Wednesday, January 6, 2016

look at her go: reviewin: reviewin: ten thousand skies above you

Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2)
By: Claudia Gray



synopsis: SPOILERS! 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.

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

full review under the cut! will contain spoilers for the first book in this trilogy!

I loOoOoooOOOOve this series, guys. I feel like it doesn't get enough love: but seriously, it's so smart and incredible that I want everyone to experience how amazing it is. I read the first book earlier this year and I was blown away by it, which put this second novel up on a pedestal, and it definitely did not disappoint me. There were so many twists and turns, but it was never difficult to keep up with, and at the end I physically threw the book across the room because that CLIFFHANGER is HORRID. Rather than taking a dip or feeling like a bridge from books one to three, I feel like this novel stands sturdily on its own, and I really did love every page of it.

At its core, this series is about something elemental in the core of us, the thing that leads us to the people that we are meant to have in our lives. In the first novel, our main character, Marguerite, develops a belief that there are some things that are constant, even across dimensions, and that people, and their alternate selves from these dimensions, are fundamentally the same. In this second novel, all of her beliefs on this subject are challenged to the point where she is forced to step back and change the way she thinks about herself, the people she loves, and the moral repercussions of jumping through dimensions. I really appreciated this, because as much as I loved the first novel, I knew that Marguerite's beliefs were too naive, and I loved how Gray delved into the complicated nature of the multiverse and what is right and wrong concerning it.

Where the first novel was very focused on Marguerite and her relationship with Paul, whom I love and will continue to love until the end of my days, this second installment shined the light on Theo, who was another potential love interest in the first book. However, this is not a love triangle, and it does not feel like one. Theo has feelings for Marguerite, but she is 100% committed to her relationship with Paul, and Theo is ever respectful of that, which is an amazing thing to be able to type. He tells her how he feels without applying pressure, and he is amazingly selfless when it comes to helping her retrieve Paul's soul from across the multiverse. I was glad that we got to see more of Theo, the real Theo, in this novel, because though he was present in the first book, it wasn't actually him, but rather a different version of him, taking over his body for prolonged periods of time. I feel really bad for Theo, and I love his character, but Marguerite and Paul are still my OTP of all time in this series.

In the first book, traveling between dimensions was something almost fun, lighthearted, and amazing to the characters. Marguerite went to some amazing places and got to experience different lives easily. In this novel, the traveling was a lot darker, and the places that they went were much more dangerous and frightening. Although we did get another look at the beloved Russiaverse from the first novel, even it was much changed in the light of this darker tone. That was a very powerful part of the book for me, when Marguerite goes back to a place that she had previously visited for the first time and discovers that, since she is the perfect traveler, her alternate selves can remember everything when she inhabits their bodies. She also sees the repercussions of her decisions, especially in relation to Lieutenant Markoff and the night she spent with him. I was really sad for some reason over the fate of the Grand Duchess Margarita and her secret baby, but I thought this was an extremely important thing for Marguerite to experience, to know that, as much as she tries to not disrupt the lives of her alternate selves, her actions have consequences.

As for the other universes that we visited in this novel: The Warverse, the Mafiaverse, the home office and, surprisingly, our own dimension, they were all very different, but I found them all equally interesting, and they all taught Marguerite something important about either herself or traveling with the firebirds. In the Warverse, she learns about what could've been with Theo, which leads her to question rather she is destined to be with Paul in *every* dimension. In the Mafiaverse, she learns that, just like Theo was a total dick in the Triadverse of the first novel, Paul can be the same. This leads her to finally fully forgive Theo for everything that has happened, even the things that she was holding onto that weren't his fault. I love the change in her attitude here: she goes from a belief that there is something fundamentally the same in everyone in every dimension, which condemns Theo, to recognizing that everyone is not interchangeable with all of their alternate selves, which redeems him and Mafiaverse Paul, as well as the Marguerite that exists in the home office-verse. The home office dimension was by far the most frightening. This taught Marguerite that sometimes you have to let go of people, like Josie or her Dad or Paul, because the pursuit of someone who is gone can sometimes drive people crazy, and then they do insane things like try to kill entire dimensions off. One of the fun, surprising things in this novel is that our own dimension, with iPhones and Costa Coffee and such, is not the one that Marguerite lives in, though she does get to visit it. This is the dimension that teaches her that, even though splintering is reversible, it leaves a permanent effect on the person who has been splintered. I felt so awful for Paul in the moment that he is whole again: he is flooded with memories of the actions of alternate Paul's, and takes it upon himself to think that he is only meant to hurt Marguerite. I can see this being a major conflict in the finale of this trilogy, and though I'm sure it will hurt me to read, I am also sure that it will be amazing in the end.

The real bombshell in this novel is the very end, when Triadverse Theo comes back into regular Theo's body, destroying it with Nightthief even further, then STABS Marguerite with the drug to allow the Marguerite from the home office to invade her body, even though she is the perfect traveler. Which is super confusing now that I read it back and also when I threw my book across the room. It is all lining up so perfectly: Theo was subjected to an evil traveler in the first book, Marguerite saw that Paul was capable of cruelty and evil in this second novel, and then she herself will be a villain for at least part of the third one. Wyatt Conley is also going to play a huge role in the antagonists in the next novel, as well as maybe Marguerite's own parents from the home office. I can only hope that Sophia, Henry, Josie and Paul can come together to save Theo and Marguerite and fend off the attacks from other dimensions. I absolutely cannot wait to see what goes down in the third novel, because HONESTLY its going to be SO EPIC.

I think there is something really deep and important about this series, the idea that maybe there is something inside oneself that is inherent, that makes us who we are. Or maybe the way we are is based solely on choices that we make throughout life, which means that we could be anyone, given the right circumstances. Its actually philosophical and mind-boggling when you actually think about it, and I love that sort of thing, especially when its folded into a beautifully written romance and a kickass plotline. I absolutely adore Marguerite and Paul, and I think there's a beautiful element to their complete understanding and acceptance of one another, but I think they have some development to do still before they can wholly belong to one another. I feel for Theo, but I honestly don't see him and Marguerite ending up together... I could be totally wrong, but these are just my predictions. My favorite plot twist in this novel is Josie being in love with Wyatt Conley in multiple universes?? I totally didn't see that coming, and I thought it was an incredible way to bring both Josie and Wyatt into an even more connected state with the rest of the characters.

If you've read these books, PLEASE let me know what you think of this second one vs the first, tell me your theories about book three, gush about Paul or Theo, anything! I'd love someone to chat about this series to!



  1. I wasn't really expecting the part that Josie had to play, she didn't seem like she was going to be that significant a character.

    That cliffhanger was BRUTAL! You could kind of tell something bad was coming, and then when that happened... oh my goodness next book is going to be intense!

    1. I wasn't expecting for Josie to come into the book that much either! I'm glad that she did though, because those parts were awesome :) I can't wait for the next one, I hope we both end up enjoying it!!


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