All the Birds in the Sky
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 ...more
Popular Answered Questions
If by "romance," do you mean "would this novel be categorized as a…moreA 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)
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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)[The writing was shitty. It was wildly uneven and trying WAY TOO HARD to be relevant to an ironic hipster Internet crowd, which really doesn't exist except in liberal website comment sections and people's personal political rant bl ...more
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 ...more
More thoughts: http://ladybusiness.dreamwidth.org/20...
I won't soon forget Patricia and Laurence. Nor do I ever want to.
I think part of why these elements work is that they aren't the point of the novel. The focus is the friends ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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.
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...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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' ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
Most problematically, I never bought into the love story between Laurence and Patricia. This may ...more
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 ...more
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.
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 ...more
I’m the editor of io9.com, 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 ...more