Tuesday, 17 January 2017

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders


With a third of this book behind me I was still unconvinced. The sentence structure was annoying and I couldn’t work out if that was intentionally infantile or just sloppy, there was much redundant and overly expository dialogue and the story seemed to be going along a well-worn and not very interesting path.

Then, it was like someone had set fire to the kindling, and it took off.

All the Birds in the Sky is about two people – Patricia, a witch and Laurence, a scientific genius – who grow up hectored by the same people in the same junior school. As they grow and develop their powers, they end up on different sides of the battle between magic and science. The magic side is hell bent on protecting the planet, while science seems only interested in preserving the human race.

As well as being spokespeople for their sides of the argument, Patricia and Laurence develop a continuously threatened relationship which adds considerable momentum to the story.

In the latter stages of the book, the stakes are raised exponentially, with each side willing to destroy either the human race or the planet to preserve the other.

The book also includes an intriguing and potentially valid explanation for constructing wormholes using the force of gravity.

Charlie Jane Anders had previously received praise for her novelette Six Months, Three Days.


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