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All the Birds in the Sky

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,211 Ratings  ·  1,130 Reviews
From the editor-in-chief of, a stunning novel about the end of the world--and the beginning of our future

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 coul
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Tor Books
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Popular Answered Questions

matthew A better question would be, "Is a tree red?" but I'll attempt to answer this anyway.

If by "romance," do you mean "would this novel be categorized as a…more
A better question would be, "Is a tree red?" but I'll attempt to answer this anyway.

If by "romance," do you mean "would this novel be categorized as a romance"? If so, then we have to ask ourselves what the category of "romance" means. Does it mean that romance is the central hinge upon which the novel pivots? Or does it mean Romance, as in a tale of fantasy, knights, damsels, dragons, derring-do, honour, magic? Or does it mean "romance" is a marketing category that has very slippery semantic borders?

If you mean, "does romance feature heavily in the plot," then I would say yes. Like almost every single story. Two people fall in love as a primary plot while using the scaffolding of fantasy and science fiction stories to explore their characterization. (less)
Sarah I wouldn't specifically categorize it as a YA book, even though the two main characters are children for 1/3 of the novel. Do I think a young adult…moreI wouldn't specifically categorize it as a YA book, even though the two main characters are children for 1/3 of the novel. Do I think a young adult could read and appreciate this book, I say yes, a mature young adult could. Of course, maturity is a personal decision which I can't answer or quantify. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May
Feb 17, 2016 Emily May rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016
This is one weirdass book. A good kind of weird, but it definitely isn't for everyone.

All the Birds in the Sky transcends genres, refusing to find its place anywhere - is it sci-fi? Paranormal/fantasy? Dystopian/alternate world? Magical realism? In truth, it's some of all of those. A quirky and strange blend of science and magic.

I can't really liken it to anything else, which makes reviewing hard but is, ultimately, a huge compliment. I love to be able to say "I have never read anything like thi

Or to put it in milder terms, "I just got ran over by a mac truck."

This novel is just too important to miss, whether or not you're into SF or Fantasy, because it is both. It's a long and delightful and REAL conversation between the two, a heartfelt exploration and a synthesis, a heartbreaking tale and a true wonderment of fiction.

I guess I kinda liked it.

It's a lot more than a magical realism novel, and it's no experiment. There's nothing unreadable about it and it doesn't have t
Darth J

So I kinda loved this. We have 2 junior high outcasts named Patricia and Laurence, both painfully geeky and both destined to change the world.

Until they grow up and go their separate ways to discover that what made them different made them awesome.

Patricia goes to a magical school that was founded by the joining two seemingly disparate groups: healers and tricksters (#foreshadowing). It's like if you took The Ability by way of The Magicians for the magical aspects of her life. It's
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Mar 08, 2016 Rachel (Kalanadi) rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I hated this book.

If you want the epic rant, you aren't offended by profanity, and you are OK with spoilers, read on...

I rarely give 1-star ratings and I rarely use profanity, so you gotta know how much I disliked this book, when I pull both of those out.

(view spoiler)
Book Riot Community
There are novels that come along and utterly change how you think about fiction. They challenge you, they charge you, they fire you deep into the shadowed spaces within yourself that you could only previously grasp. By the end, you simply feel entrenched, like you somehow exist deeper in this beautiful, insane world we inhabit, and can better understand the connections between everyone who lives on it. The last novel to do this to me was Among Others by Jo Walton, and I’m thrilled to say Anders’ ...more
Larry Hoffer
Feb 05, 2016 Larry Hoffer rated it liked it
There were a number of times while reading Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky that I thought, "How am I going to review this?"

What I realized, however, is that while the book was utterly different than I expected it to be from the blurbs I read, and there's much about the plot that defies description, I found it to be an ambitious, poignant, slightly meandering, somewhat imperfect book, which packs a resonant, emotional punch.

Laurence and Patricia meet in middle school. Both are out
I LOVE THIS BOOK. I need to think about what I write because it's a novel that could easily be misrepresented, but I loved it so much I am BURSTING. I feel like I need to write Tor publicity a handwritten thank you note WITH A GLITTER GEL PEN for letting me read it early. It was everything I didn't know I wanted. :D READ IT AND THEN COME TALK ABOUT LOVE AND CONSCIOUSNESS AND SACRIFICE WITH ME!!!

More thoughts:
Jan 09, 2016 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, 2016
An utterly unique book. Parts of it bear resemblance to things I've read before, but as a whole, it's completely original. And heartbreaking, and confounding, and joy-inducing, and terrifying.

I won't soon forget Patricia and Laurence. Nor do I ever want to.
Steph Sinclair
I'm putting this aside for now. It's good, but I'm struggling to keep interest.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I pre-ordered this book because I was excited for it - I have enjoyed Anders' short stories and this one sounded interesting. It defies genre boxing for the most part - there is fantasy, magic, science fiction, apocalypse, and the strange healing power of madrigals. But I like how all the parts fit together, and didn't find it messy or like the author was trying to cram too much in there.

I think part of why these elements work is that they aren't the point of the novel. The focus is the friends
Lovely book that I think lost itself some in the second half.

Recommendation: If you enjoy your fantasy or science fiction with more contemporary fiction elements, with a magical realism feel, you'll like this one. I recommend a library or a paperback buy. If you own it already I'd say a medium-high priority.

This is a story about two outcasts, one magical and one technological, that grow up together, grow apart, and then find themselves again after college, only to experience a horrible geologi
Feb 08, 2016 Giovanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weird is...weird.

All the birds in the sky is...a whimsical novel. Okay, it is freaking weird, which was a positive thing for me, but I can see why not everybody would enjoy it. It's definitely not a book I would recommend to everyone, in spite of the fact that I did enjoy it a lot.

The positive thing is that I can say without a doubt that I've read something unique. If you're looking for something original I would definitely suggest you give this book a try.

The fact that symbolism permeates the e
Thomas Wagner
Jan 26, 2016 Thomas Wagner rated it really liked it
Full review coming.
Tom Merritt
Mar 06, 2016 Tom Merritt rated it it was amazing
Lost interest in this :( I enjoyed reading it and am astounded by how very unique, original, symbolic, and theoretical it is. I'm just not interested right now.

It's primarily about the contrast between science and nature. Both main characters embody one of these subjects. It examines their relationship in a very trippy, ethereal way. It really is like a dream that totally makes sense once you give yourself over to it but trying to explain it to someone else won't exactly make a lot of sense.

Tammy Sparks
Jan 18, 2016 Tammy Sparks rated it really liked it

The nitty-gritty: A strange and glorious story, whose quirky ideas and charming characters surprised me at every turn.

Patricia found herself still obsessing about Laurence, as she slid on knee-high leather boots and a black babydoll dress with red sparkles and went to an Irish bar in the Financial District to put a curse on someone.

Sometimes all your expectations go flying out the window when you actually sit down to read a book, and my experience with All the Birds in the Sky was just like

Apr 30, 2015 j rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
You're probably going to be hearing a lot about this book.
Mar 13, 2016 Rob rated it liked it
Executive Summary: I found this book incredibly hard to read at times, yet somehow hard to put down at the same time. I tore through it in only a few days (fast for me) and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. 3.25 Stars. Maybe 3.5?

Full Review
I was familiar with Charlie Jane Anders from i09. I knew she had a book coming out this year, but I wasn't really planning to read it. I can't say why, probably because I already have so many other books I want to read.

I was interested to see how this
May 09, 2016 Justine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, favourites-2016
All the Birds in the Sky is a very different book. Part science fiction and part fantasy, it also has a feel of magical realism. It follows the friendship of Patricia, a witch, and Laurence, a science genius, from middle school to adulthood.

On the surface the story is about the collision of the worlds of magic and science set against the decline of both the natural world and society. Embedded in that context is the more personal story of friendship and love, what that means, and how it can take
Feb 04, 2016 Arta rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This has been my most anticipated novel of 2016.
Unfortunately, it has some flaws and even though I enjoyed reading it and loved the main characters, there are things that I cannot ignore when it comes to rating this.
First of all, I really liked the atmosphere and the way the story was narrated. I feel like I've read something similar to this, but I couldn't put a finger on it. Especially the beginning was a little bit fairytale-like, which I really loved. But Anders' narrative style was not co
Feb 18, 2016 Ashley rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy, owned
What a weird book. I am having trouble putting a rating on this. I loved how refreshing this book was, the mashup of science and magic, the writing style, the characters and of course my personal favorite, a self aware AI. The setting was interesting, a near future pre-apocalyptic San Francisco. I really don't have any complaints with the plot either, besides the somewhat abrupt ending.

It seems I just wasn't grabbed by this book. Which is a little confusing since I really can't figure out wh
Feb 06, 2016 Lindsay rated it really liked it
A child of technology and science and child of nature and magic meet when they are children and then several times afterwards as they grow into adults and the world comes into conflict around them.

Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead are outsiders and they fine common ground in that as children, even if the reasons they find themselves to be outsiders couldn't be further apart. As they become adults they come into contact again and again, sometimes as friends, other times as adversaries. They'
So after a really promising first half, this book entirely fell apart for me in the second half.

The concept was neat, the characters were great, but the plot was just... what. Maybe this is one of those situations where the impressiveness of the writing and the symbolism and all that shit has gone over my head, but I've always been a strong believer in a story standing on its own merits without needing anything on top of it, and in the end the story this book was telling was - while unique - fan
Feb 05, 2016 Robyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Witty, compelling near future story of science versus magic. Great if you've ever spent any time in San Francisco's tech scene - a near-perfect portrait. Lots of fun!
Apr 26, 2016 Cláudia rated it it was amazing
Esse livro tomou bastante tempo, mas gente...
Foi uma luta interna aqui na hora de dar nota. Por um lado, tem partes bem lentinhas, que eu não entendi completamente por que estão lá; mas MANO DO CÉU, esse livro foi escrito pra mim. A Charlie Jane Anders me visitou durante o sono, revirou todas as minhas lombrigas literárias, identificou tudo o que eu amo e é importante pra mim como leitora e escritora em potencial e BAM: escreveu esse livro maravilhoso, lindo, importante, delicioso. E inesquecíve
Jan 31, 2016 Joe rated it it was ok
Having read io9 for years (including CJA's posts on constructing narrative) and anticipating this novel for upwards of six months, I found All the Birds in the Sky really disappointing. Not only does it feel like CJA didn't take her own advice on how to structure the novel, the quality of the writing varies widely through the book (at times it feels painfully amateurish and the dialogue is stilted).

Most problematically, I never bought into the love story between Laurence and Patricia. This may
Didi Chanoch
Apr 09, 2016 Didi Chanoch rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Humans
Mixing up science fiction and fantasy is hard. It's the sort of thing that makes for a fun game environment, but can easily fall apart in fiction. Charlie Jane Anders' debut novel takes the challenge on, and in many ways is *about* the very challenge it is taking on.

This is a book with two protagonists who seem to live in different books. Laurence is a science hero. Patricia is a fantasy heroine. The novel is the story of their relationship, but it is also a story of brinksmanship and mad scien
Michelle Morrell
May 11, 2016 Michelle Morrell rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, read-2016
A girl and a boy find their lives intertwined, culminating in an epic fight between science and magic.

I really enjoyed this, the juxtaposition between the two tropes of sci fi and fantasy was deftly handled and flowed together well. The romantic elements were sweet and realistic and not overdone at all. Witty and clever and touching.
Mar 15, 2016 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2016
4.5 Stars

All the Birds in the Sky is nearly a perfect adult fairytale, at least it is for me, as it plays to all of my favorite things. Charlie Jane Anders has created a fantasy and science fiction adventure that is also a romance. The story hits on all three genres to some degree or another. This story goes back and forth between Laurence, our young science nerd and Patricia, a young outcast nature loving outcast. This is the crossing of science versus nature, magic versus technology, and man v
Tasha Robinson
Mar 09, 2016 Tasha Robinson rated it it was amazing
Hoo mama, did I love this book. This is Eleanor & Park meets Diana Wynne Jones and Neal Stephenson. This is the book I wanted The Magicians to be, with modern-day magic but less endlessly circling angst and protagonists I actually sympathized with. The story concerns a science prodigy and a magic prodigy who fill in some of the social blanks for each other in middle school, but it winds up being more about their adult lives, and how their rocky childhoods and early friendship shape their adu ...more
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I’m probably the only person to have become a fictional character in a Star Trek novel and in one of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City books.

I’m the editor of, where I’m probably best known for my reviews of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and The Last Airbender. Or for my Game of Thrones recaps. Or for my writing advice columns. Or my in-depth investigation of people who claim HIV
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“You know... no matter what you do, people are going to expect you to be someone you're not. But if you're clever and lucky and work your butt off, then you get to be surrounded by people who expect you to be the person you wish you were.” 13 likes
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