This is an interesting case. Originally, I had this rated a solid four stars. But as I began writing my review and reading other reviews, mine has dropped to three stars. I admit it, I admit it, this book was purely a cover buy. But I mean, look at this cover! The colors are just gorgeous and the reflections are so cool. And surprisingly, my favorite part of the book was the science, not the romance (what?! Sydney not loving the romance?!)
“Every form of art is another way of seeing the world. Another perspective, another window. And science –that’s the most spectacular window of all. You can see the entire universe from there.”
Marguerite’s mother and father have been working for years on a dimension traveling machine. Finally, they have achieved their goal, but right when everything seems to be going right, it suddenly goes horribly wrong when her dad is murdered and their research destroyed, and one of their research assistants, Paul, has mysteriously disappeared after being accused of the murder. She, and their other research assistant, Theo, jump into the multiverses and begin to chase Paul through the multiverses and bring him to justice. But, as Marguerite learns the truth about her father’s death, she also grows closer with Paul. And yes, romance ensues.
So the characters. The iffy part of the story. One of the things I admired about Marguerite is how she broke the typical YA trope of being a calm, cool, and collected heroine right off the bat. Because let’s be real, if my life suddenly became a dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy/anything needing a capable heroine, I would not be fit. She seemed more relatable because she was not smart and sure of herself and capable from the beginning. But, this is something she should grow out of. Gradually, learning more and more, she should be clever enough to become more capable. But she didn’t. She stayed a damsel in distress for a majority of the story, which is just ugh. She also had a remarkable lack of immediacy during the book. Like hello, you’re chasing your father’s killer though multiple different universes, but sure, let’s just stay in one for three weeks and fall in love. And you know how I am for love. Love all the way! But even I thought it was an unnecessary amount of time spent on love and not enough time on finding her father’s murderer.
Then we come to Paul. Ugh. Maybe this is unpopular, but I did not like Paul. I do not like the shy, broody, quiet boy. I’m sorry, but that makes a boring character. And that’s all Paul was. Unfortunately, he was Marguerite’s unrequited, long time love, so he just kept popping up and just wouldn’t become irrelevant.
“I fell in love with his unchanging soul.”
Theo was my fave. Yes, I admit it, I have a soft spot for the cocky, playful, protective guy. They’re fun! They’re more complicated! They have more layers! But they are also cliche, especially when paired with Paul’s character. Especially when they are the two love interests in a love triangle. Yes, you heard me right. Love. Triangle. The type where you pick sides (I’m Team Theo. Sorry not sorry). It’s made slightly interesting because their alternate multiverse selves have been causing trouble in the present multiverse love triangle, and it kind of becomes a love square (?) with one character’s chances being ruined by their alternate self. But at its core, it’s a stereotypical love triangle.
But really, I could deal with all that. I’m fine with cliche. There’s a reason they are cliches. But I could’t connect to the characters. And that’s something I need, a must in my books. But the characters kind of fell flat to me, with little chemistry between the characters, and little motives explained.
“Mathematical parallels. It’s plausible to hypothesize that these patterns will be reflected in events and people in each dimension. That people who have met in one quantum reality will be likely to meet in another. Certain things that happen will happen over and over, in different ways, but more often than you could explain by chance alone.”
After reading all that, you’re probably like “Sydney, how did this book even get three stars?” That, my friend, is because of the multiverses. It’s such a unique concept, and really set up a nice story. Basically, the theory behind it is that there are infinite multiverses, and a new one is created every time a decision is made. If one day you chose to wear a red shirt, a different multiverse is created where you wore a blue shirt. But there are also multiverses that are drastically different from your current one. If you decide to move to a different country, or go into a different profession, a very different multiverse will be created where the opposite decision was made. So what Marguerite’s family invented was a device, called the Firebird, which allows you to inhabit an alternate multiverse version of yourself. Throughout the book, different multiverses were explored, with slightly different versions of our characters, which I really thought was so unique and interesting. My favorite is probably the Russiaverse, where the most time is also spent, but it also breaks my heart, for more reasons than one.
I also love Marguerite’s family. They all seem so close in a really good way, which as we know is rare in YA books. The parents weren’t absent characters, and Marguerite seemed friendly with her sister. Of course, they did just experience a tragedy, which can bring a family closer, but even her flashbacks and memories seemed to portray a wacky, close, and creative family.
So this book lands at three stars. It had the potential to be great, but the characters were lacking. The plot and concept, however, will convince me to finish the series, maybe only because I’m not big on DNF.
What did you think of this book? Team Theo, Team Paul, or Team Nobody?