fled into a parallel universe.

What intrigued me: Time travel books are my krypronite. This is only dimensional travel, but well - close enough.

YES to parallel worlds

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU teases with a killer premise. Parallel worlds. Science. Physics. Sci-Fi. Action.
And the strange thing is, it actually delivers. The first page hooked me and I was absolutely invested in the story. The world building is impeccable, the parallel worlds Marguerite and side kick and other love interest Theo travel to are both fascinating and shockingly plausible. 

Yep, this one is one of the dreaded YA read with a love triangle - but hear me out: Gray actually manages to make this one quite endurable because Marguerite never really develops more than brotherly feelings for one of them. I'm not going to tell which one, it would spoil all the fun. The romance we get though, is breathtaking.

Emotional punch to the gut

It's a literal punch to the gut. I was so invested in the romantic storyline that would, and sometimes wouldn't happen, depending on which parallel universe they were in. Gosh. I suffered with Marguerite, I swooned with her, I cried with her.

Gray has this wonderfully easy to read, clean writing style, but whenever we have a romantic scene, she bang out sentences that just make you look up and reevaluate your life. Or start ugly crying. Seriously, if you want swoon and all the feels, this is your pick. For the love of god, I lost my heart in the Russian parallel world. If you've already recognized it, Saint Basil's Cathedral is pictured on the cover. A huge chunk of the novel is spent in Moscow in a wonderfully Romanov-era storyline that WILL murder your feelings. 

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU is really a spectacularly written, unpredictable book version of a box of chocolates. From high tech worlds, to regency worlds, to something inbetween, I promise you'll enjoy at least one of the fantastic worlds Claudia Gray has so incredibly carefully crafted. And hey, the time travel plot is also pretty neat. And the love interest.  Dear God, the love interest. Prepare to have your heart broken.

But one thing that I have to remark and that negates a lot of things I enjoyed about this book is that it features dubious consent/rape. And that is not addressed until book three. A character in this has sex with another character that is unable to consent. And this is not okay. And this is not okay if not addressed properly. I loved this book and consider this to be one of my favorites, but I must knock stars off this rating for this horrifying thing.


Rating:

★★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU is the parallel world novel that I've been waiting for. If you love a good romance with a side of fast-paced action, pick this gem up.

Trigger warning for dubious consent/rape.



Additional Info

Published: November 4th 2014
Pages: 360
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA / Sci-Fi / Parallel Worlds
ISBN: 9780062278968

Synopsis:
"Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected."(Source: Goodreads)

Do you know some good books about parallel worlds?

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

[Review] The Devil's Intern (The Devil's #1) - Donna Hosie: Time-traveling, Devils, and Witty Humor





In THE DEVIL'S INTERN, the devil's intern Mitchell steals a time travel device. Together with his friends, they decide to go back in time to undo their deaths.

What intrigued me: I can't pass up a story that combines the devil and time travel. Who could?

Yes for friendships!

I absolutely love semi-satirical stories about the afterlife. THE DEVIL'S INTERN starts off just like that, the first pages just fly by and I caught myself laughing so hard that I had to put the book down. You'll find a lot of funny jokes in this, but THE DEVIL'S INTERN is so much more than that. 

The story revolves around a group of friends, a 17th century peasant, a Viking, a snarky girl who died in the 60s, and Mitchell, the devil's intern who's up to no good. What I liked most about this is definitely the strong bond these four have. There is no third-wheeling, the characters' friendships feel genuine and I especially truly enjoyed every single scene with the viking Alfarin who just says the most unintentionally funny things. Essentially, this is a very sweet story about friendship. 

Paradoxes and time travel - my head hurts

A huge chunk of the novel is spent time travel and I'm not going to sugarcoat it - it's not easy to get a hang of all those paradoxes. It's undeniably well-done, but I had to reread some paragraphs to really understand what was happening. Time travel is hard to do well, but I think Hosie did a great job at making everything seem plausible and even catching me off guard with a couple of plot twists!

I really feel like the whole novel is pretty well-rounded, every scene is absolutely necessary for the plot, causing this to be very dense reading. It's definitely one of those books that I will reread eventually. 

THE DEVIL'S INTERN is a fast-paced, utterly hilarious and heartwarming novel that will make you long for the sequel. 

Rating:

★★★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

THE DEVIL'S INTERN is a charming urban fantasy story that will make you laugh and cry. Definitely recommending this, I need the sequel right now!



Additional Info

Published: August 1st 2015
Pages: 229
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: YA / Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9780823434527

Synopsis:
"How did you die?"

It's the most popular question in Hell, and Mitchell Johnson has been answering it ever since he was hit by a bus at age seventeen and inexplicably ended up in the Underworld. Now Mitchell is The Devil's intern in Hell's accounting office. Lately, he's noticed a disturbing trend: the volume of new arrivals is straining Hell's limited resources. Then Mitchell overhears his boss discussing plans to limit newcomers with a legendary time travel mechanism. With a device like that, Mitchell realizes, he could change history and prevent his own death. 

Mitchell's plot goes awry when his three closest friends—Alfarin, the Viking prince; Elinor, from 17th-century London; and Melissa, from 1960s San Francisco—insert themselves into his plans. It soon becomes clear that the fates of all four are entwined in dangerous and unpredictable ways."(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite read set in Hell?

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Monday, January 18, 2016

[Review] Landline - Rainbow Rowell


In LANDLINE, Georgie McCool gets a chance to fix her failing marriage by talking to her husband's past self through a magical telephone.
What intrigued me: I read both FANGIRL and CARRY ON by her. Plus, a magical realism(ish) premise always hooks me.

This isn't as upbeat and fun as I expected it to be


Actually it's a terribly sad and depressing read about a marriage that's falling into pieces. The premise absolutely tricked me. I expected a mind-blowing super cute time travel romance story, but it's more of a poorly executed unbelievable and annoying pseudo romance story. Rowell mainly uses flashbacks to establish character relations, which throws you off the current plot every single time. I couldn't even concentrate on the non-existent story.

Even as a novel about a crumbling marriage, this doesn't work. The husband Neal is basically absent the whole novel and by making him such an unusual character, Rowell perfectly manages to create the most unlikable person I have ever read about. His lack of appealing physical appearance isn't even the least of the problems, he's an emotionless, mean and equally as oblivious as Georgie kind of person. Neither of them act like mature grown-ups. I felt like I was reading about oblivious teenagers that can't manage to actually talk about their problems. I didn't enjoy any of this at all.

Very unlikable protagonist & A confusing storyline!

Georgie McCool is a TV comedy writer and stuck in a marriage that's just not working out, but she refuses to realize this. When it's Christmas time, she decides to stay at home and work and let her husband go off to their grandma's alone. Just thinking about the fact that she did this, you don't even need to read the novel to know that Georgie is an unlikable character. 

She is a 37-year-old woman, but has no sense of reality, maturity or in general self-awareness whatsoever. She's completely oblivious to her surroundings and it actually physically hurts to have to read about her mess up her marriage more with every page. In her world, everything is fine though.

I had a hard time concentrating on what was actually going on, because there are so many flashbacks and narrative passages that don't really bring the story forward. It's generally a poorly paced novel. The premise is supposed to be the magical telephone, but until page hundred, the telephone isn't even used. I might as well could have skipped the first fifty pages or so and would have still had the same reading experience. 


Rating:

Overall: Do I Recommend?

I wish I hadn't read this. This is definitely the last Rowell novel for me. If you haven't read anything by her before, don't start with this one.


Synopsis:
"Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts...

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?"
(Source: Goodreads)

Have you read any of Rainbow Rowell's other books?

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Monday, August 31, 2015

[ARC Review] The Next Together - Lauren James

In "The Next Together" by Lauren James teenagers Katherine and Matthew are reborn again throughout different centuries. They always find each other and they always end up falling in love.

When the Katherine of 2039 stumbles upon a news article from 2019 which shows an exact doppelgänger couple of her and her lab partner Matthew who even have their exact names, she starts investigating. 

Three Love Stories .... -ish.

The story sucks you in within the first two hundred pages.

The story begins from the point of view of 2039 Katherine and I was really hoping to at least have an anchor for the story. There is no real main love story and to me, the story in 2039 feels simply poorly executed. Even though it all comes together in the end, it doesn't feel like one big love story. It feels like reading about several different couples. 2039!Matthew and Katherine hardly talk, but from one second to the next end up in bed together. I didn't feel the epicness of their love story, everything felt too forced and too constructed. 

I don't like crossover novels, but for "The Next Together" the concept of a romance/historical/sci-fi story works. It feel like three separate love stories . However, I'd rather have read three stand-alone romance books than one big time travel-ish one. The novel really needs a pair of main characters, each reincarnation of the two feels like two entirely different people.

Exceptionally funny- but a little too much lingo

I feel like there is too much in-depth knowledge needed to understand what is actually going on. I'm not particularly a fan of history and I have never studied the Crimean War at school. When writing about topics like this in novels that aren't just about that, you definitely have to make sure that even the uneducated reader will understand. Or as one of my writing professors once said: "Always write for the idiot reader".

The same applies to the science talk. Whenever 2019 Katherine started talking about bacteria, I was pretty much clueless. So it's a deadly fertilizer? For bacteria? I still don't get it after at least a dozen repetitions.

Talk about lingo - I love that James decided to base the 2019 couple on tumblr humor, and I loved it even more that she decided to keep that sense of humor in Katherine's character throughout the time lines. Some dialogues are flat-out hilarious and I had to pause for a minute to catch my breath.

Rating:

★★★

 

Overall: Do I Recommend?

 I liked the overall idea and the concept and the writing is nice. It's always great to have a well-written time travel novel. It's most likely a book that I will reread in the future so I'll get all the little foreshadowing hints.

I'm definitely going to pick up the sequel when it comes out. 


Additional Info



Pages: 356
Publisher: Walker
Cover: Walker, 2015
Genre: YA / Sci-Fi / Time Travel
ISBN: 9781406358056

Synopsis:
"How many times can you lose the person you love? 

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. 

Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? 

Maybe the next together will be different...(Source: Goodreads)


Can you recommend nice time travel reads to me?

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

[Review] Hourglass (#1) - Myra McEntire

In HOURGLASS, Emerson Cole finds out that her ability to see "the dead" is linked to time travel. Together with Michael Weaver, a consultant posing to help her get over her issues with mental illness and hallucinations, she learns more about the secretive organization called Hourglass that specializes in training people with abilities like her.

Doctor Who Meets RUBY RED

The premise reminds me of a mixture between RUBY RED by Kerstin Gier and Doctor Who, and I love it. I absolutely love mind-confusing twists and alternate story lines that make your head hurt if you try to make sense of them. Time paradoxons and worm holes are not something you see in YA every day. I have so much respect for every author that attempts to tackle the topic of time travel because you can easily mess this up by being inconsistent.

Michael Weaver is obviously not only Emerson's consultant but also her love interest. They are drawn to each other from the minute they lay eyes on each other and the tension is pretty ... well, intense. 

It's Impossible to Dislike Emerson & Michael Together

For once I'd love to read a YA novel in which the main characters fall in love with each other because of their personalities, not because they find each other super attractive. Yes, there is some mumbo-jumbo explanation for the fact that they are two parts of a whole. Why is it always like that? Why can't the protagonist fall in love with a love interest for once that s/he isn't immediately drawn to because of their outer appearance?

However critical I may sound, I absolutely loved this novel and I could not put it down. It's somewhat of a guilty pleasure, there are so many things that I'd usually heavily criticize, but I just couldn't in this one. I love Emerson's character voice, the setting, the idea and the concept of time travel mixed with a very unique love story. I'm bickering about the romance a little, because it's very obvious that they are destined for each other and I'm a little tired of that.

Emerson and Michael spend so much time with each other that it's very hard to go through all those pages without even liking them a little as a couple. I felt like the romance was forced on me and I had no say in whether I want them to be together or not. In that respect, McEntire does a great job. If I actually think about it, I would rather have seen Emerson with somebody else. More screen time apparently equals more chemistry.


Rating:

★★★

 

Overall: Do I Recommend?

I'm very surprised that I loved this. I absolutely fell in love with the concept and I can't wait to read the sequels and I can't wait to learn more about the physics of time travel. It's a fast-paced dynamic story about love with a dash of time travel. Beware of the plot twists - you won't see them coming! I'm very glad I decided to read this.


Synopsis:
"One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should've happened?"

What's Your Favorite Novel About Time Travel?

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