All the Birds in the Sky

All the Birds in the Sky

Book - 2016
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"When Patricia Delfine was six years old, a wounded bird led her deep into the forest to the Parliament of Birds, where she met the Great Tree and was asked a question that would determine the course of her life. When Laurence Armstead was in grade school, he cobbled together a wristwatch-sized device that could send its wearer two seconds into the future. When Patricia and Laurence first met in high school, they didn't understand one another at all. But as time went on, they kept bumping into one another's lives. Now they're both grown up, 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 every-growing ailments. Neither Laurence nor Patricia can keep pace with the speed at which things fall apart. But something bigger than either of them, something begun deep in their childhoods, is determined to bring them together. And will"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, TOR,, 2016
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780765379948
Branch Call Number: FAN AND
Characteristics: 316 pages ; 25 cm


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Aug 07, 2018

This is one of the best books I have ever read. It is, basically, about the relationship between science and magic as exemplified in the relationship between Laurence and Patricia. As you might imagine, they are sometimes friends and sometimes enemies. There is humor in this book (for instance, ice cream as a reward for assasins?). The book also contains some philosophy, including some things that, even with my M. A. in philosophy, I am not sure where to go with it (for instance, "Life is often a choice between freedom on someone else's terms and slavery on your own terms" (or something like that)). One last thing: although I consider this a science fiction/fantasy book, you will find it in the general fiction section.

Jul 25, 2018

A modern era sci-fi book that is a lighthearted at times take on some not so lighthearted topics with a focus on the relationships of characters vs. attention to technological details and world building. If you could put the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", "Lemony Snicket", and "Harry Potter" in a blender with a few dashes of romance and ecological disaster you might have something close to how this book reads.

The book at first reads like a young adult novel, then changes over to a progressively more "20's" something novel in terms of style, but I never found that an issue as it tracks with the character's ages.

Perfect summer time sci-fi reading that is a fun romp, but not thoughtless or without heart.

Mar 02, 2018

The beginning of this book feels like something straight from Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. The middle and end change in tone and writing style almost completely. While there are some incredibly good lines and scenes and even characters in this novel, it felt like a first draft that needed a rewrite in order to make things flow better. Overall I enjoyed it, but some better editing would have helped me fall in love with it.

Nov 25, 2017

I loved this book. It is going on my short list of favorite reads this year. Refreshing, quirky and satisfying. It is the first book in a long-time that I wanted to start reading again when I reached the end.

Aug 19, 2017

An interesting concept that shows a lot of promise in its early chapters, but ultimately fails to materialize into anything substantial. This novel suffers from what I call "cutesy" style that, as someone mentioned previously, veers toward YA ground fairly rapidly.

As with a lot of stuff like this, feels like it was written specifically to get optioned and turned into a movie...which would allow some of the lackluster writing to be smoothed over with glitzy visuals.

There are some interesting ideas here, but nothing that felt important or innovative enough to go out of you way to read it. Nice cover design, though.

SCL_Justin Jul 22, 2017

Charlie Jane Anders' debut novel, All the Birds in the Sky is great. The main characters start off as a couple of weird kids, one who talks to birds and another who builds a two-second time machine, and the story is about how they, well, interact is a clinical word, but it's an appropriate one. Each of them embodies a different way of looking at the world off-kilterly, one through nature-magic and the other through mad-science.

It's really good, but don't expect it to feel realistic. For the first third of the book I was unsure why this wasn't marketed as a more science-fictional Eleanor & Park. As kids there's an assassin sent to deal with them but he's not allowed to directly kill minors so he becomes their guidance counsellor and becomes really well-liked in that role. Then there's a time jump to adulthood and the fate of the world starts to become an issue (and it loses some of that YA romance feeling). Later in the book it feels much more like The Magicians, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Makers or Seveneves.

One issue might be its optimism in the face of the end of the world, like there's going to be an escape valve that we'll actually all be okay. I think it walked the line well, but your mileage may vary.

Jun 19, 2017

I enjoyed this book thoroughly. It was imaginative and exciting to read. I usually get bored half way through a book but this one definitely held my interest all the way through. If you're looking for a book that's "different" than this is one you should try out. I may even read for a second time at a later date.

KateHillier May 11, 2017

One of the more imaginative books I've read. It covers different points in time and different world situations but you stay with Patricia and Laurence throughout the book. Patricia, when we meet her, can talk to birds. Laurence has invented a two second time machine and is fresh off running away from home to watch a rocket launch. Patricia ends up being quite magically inclined while Laurence's magic is his skill in the sciences. Both of their family lives are not overly healthy and that has its own effects on the pair of them.

JCLGreggW Mar 22, 2017

As enjoyable as it is difficult to classify, this novel is full of big ideas, wittily and slyly presented. Childhood friends Patrician and Laurence travel different paths - one towards technology and one towards magic - but stay connected, and either might be responsible for destroying the world or saving it. Completely fresh and unique.

JCLDianeH Mar 22, 2017

I can absolutely see humans reacting to global crises as the charatcters do in this book. Kind of scary.

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Nov 25, 2017

When the whole world turns chaotic, we must be the better part of chaos. (Ernesto)

Jul 22, 2017

That's the definition of evil right there : not faking it like everybody else.

May 15, 2016

"I think that the most basic thing of ethics is being aware of how your actions affect others, and having an awareness of what they want and how they feel."

May 15, 2016

"I mean, the longer I live, the more I feel like the stuff I see and feel is like a tracing of the outline of the real stuff that's beyond our perceptions."


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mvkramer Jun 12, 2016

Sexual Content: A cheerful sex scene between two characters.

mvkramer Jun 12, 2016

Violence: Magic vs. technology battles in which people are killed.

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