Reviews,  SJardine

All The Birds In The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders



A novel about the end of the world–and the beginning of our future

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.

But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca of San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s ever-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this book when I received it in the mail a few weeks ago, I really enjoyed the short story collection Charlie Jane Anders released lat year but the stories were all over the place style wise so I didn’t know what I was getting into with this one. I think I can honestly say that All The Birds In The Sky was one of the weirdest, yet most interesting books I’ve read in the last year or so. I made the  mistake of starting this book a couple hours before work on the assumption that I would just read a few chapters before I had to leave only to get lost in the story and end up over an hour late for work.

Even knowing I was already late for work it was surprisingly difficult to stop reading so that I could leave. I don’t know if I can properly convey exactly why I enjoyed this book so much, it was such an odd mix of science fiction and fantasy that I’ve been struggling with this review.  I know combining the two genres is becoming more common these days but I feel like usually when it happens the two genres mesh really well together. In All The Birds In The Sky it seemed like the science and magic were always in constant conflict. It made for a really interesting story and some odd moments when the viewpoint switched from one main character with their foot firmly on the side of science to one who’s influenced the most by the magic.

I wish I could do a better job describing just what made me love this book so much but I’m definitely struggling with that. So I will say that Charlie Jane Anders is a fantastic author and All The Birds In The Sky is well written and definitely worth reading, I would even say it was worth missing time at work to read. I think it really says something about the book that I was so absorbed in the story that I ended up being late for work when I’m never late for work. I’m thankful to Tor for introducing me to Charlie Jane Anders with her collection of short stories and I can’t wait to see what she writes about next!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.



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