Review: All the Birds in the Sky- Charlie Jane Anders

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★★★☆☆| Three Stars

Childhood friends Patricia and Laurence 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.

  • Okay, so it starts by spending a lot of time on their childhood. They’re both in middle school for the first 100 or so pages and then it switches to their adult lives (early twenties).
  • I really like the premise of merging sci-fi and fantasy, but
    • They don’t really merge: it’s all magic for a chapter and then all sci-fi tech for a chapter.
    • And because of this you don’t really get into the nitty-gritty with either. There’s nothing particularly unique about the magic system, and it’s not really that fleshed out. And the none of the sci-fi elements felt new, or were particularly interesting.
    • There is some AI, which was cool but it wasn’t a huge part of the novel.
    • I’d love to see a book where magic and technology are more integrated, it’s just not this book.
  • The characters were underwhelming.
    • I didn’t feel like I could relate to what either character was feeling at any point.
    • I finished this book twenty minutes ago and I’ve already forgotten the names of the majority of minor characters.
  • I found myself wanting an antagonist more than once (It’s nature/ natural disasters, for the most part)

Hannah Reads (1)

What did you think of ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY? Have you read any other books that have both sci-fi and fantasy elements?

-Hannah

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