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When We Have Wings

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  280 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
The dream of being able to fly is now physical reality but only the rich and powerful can afford the surgery, drugs, and gene manipulation to become fliers. Peri, a poor girl from the regions, will sacrifice anything to get her wings and join this elite but the price is higher than she could have imagined. So why then does she throw it all away?
Paperback, 460 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Allen & Unwin (first published June 27th 2011)
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Jan 15, 2012 Ann-Marie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Ann-Marie by: Elizabeth
I do hope she writes a sequel! Claire Corbett has created a world I hope to read more about. I put this novel in my SF-Fantasy shelf even though its much much more than that and I definitely dont want to scare anyone from reading it. The story is set in a future were man has learnt to manipulate nature and shape himself into fliers among a lot of other developments.

In the society, the city, there is an increasing tension between fliers and non-fliers because the fliers see themselves as a super
Sean the Bookonaut
When We have Wings is Claire Corbett’s debut novel, though from page one the reader is in no doubt that Corbett is a practised and skilled writer.

It’s rare as a reviewer that I get surprised by a work, when you read a lot of quality fiction your expectations are high. When We have Wings enchanted me as I was reading it and had me deep in thought when I wasn’t.

The Tale

When We have Wings is set in a near future Australia[1] where sea levels have risen and our tampering with genetics has altered
Annabel Smith
Feb 28, 2012 Annabel Smith rated it liked it
Shelves: australian
When We Have Wings explores issues of money and class against the backdrop of a future society in which through surgery, drugs and gene manipulation, flight has become possible, but only for the rich.

Peri, a poor girl with a shadowy past, earns her wings when she becomes a nanny to the Chessyres, a rich and powerful flier family. But when her only friend dies under mysterious circumstances, Peri flees the world she worked so hard to become part of, taking baby Hugo with her.

The world of flight,
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Jun 15, 2011 Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum rated it really liked it
This debut novel by Australian author Claire Corbett is a fantasy set in a future where humans can fly thanks to surgery, gene manipulation and an ongoing drug regime. But such a process is extremely expensive and therefore only available to the rich, thus dividing society into fliers and non-fliers.

From the first page of When We Have Wings I was immediately dropped into the action of story - where people can fly - without any character or story background at all. At first this was a shock and I
Catherine McCallum
Jul 23, 2013 Catherine McCallum rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I bought When We Have Wings just after it was published, after reading a review in (I think) The Australian, so it's been a couple of years since I read it. Since then I've been disappointed the book hasn't gained the wide readership overseas it deserves. The ridiculous price of the ebook set at the time by the publishers may have put some off buying it. I've just checked and it's now a reasonable price, so maybe it will gain more readers. Better late than never.

I'm not a prolific reviewer but
3,5 estrelas

Quanto ao enredo em si, não é que não me tenha cativado a história principal, mas por vezes parecia que o livro tinha sido escrito por duas autoras diferentes. Ora apresentava-se absorvente, captando o meu total interesse, ora revelava-se carregado da chamada "palha" que aqui na minha opinião apresenta-se em algum excesso. Como por exemplo, são apresentadas personagens e enredos secundários que pouco ou nada contribuíram para o enredo principal, tornado o livro por vezes secante.

Elphaba J
Jul 15, 2013 Elphaba J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No momento actual em que tanto se especula sobre as alterações genéticas e todos os dilemas éticos associados que, indiscutivelmente, dizem respeito a todos nós, Claire Corbett alia uma das grandes fantasias do homem a uma sociedade futurista tão admirável quanto repudiante em O Império das Asas, uma história onde o surreal ganha vida de forma criativa, através de um enredo com uma pitada de suspense e um cariz tão emocional quanto científico.

Peri, uma entre ninguéns, sonhou ter asas e voar o qu
Angela Meyer
Sep 24, 2013 Angela Meyer rated it really liked it
*re-posted from my blog:

The main theme, and dilemma, for the two main characters in When We Have Wings is an old one: how do we deal with technological progress, the divides it can create (between classes, between generations), and the power it may provide to a privileged few? More specifically, how does someone raising a child in a rapidly changing environment make decisions about their future?

But the main reasons you should read this novel are:

1. people can fly
2. o
Karen Brooks
Jun 28, 2011 Karen Brooks rated it it was amazing
This would have to be one of the most original and thought-provoking books I've read in a long time. Exquisitely written and populated by characters about whom you care, the novel is a wonderful melange of genres. Encompassing science-fiction, crime and fantasy it is also a considered tale that deals with fascinating and all too real philosophical issues including the timeless one of just what it means to be human. Adding a delicate frisson to this is the role of science and surgery and just how ...more
Sep 16, 2011 Thoraiya rated it it was amazing
Wow. Part Mieville-like mystery, part Kress-like genetically modified future. Methinks we'll be seeing this book on some shortlists come Awards Season :)

Now. Time for honesty. Before I quit work, I was on my way to becoming a specialist Avian veterinarian. I expected to find holes in this.

Nope. No holes. Excellent research. I mean, there's a teensy bit of handwavey with the absence of a steering mechanism and the convenient super-strong flight muscles that don't require alteration of the existin
Sep 02, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing
When We Have Wings is an wonderfully ambitious debut set in a truelly unique world. In this world Mankind has made the ability to fly with wings by humans a reality. That reality though is expensive with only the rich able to afford the operation to have wings attached. The story centres on young flier nanny Perri who has alegedly taken the child of rich couple Peter and Avis Chesshyre. the Chesshyres Hire investigator Zeke to try to find Perri and Hugo.

Early on their is suspicion about how Perr
Apr 13, 2012 Bookchick rated it it was amazing
When We Have Wings is an ambitious debut novel set in a world where the dream of human flight has become a reality, thanks to science, genetic manipulation and money, lots of money. The world is divided into fliers and non-fliers and this ever-widening gap continues to grow as the fliers seek to set themselves apart in every respect, from those without wings.
Peri is a young girl who has escaped a deprived upbringing and has come to the city determined to raise herself above her past, literally,
este livro foi uma desilusão.. Pela sua sinopse pensei que seria mais entusiasmante. Um mundo onde os humanos faziam operações para ter asas e realmente voavam. Uma rapariga disposta a fazer tudo para ter essas asas..
Mas metade do livro foi uma seca, sem nada que entusiasmasse, só nas últimas 200 paginas (para aí) é que se começou a desvendar alguns segredos e aí tornou-se um bocado mais interessante..
E o final foi sem graça.
Richard D.
May 03, 2017 Richard D. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
When We Have Wings is simply the best novel I have read in many years. Beauty is everywhere in the Wings world: a sophisticated, satisfying beauty, free from vulgar displays. Social commentary sweeps across a good fraction of the issues facing us today without ever needing to take the headlines. The world is simply presented as it is, with the logical consequences of the past quietly written in. There is great strength and human weakness to be seen here, aching passion and burning hatred. And, a ...more
Jan 06, 2012 CAT rated it really liked it
This is my first review for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012, and can also be viewed at along with my other Challenge reviews.

What would life be like, how would our cities look, what would our values be, and who would we be when we have wings?

Claire Corbett masterfully addresses these questions and more in her debut novel 'When We Have Wings', published by Allen and Unwin in 2011.

The story is set sometime in the future, when bioengineering has made it possible for h
Dr Jen
May 16, 2012 Dr Jen rated it it was amazing
Compelling, lyrical, eloquent, evocative, vivid: just some of the reasons why once you start to read Claire Corbett's When We Have Wings you won't be able to put it down. Sure, there are issues to ponder - what it means to be human (in mind and body), what are the manifestations of power and inequity in our society, political and theological implications of technological advancements - but it is the finely crafted and complex depictions of characters and their dilemmas in this world where flight ...more
Jul 05, 2012 Tor rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy, science-fiction, adult and young adult readers
Right from the first few pages I was intensely interested in When We Have Wings Claire Corbett’s first science-fiction novel.

The protagonist, Peri, is flying, carrying baby Hugo and searching for her missing friend Luisa. The scene is frightening and real and somehow I know that this isn’t a caricature world but something much closer to home. It’s clear that Peri is in mortal danger and has brought Hugo into that danger with her. A baby who doesn’t belong to her; a baby recklessly exposed to th
Tsana Dolichva
May 01, 2012 Tsana Dolichva rated it it was amazing
When We Have Wings by Claire Corbett is set in a vaguely near future Sydney where the rich can fly thanks to having wings implanted on their backs.

Before I get into talking about the story, I want to point out that, from a physics point of view, Corbett has described a very plausible situation. The wings people get are quite large (the impression I got was comparable to the height of the person) and they also get treatments to change the physiology to make their bones lighter (carbon fibre was i
Jan 26, 2017 Seb rated it it was amazing
* May contain spoilers for the book in this review - Also my first review.*

I finished 'When We Have Wings' at 4AM in the morning after some marathon reading. It had me going with such a drive to keep reading. There is so much I loved about this book. The characters were amazing, they were so vivid and real. Each were so human, with their issues, the factors that made them who they were and that there was still good parts to them (Obviously a few exceptions for certain characters. Yet maybe as a
Le koala Lit
Sep 11, 2012 Le koala Lit rated it it was ok
Et si nous vivions dans un monde où les riches pouvaient s’offrir le luxe de voler ? Pour son premier roman When we have wings (que l'on peut traduire par Quand nous aurons des ailes), Claire Corbett se prend au jeu.

« Peri s’avanca vers le bord de la falaise. Elle devait lâcher prise. Elle devait être prête à mourir. Une bouffé d’air balaya la falaise. Elle tituba, déplia ses ailes et se mit à courir. En se jetant de la falaise, elle sut que ça avait été au mauvais moment. Elle tombait comme si
Sofia Teixeira
Jul 03, 2013 Sofia Teixeira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 -> O Império das Asas é a obra de estreia de Claire Corbett no mundo dos romances literários. É uma obra de ficção científica que nos apresenta toda uma nova visão sobre a possibilidade de um ser humano possuir asas. Pena que não está acessível a todos e o mundo fraccionado d'O Império das Asas tem mais segredos e mistérios do que aqueles que ao início quer parecer.

As primeiras páginas do livro deixaram-me um pouco interrogativa quanto à verdadeira essência do livro. Começamos com uma nar
Mar 19, 2014 DodgingCommas rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: readers of YA fiction and speculative fiction
Shelves: favorites
This is a stunning novel – beautifully written and gorgeous with its imagery, the novel is more than just words on a page. The implication of technological advancement and how it will influence class (and even generation to generation) is represented through the ‘haves’ (wealthy fliers) and the ‘have nots’ (everyone else). The cost of wings, however, is more than just monetary – as Zeke finds out. What makes this story compelling is the narrative, split between two voices. It begins with a third ...more
Jul 10, 2014 Jane rated it liked it
Peri is a poor girl from the sticks who has paid a huge price to get wings. Now she's disappeared. Zeke is the struggling, flightless private investigator hired to find her. This is a world where having money means being able to fly, and where those without wings are rapidly becoming second class - even obsolete - citizens.
It was great to read a novel which looked at the issue of how the rich get ahead not just by having more things, but by being more 'perfect'. This is really well told through
Lauren K
3.5 stars

This story took me a little while to really get into. It almost reads like two stories from two separate genres. There’s the crime fiction story told from the perspective of Zeke, a private investigator hired by a family whose baby has been kidnapped by their nanny. Then there is the speculative scifi/ fantasy story written from the perspective of Peri, the nanny with wings. In the beginning I wasn’t entirely sure the meshing of the genres really worked, but it eventually all came toget
Feb 08, 2013 FantasyWereld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: volwassenen
Hoe zou het zijn als de technologische vooruitgang ons op een dag vleugels bracht? Als mensen konden vliegen als vogels? Niet allemaal, natuurlijk, slechts dat deel dat zich de dure vleugels zou kunnen veroorloven. Wat zou dat doen met onze maatschappij? Deze vragen heeft auteur Claire Corbett meegenomen in haar debuutroman Vleugels. Het verhaal schetst een schijnbaar utopische wereld, waar zij die het kunnen betalen zich de ultieme vrijheid hebben toegeëigend: vliegen.

Kindermeisje Peri Almond
Ferne Merrylees
Feb 24, 2014 Ferne Merrylees rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Set in the future of our grandchildren, the newest must have toy of the rich and famous is not a fast car or smart phone but actual wings. The dream of flight is made real but only for the elite able to afford the radical surgery. The space between the have and have nots grows larger as those with wings become more, better, than human. The fliers have their own floating spaces

Peri, whilst young, is remarkably driven and is prepared to sacrifice everything for the chance to own her own wings; how
Aster Zhen
Jan 04, 2013 Aster Zhen rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, scifi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2011 Larissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
When private detective Fowler took a kidnapping case from a flier client, already he realised he was in over his head. But not until he was bugged, followed, ransacked, threatened and maimed did he finally realise just how over his head he really was. What started out as a simple kidnapping, a nanny disappearing with her charge, soon turns into a flight for survival and a search for the truth.

From the start Fowler knew there were secrets being kept from him by his new employer, too many things j
Dec 16, 2013 Griflet rated it did not like it
Bitterly disappointed in this book.
That has been happening lately when I'm really looking forward to something and have deliberately put it off to savour.
It is obviously a first novel and nothing wrong with that, I'm over books having to achieve the kind of demanded perfection that reminds me starkly of compliance with the P's beauty requirements and standards for sexay objectified women (and men increasingly) - BUT really strange pov - shifts between two protagonists but also shifts from first
Aug 16, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it
Shelves: spec-fiction, 2011
Set in a future where genetic engineering allows humans to fly - if they're wealthy enough - this is a story that will take your imagination hostage. The story is, in fact, two stories: On the surface it's a story of A nanny fleeing with her employers' baby after she finds another nanny dead - and the private investigator's efforts to find out where she might be. Secondly, it's a story of the newly winged nanny's discovery of who she was and is now.

This really is a beautifully constructed and wr
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Claire Corbett is a writer. She was born in Canada and has worked in film and government policy. Her first novel, WHEN WE HAVE WINGS, was published in 2011 by Allen & Unwin and shortlisted for the 2012 Barbara Jefferis Award and the 2012 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction and published overseas.

Recent fiction and essays have been published in a range of journals, including Best Australian
More about Claire Corbett...

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