Book Review: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Patricia, a witch who can communicate with all the birds in the sky, and Laurence, a gifted scientist, become unlikely friends during tumultuous times.
Patricia and Laurence are unlikely friends.
She represents the world of magic and he, the world of science. Magic and science are at odds with one another. Kind of like oil and vinegar.
But as many carb aficionados know, oil and vinegar can be quite delicious when mixed. Especially when you dip some crusty bread into them.
As children, Patricia and Laurence are brutally bullied. Theyâ€™re so singularly talented at their respective crafts. With children, sometimes being singular can mean being singled out.
All the Birds in the Sky feeds the wonderful nerd in us all. The one that delights in robots and two-second time machines. The one that considers other dimensions and having actual conversations with birds.
The last part of the book gets a bit extreme and loses that tight connection a little bit. Adult Patricia and Laurence (especially Laurence) are not as likeable as they were as innocent children. Weâ€™re supposed to root for them, but it becomes difficult.
As smart and cute as Laurence is, he’s kind of a self-centered jackass. And a coward.
With all of this, the book is still good. Thereâ€™s no problem with holding the readerâ€™s attention…although the ennui does get heavy in the last half of the book.
I mean, come on, theyâ€™re geniuses at their crafts. They need to get over themselves and revel in the rare gifts others can only wish they had.
Once youâ€™re a grownup, you canâ€™t keep playing the victim card of your childhood (with exceptions, of course). You have to become a person on your own terms and merits.
Iâ€™ll ruminate for a brief moment on all the â€œall theâ€ book titles lately. All the Birds in the Sky, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, All the Light we Cannot Seeâ€¦ Is “All the” the new trend in books that are full of all the feels? Itâ€™s kind of like the trend of putting “Girl” into a title with books that feature a female protagonist.
All the Birds in the Sky is a good story. Just try to read it with a magical glint in your eye, rather than the cynical sand I apparently have in mine.