Happy belated book birthday to this finale of the Firebird Trilogy by Claudia Gray!
Okay I’ve been swooning over the cover since its reveal but honestly how am I supposed to get over it?
If you haven’t read any of this series, starting with A Thousand Pieces of You, now is the perfect perfect perfect time to binge it! The three books have got action, romance, and dimension hopping! Honestly if you love any genre this book will appeal to you and it is an EPIC tale that spans these three books. Plus the first two covers are just as beautiful as this one. Seriously this a series that is worth your time and attention! Aaaand if you’re someone who hasn’t read them it’s time to stop reading this! bye-bye!
Phew, now that they’re gone we can talk about this book! In case you forgot, we left off at the end of book two with evil Marguerite having taken own our beloved heroine. Will our Marguerite be able to get her out? What plans does evil Marguerite (hereby dubbed Wicked) have for this dimension? What about the Home Office’s plans to destroy all those other universes? Will Marguerite and Paul be able to reconcile the many flaws they’ve seen in each other through their travels? Will everyone even survive this? We’ve got a lot of loose ends to tie up here.
If you’ve already come this far in the series I would not advise turning back now. Despite some problems I had with this final installment, it is definitely worth finishing the series because of the beautiful worlds Marguerite yet again gets to see and because of the more hypothetical/ethical/endlessly conflicting questions it really begs of us. As a warning, this one is definitely more melodramatic than the previous two and the dimensions are less fleshed-out than in the past as Marguerite hops frequently in a frantic effort to catch Wicked. If you read the other two for the world-building, you may end up disappointed. Also if you’re reading for the love triangle you will definitely be disappointed, as it’s barely even a question in this book. The basics are that this one, to me, felt rushed and also didn’t play off of what had been set up by the previous two books. If you read it, more details to come.
If you didn’t, now’s your time to hop out.
Serious spoilers coming up!
Let’s start with what I liked:
The cliffhanger at the end of book 2 and the beginning of this book both really play up this suspense. I love the way we get Marguerite in a life or death situation and then look back to what happened immediately after book two is as ingenious as it is frustrating.
The worlds in this book and the imagination it takes to create them will never cease to amaze me. Even without the detail and backstory that the previous books got, the idea of dimension hopping and the believability of each world that exists is beautiful to me.
The characters have obviously been given so much thought! To create so many versions of the same character that are different even with their essential similarities, you have to have really thought about your character and every potential flaw, how their insecurities might effect them in a million (HA) different situations.
Throughout this whole series I’ve loved the action. I like how it’s kept realistic — Londonverse Marguerite had to die because there’s no way any Marguerite would have been able to hold on to that cable. If she had miraculously pulled herself up or held on I would have had to question so many things because that’s just not her. And yet when the Home Office workers raid the rebels, that moment is also completely believable because people do what they need to do when the time comes. It’s so rare that this stuff is messed up in this series which is super refreshing.
The stuff about splintering was so cool! I did not see that coming, and it is so cool to think of the whole process of putting a person back together that way. Also insanely creepy to think of what Home Office’s Josie could have been.
All in all the series is just really fleshed out and I love Marguerite’s point of view like 95% of the time. She really does give a new angle to almost everything she sees which is so cool (but not as cool when other characters in the book point it out. sorry.)
What I didn’t like:
Honestly where was Theo? The Berkeleyverses Theo has been a main character throughout this whole series, no matter if the Triadverse one had him taken over for most of the first book. He is, for two books, Marguerite’s closest friend and confidant and suddenly he’s barely even in this book! I’m a sucker for Theo no matter what but I swear even if I weren’t this would be so strange and off-putting to me. She’s done everything with him and he has been so ready to always follow her through dimensions! It’s unbelievable to me that he wouldn’t want to go on this HUGE trip that changes EVERYTHING. Also he gets totally jipped because he still comes in when she needs him the most! Yeah yeah it was Paul in the Romeverse okay fine but when she’s confronted with Wicked Theo shows up to save the day!……….. and promptly disappears again. whatever.
Also okay is this a love triangle or not? ATPoY set us up to believe that Marguerite and Paul were a statistic, a fact of fate that nothing could alter even though Theo also loves her in most every universe, every time. TTSAY goes to bat to prove that Theo is ALSO a probability, arguably just as likely as Marguerite/Paul, 50/50, totally up to her. While she tries to get Paul back and sees all this bad in him that she didn’t see before, we see Marguerite get closer and closer to Theo. She effectively starts to wonder what’s best for her and if she could actually love Theo if she could only forget about the Triadverse imposter who took over his body for long. We are set up for Marguerite to be making a choice in this book, because she doesn’t seem to know if she can even love Paul after seeing him in the Mafiaverse. But when AMWwY starts, her mind is made up. Marguerite is all about Paul this whole book, so much so that I think it distracts from the story. SO not only is that facet taken away completely unexpectedly, but also…
Marguerite starts whining and being so dramatic in this book. She’s all about Paul all the time, even when she thinks about saving the multiverse it’s about him and her future with him (or lack thereof). All the stuff about believing in himself and her sappy talk/thoughts about how the other Pauls do or don’t believe, how they’re related to the Paul she used to have…. got in the way. IMO.
Too many worlds! I get that we’ve been to some of them and understand them, but I loved that we got to stay in some of the worlds for kind of a long time in the other two books. It helped to get to know those versions of the characters and it was just really nice to jump and relax for a while, jump and relax. This one didn’t have that and it also ruined the depth of each dimension, not to mention the fact that it felt like it was a ploy to make the plot feel like it was moving. Since we really stayed in the same place most of the book. *cough cough*
More than in the other two, the characters are very introspective in this one, to the point that it’s unnatural. There are a lot of statements that just took me out of the action, like when Paul is forced not to kill Romola because she’s pointing the gun at Marguerite and she actually thinks “Would he have done it? We’ll never know for sure.” Those two sentences grated on me the rest of the book. I’m still mad about them, honestly. *shudders* AND the Home Office’s Henry/Sophia are so understanding when Marguerite destroys their reforming Josie in the case! They’re literally like “we get why you did that. It makes sense” but these people are supposed to be DERANGED. Heads messed up. They should react so much more differently! *deep breath* it’s okay. It’s. okay.
So obviously I have my issues with this as a closer to this series. Even the ending seemed anticlimactic and even sudden since the rest of the book really felt like it hadn’t moved that much. Triadverse Theo was the unsung hero and honestly the main event of the book. Soviet Russia was cute! The clone thing was awesome, but an obvious plot necessity once you see how she uses it. Bottom line I loved this series as a whole and it will still forever have my heart because the first two are SO GOOD. This one just fell so short of the others that I’m finding it hard to gush to my friends about this book that I had waited so long for. That’s so weird for me. This never happens, and I am sad in a few ways but mostly that I’ll never hear from Theo or Marguerite or Paul or the Doctors ever again.
It’s so hard to say goodbye!!!! *rereads the series*