All The Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders – Book Review


Rating: 3/5 stars

Goodreads Description:

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 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.

My Review:

When we are first introduced to Patricia Delfine she is seven years old.  She lives with her parents and older sister.  Her parents are somewhat cruel with their punishments, i.e. locking Patricia in her room and sliding meals under her door.  It is at this time of Patricia’s life that she discovers she can speak to animals.  She is drawn to the woods near her house and finds herself speaking to birds.  This is the first glimpse of her magical abilities.

Laurence Armstead is an only child who is fascinated with science and computers.  His parents are constantly trying to get him out of the house and enrolling him in extra-curricular activities  to get him out of the house in an attempt to keep him from becoming “socially dysfunctional”.

Patricia and Laurence’s paths cross in middle school and we follow their lives and relationship as they mature and their lives diverge.  There are many magical elements to this story.  Patricia’s life follows a magical path and Laurence’s life follows a scientific/science-fiction-esque path.  These two very different life choices will eventually cross paths causing an almost dystopian-like conflict.

I was enjoying the beginning of the book and was expecting it to be more magical and less science-fiction as it went along.  I found the conflict to be the story’s downfall for me.  The characters were somewhat likable but also confused and flawed which didn’t add to their likability.  They were not characters that I bonded with or felt an affinity for.  Their friendship is tested and weathers through lots of mishaps.  I would have liked more magic and less science-fiction.  That is just my personal taste and this book did not live up to that magical potential.


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