Book - All the Birds in the Sky


Science vs Magic - Who wins? Romeo Kennedy reads All the Birds in the Sky from Charlie Jane Anders in a bid to find out...


Not long ago I was sent an email regarding this book from /Garbage-File HQ and I read the first line of the synopsis,

“Patricia is a witch who can communicate with animals.”

My face lit up and I leapt to my feet (I blame the six cups of coffee) and something in my brain said that this book had to be read by my pisky eyes.

Now, dear folk, I’m rarely right on most things in life but on this I was definitely not wrong.

A teenage witch (Patricia), and scientist (Laurence) do the awkward dance of growing up, and the horrors of secondary school. They become friends and eventually walk the different paths that once brought them together.

Later on they meet as adults.

This time Laurence is using his skills to veer the world away from doom, and Patricia has graduated the magic school of Eltisley Maze and trying to fix the earth with witchery goodness.

Fate has a way of pulling our heroes together because the earth needs them.

All the Birds in the Sky (ATBITS) is all about love, danger, and life. It succeeds in telling a memorable story in a somewhat lyrical and poetic fashion. Charlie Jane Anders describes feelings and situations that had me by the throat and at moments made me all teary (not the six coffees, I promise). Yes, it has humourous moments too and many moments that will take you back to that moment in secondary school and beyond, but it is also about the moments that matter, that shaped you as a person and that continue to do so even if you don’t know it.

The characters are written in such an interesting way. For instance, I can’t really say that Laurence is a likeable character, I had a lot of empathy for him and some of the situations that he was in but at the end of the day If it came to it, if he was my friend I would know that if the chips were down he would be there. Patricia reminded me of a friend I had in school, minus the witchcraft. I liked Patricia and found her to be ever so interesting, and a very enjoyable character to read.

Anders is a very talented writer and ATBITS has been praised widely by many and for good reason. It is such a busy book but all parts are connected with a really nice flow and ease. Laurence and Patricia’s relationship is believable, full of lifts and falls and really is crucial from start to finish. So much happens in these 431 pages that I reckon it will not be long before I revisit Lauricia’s or Patrence’s (is there an official couple name?) trials and triumphs.

ATBITS is a special book and all shelves demand a copy.

Image - Titan Books
Charlie Jane Anders can be found on the twitters @CharlieJane