All the Birds in the Sky

25372801Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

Author: Charlie Jane Anders
Category: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Pages: 320
Publication Date: January 26th, 2016

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This is one of those cases where there is a single word that can sum up this book.

That word is “Huh?”

A lot of what happened in this book either didn’t really make sense or was just so “out there” that it left a little bit of a bad taste.

First things first, a lot of this book reads more like contemporary fiction/romance with a little bit of watered down sci fi and fantasy elements thrown in (really basic elements like a magic system so basic it is actually stupid and some kinda sorta science gadgets). This wasn’t really the fantasy v. science fiction that the dust jacket makes it sound like. Someone that maybe doesn’t read a lot of either of those genres may enjoy this a little more.

But the fantasy side. Maybe fantasy book readers are a little spoiled now. It has become the norm for magic systems to at least be somewhat explained, to at least have some sort of set boundaries or rules. Without them there are just too many plot holes, too many ways around whatever problem the characters are facing. No defined magic system lowers the stakes of the story because it makes it way too easy for the conflict to be swept away by deus ex machina whenever the story has gotten too big for the characters to reasonably handle.

This book demonstrated how this becomes even more important when that story is combined with science fiction elements. Unlimited, boundary-less magic will beat science. Every time. And trying to alter the story so this isn’t the case leads to this.

So let’s set this aside and examine how the rest of the story was. If most of the book read like contemporary fiction, then surely our entire opinion about this book can’t be based just on the lack of a magic system, right?

True. But the rest of the story sucked as well.

Between contrived relationships and motivations, flashbacks in the most random places, and the most awkward sex scene ever there is really nothing to recommend this book.

The story was supposed to be about an end of days sort of apocalypse but that was confined to like the last 50 pages. The rest of the book was more or less a narrative of Patricia and Laurence pining after each other and Patricia being told that she is too full of herself even though there is no evidence whatsoever that this is the case.

Dani’s 2¢

We picked up this book on on a “Blind Date with a Book” concept. Never having been on an actual blind date, I now get why so many people refuse to go on them.

Seriously. For some reason this line stuck with me and has bothered me so much: “He wept like a silent jungle cat.”

What does that even mean?!?!?!


2-donate it

Greg’s Thoughts

Do you want a book that will have you saying “what is even happening?” Or my personal favorite, “is there a plot to this thing?”

I was kinda of excited for this book because the premise sounded really cool. Machine vs. Magic where the two strongest in each turn out to be old friends. If that had been what this book was it might have been better. Instead we get two whiny characters that are boring as hell. The beginning starts off so well, with a good setup to building these characters. Then it nose dives it to relationship and pointless stories that do not further the plot (if one had survived from the first part).
This is was not the worst book ever but it is up there because stories like this have such a good premise and then the author screws it up and it becomes disappointing.
2-donate it

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