A Million Worlds With You – Claudia Gray

I always drag my feet when getting started with reading this series, and when I do, it never ceases to amaze me. Claudia Gray is incredible at painting this incredibly bleak multiverse. It always seems like there’s only one possible resolution that will lead to endless destruction, and then she flips things around and comes up with something better. She must be a masterful negotiator, because she always creates a brilliant solution for everybody.

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.

In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.

Review

I always drag my feet when getting started with reading this series, and when I do, it never ceases to amaze me. Claudia Gray is incredible at painting this incredibly bleak multiverse. It always seems like there’s only one possible resolution that will lead to endless destruction, and then she flips things around and comes up with something better. She must be a masterful negotiator, because she always creates a brilliant solution for everybody.

It’s really fascinating to think about other versions of ourselves and who we would become if we made slightly different choices. This book explores that notion of fate and self-determinism (although I think the other books in the series did so to a greater extent). Moreover, this book specifically elves into utilitarian vs. Kantian ethics, and the faults in both. It posits a hypothetical where the means really can’t justify the ends (which is fascinating, because Marguerite was willing to do it for four pieces of Paul, while thousands of pieces of Josie seemed unfathomably cruel). But it also blows the scale up tremendously for any possible action. Consequentialism cannot be an effective measure when you’ve got infinite lives at stake in any case.

There were some logical inconsistencies that made this story a little harder to suspend my disbelief for. For example, how can Valentina exist in one universe, but not anywhere else? Shouldn’t she be the same age everywhere, in order for her to participate in interdimensional travel as well? And would that mean the Russiaverse Marguerite would be compelled to name her daughter Valentina as well?
Likewise, does that mean in all these universes she visited, Sophia and Henry conceived Marguerite at the exact same point in time? And everyone else was also conceived at the same time? Holding onto the same fundamental assumptions as the book, you could argue that people only have access to the universes that run parallel to allow for your conception at a specific point. But that line of questioning can become absolutely convoluted and hard to follow.

At any rate, I am extremely pleased by the conclusion of this story. We got to explore a lot of new worlds, revisit the old ones fondly, and reach a resolution that benefitted as many people as possible. We gained a sense of peace, even with the worst versions of each of these people: Theo from Triadverse and Wicked both reached a point of absolution, I think. And our dear protagonists from the Berkeleyverse? They have such a bright future ahead.

Related Reading

  • A Thousand Pieces of You – Claudia Gray
  • Every Day – David Levithan
  • Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined – Danielle Younge-Ullman
  • The Careful Undressing of Love – Corey Ann Haydu
  • Morning Star – Pierce Brown

Rating: 5/5

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