Marguerite is mourning the sudden, violent death of her father, a famed physicist who, along with her mother and a couple of graduate students, has perfected a device that allows individuals to travel to alternate life dimensions. In a desperate attempt to track down Paul, the grad student accused of killing her father, Marguerite and the remaining student, Theo, grab the Firebird devices that allow them to go to other dimensions, and take off after him, determined to bring him to justice. Of course things do not go as planned, and it doesn't take long for Marguerite to begin to question Paul's guilt and her own convictions as she first slips into a futuristic world, then into a Russian world that hasn't advanced much past the turn of the last century, and finally into an oceanographer's dimension. In all of these worlds, she is Marguerite, but a slightly different version of herself; she occupies the bodies of the other Marguerites while trying to discover whether Paul has actually betrayed her father.
Confused? Well, yeah, it is confusing, but it's also not all that hard to follow, either. While my description doesn't really do the complexity justice, I found that as I read, I really did know what was going on and did understand what Marguerite was trying to accomplish (even when she wasn't precisely sure herself). There is some technical language that really doesn't make all that much sense as far as alternate dimensions go (though really, it's a novel, so it could be done however the author decides). What bothered me was the slipping into the alternate bodies and consciousnesses of the "other" Marguerites...where did they go while OUR Marguerite occupied their bodies? I never really got a satisfactory explanation, but again, if you don't think about it too much, it works.
Marguerite's a bit hard to get to know, and her immaturity (even with two graduate students seriously interested in her seventeen-year-old self) often made me want to scream. I understood her need to avenge her father, but she's often reactive rather than proactive once she arrives in another dimension. I'm not sure I buy the relationship she forms with one of the graduate students; there just didn't seem to be much chemistry between them. But Marguerite is brave and determined, and she uncovers layers of the mystery with every dimensional jump until the final big twisty reveal (which I actually figured out ahead of time...woot! for me).
Despite my misgivings about Marguerite, I did love the storyline and Ms. Gray is a very good writer who holds the reader's attention quite well throughout. The idea of alternate dimensions is fascinating, and while I might prefer the take of Anna Jarzab's Tandem (Many-Worlds) this is indeed a good entry that keeps you entangled in the story. I'm ready for Book Two.