Fate and Ethics in “A Thousand Pieces of You”

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray was a fast-paced book perfect for lovers of both sci-fi and historical fiction, which means it was perfect for me. While it maintains an air of general predictability throughout, there is enough originality and creativity in the setting(s) that I would definitely recommend it.

Claudia Gray is an excellent writer. She makes it so easy to just fall into her stories and to stay there until the very last word. I really enjoyed this book. And while I don’t think it is her best work, or most creative, it is well done, and very very fun.

The premise is this: Marguerite Caine is the daughter of two brilliant scientists who have discovered not only the existence of other dimensions, but also the technology needed to visit these alternate universes. When Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the suspected murderer flees into another dimension, she follows suit in order to find and kill him.

The downfall of this book really is its predictability. By the first chapter I had the general plot pretty much figured out. It did throw in a few fun surprises at the end but nothing too game-changing.

Despite all that, I am planning to read the two sequels in the coming weeks. The characters were appealing, and the science-y adventures were too much fun. I’m still amazed that I just read a book that contained cool futuristic technology and a beautiful historical romance.

The romance was definitely one of the highlights of this book. I am a sucker for a good romance line, and this was a good one.

Gray also brought up some excellent ethical questions about the main character’s actions in other dimensions, and the morality of taking advantage of experiences that should have been taken by someone else.

This book also contains themes of fate and destiny, and whether a person is made up of experiences. Whether a soul can be significantly changed by experiences or if they will be the same person regardless of any changes made to their previous experiences.

It is these kinds of themes and ethical questions that makes this book stand out from other YA fiction. They add depth to the story and help readers learn to think about the story on a deeper level.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it. (4/5)

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“Silent” a Historical Thriller

Silent by David Mellon is a suspenseful story of a young woman, Adi, who unknowingly offends a certain man, a man who kidnaps her twin brothers in an act of vengance, leaving her only a watch and two riddles to direct her to where her brothers are. In a race against time, Adi struggles to solve the riddles before her time is up and her brothers lost forever. Set in 1914, Silent takes place in the time leading up to, and during World War I.

A story, or plot, driven book, Silent did a great job of keeping me invested, not only in the mystery, but also in the characters. I found them all interesting and believable.

The villain, always a determining factor in such books, was creepy, sometimes otherworldly, and coldly calculating. But he also very human in surprising ways. He made me curious, and drew pity, even sympathy, from me at times.

While this is a YA novel, I would really recommend this compelling novel to anyone middle grade or older. Personally, this book held me captive from beginning to end. While there were a few lulls near the middle of the book the initial premise and promise of the novel pulled me through and I found it well worth the time and effort of seeing it through to the end. 4.5/5.

 

Revenge and Choice in “A Creature of Moonlight”

Rebecca Hahn’s A Creature of Moonlight is a beautifully written tale of a young girl finding and making her home and her destiny. In a world where everything is chosen for young women, many have been drawn to the magical forests in an attempt to escape their seemingly inevitable destinies. Once these young women enter the forest, they are never seen or heard from again.

This is the case for all except one. Marni’s mother came back from the forest, pregnant, but otherwise unharmed. But when her brother discovers her pregnancy, he tracks her down and her young child. He kills her, and threatens to kill Marni too, but she is saved by her Grandfather, the king, who trades his kingdom for her life.

After growing up near the forests, Marni is being pulled between two worlds: that of the magical forest where her father, a dragon, lives, and that of the kingdom to which she is the sole heir.

Hahn does an excellent job of telling this original fairytale through a feminist lens, focusing on a woman’s right to choose her own destiny, and the importance of that choice.

(Warning! Some minor spoilers lie ahead). Continue reading “Revenge and Choice in “A Creature of Moonlight””