May 11, 2020

Review--Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Ten thousand worlds. Ten thousand enemies. One love.

Marguerite Caine has done the impossible, traveling to alternate dimensions with the Firebird—the brilliant invention of her parents, her boyfriend, Paul, and their friend Theo. But she has also caught the attention of enemies willing to kidnap, blackmail, and even kill to use the Firebird for themselves.

When Paul’s soul is splintered into four pieces—pieces that are trapped within Pauls in other dimensions—Marguerite will do anything, and travel anywhere, to save him. But the price of his safe return is steep. If she doesn’t sabotage her parents in multiple universes, Paul will be lost forever.

Unwilling to sacrifice her family, Marguerite enlists the brilliant Theo to help. The two forge a plan to save Paul and the Firebird, but succeeding means outsmarting a genius and risking not only their lives but also the lives of their counterparts in every other dimension.

Their mission takes them to the most dangerous universes yet: a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each leap brings Marguerite closer to saving Paul—but her journey reveals dark truths that lead her to doubt the one constant she’s found between worlds: their love for each other.

I'm really trying to get myself to stop starting series and then not finishing them until years later! Lol. It's a curse! I read Claudia Gray's A Thousand Pieces of You as an ARC wayyyy back in 2014. So yeah, diving into Ten Thousand Skies Above You about 6 years later was rough! Luckily, I did find a recap online that was super helpful! I wish there were more than 2 bookish recaps sites! 

Anyway in this one we learn a lot has happened off page with the results of Marguerite's father being kidnapped and believed to be dead and the whole Wyatt Conley trying to control the time-traveling world and wanting Marguerite to come work for him. Lots of chaos and we get to know all of this through multiple flashbacks. I can't remember if this happened in the first book, all these flashbacks, but it was pretty tough sometimes. They almost seemed to blend right into the story and it took a bit of remembering that I was in a flashback, not current time. And then these flashbacks went on for quite a few pages and when I finally did come back to the here and now, I almost forgot what was happening there because that occasionally happened after I stopped reading for a day. So, it was definitely a challenge to get going with this one.

Marguerite learns that Conley has splintered Paul's soul into four pieces and unless she does what he tells her, she will never be able to put her Paul back together again, he'd remain splintered across multiple universes. Conley wants her to go to two different universes and destroy her parents' work on the Firebird technology that each one is working on. But if anything is done to aid Conley, Marguerite wants no part of it.

The other catch is, if she doesn't help him, not only will Paul's soul remain splintered, but Theo will remain damaged as well. He's been hooked onto a drug known as Nightthief, created by the Triad. Basically this happened when the Triadverse Theo took over Theo's body for such a long time and committed the crimes and basically made the "real" Theo's life quite difficult to get back to.

I forgot how confusing things could be when you're traveling to multiple universes where you and your friends and family exist and some things remain the same and other things are drastically different. And then there's always the "is this the REAL person or this universe's person?" So yeah, confusing.

I feel like the struggles I vaguely recall having with the first book remain prevalent with picking up the second book 6 years later. Lol. There was a great deal of physics talk and just wow. As an English major this pretty much baffled me. I was merely reading the words, but thankfully, they are done in a way that's not entirely confusing, but as I said, it can be overwhelming at times. Especially in the beginning...and when you start reading really early in the morning before work starts! Lol.

The pacing to this one was pretty average. There's a great deal of tension going on because you never really know who you can trust and if now is the right time to trust them. And then of course, Marguerite has a looming deadline with Conley to complete her "mission" and then she still needs to rescue Paul entirely and put him back together again. 

Then there are the personal complications that start to come about with this one. I was a bit miffed that once again Paul and Marguerite were separated for the length of the novel. All other Pauls she interacts with in the other universes don't count. There's great debates with Marguerite about whether this universe's Paul is like her Paul or something like that. But to me, they weren't her Paul. They might be like him in some ways, but they are not fundamentally her Paul, they are not the one she fell completely in love with. They may have some of the same qualities, but they are not him. So basically we had yet another book where the starcrossed lovers were separated. Again (and yes, I know they weren't really lovers at the start of first book. We were led to believe Paul was a murderer, but I digress.).

So the romance, was complicated to say the least. There were flashback moments of romance, so there was that. And then of course, we get that hint of a possible love triangle, but it wasn't really anything to worry about.

That ending though. Whoa! Things happened just before the explosiveness, things that would set the course for the final novel and I knew that one was going to be an intense read! But this last added bit that happened towards the end was shocking...and yet, it came to me to wonder why it never happened before to begin with! Lol.

There's a certain kind of magic to waiting to read a series until its completed (ignoring the fact that I am wayyy late to finishing this one!). I am glad that I don't have to wait for the conclusion to this one but omg why did I wait so long to read this?! Ten Thousand Skies Above You was a bit challenging for me, much like its predecessor, but it still has a nice flow to it that kept me hooked from the beginning and eager to see it to the shocking end! Can't wait for the series conclusion now!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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