All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Disclaimer: This review contains minor spoilers.

Twitter Summary: 20% Night Vale, 40% The Magicians, 40% Rent

Amazon Affiliate Links:All the Birds in the Sky , Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel

I enjoy listening to Welcome to Night Vale. I bounced hard off of Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel . I don’t think that the kind of “throw everything at the wall, see if it sticks” zaniness translates well into novel form, where it tends to bring me out of the story and away from the characters.

Which made the first twenty percent of this book rough for me. Sure, the guidance counselor also being part of a Mysterious Order of Assassins was sorta neat, but I don’t think that it added much to the story. Neither did the sister who tortured small animals?

Eventually the story settled down, but I never got to the point where I cared about the characters. Both Patricia and Laurence seem to be more stand ins than characters, with character descriptions seeming to contradict. I never really got to the point where their problems mattered to me. And problems they have, mostly from their inability to connect emotionally to the people around them. That I can’t connect to the characters seems just natural.

I also wanted a lot more out of the minor descriptions of fantastic tech or magic. There didn’t seem to be a magick system that followed rules, and most of the tech was mentioned in passing, “two second time machine” or “anti gravity machines”, which didn’t really differentiate it all from the magic. I never got the sense or grandeur of the magic or the tech.

I enjoy the author’s short fiction, such as The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick , but this one just really wasn’t my bag.

Final Verdict: I finished it.

Other Recommendations:

Magic “realism”: The Magicians: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy) by Lev Grossman, The Rook
by Daniel O’Malley

Fantastical: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab , Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

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