All the Birds in the Sky

All the Birds in the Sky

Book - 2016
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"From the editor-in-chief of, a stunning novel about the end of the world--and the beginning of our futureChildhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn't expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one's peers and families.But now they're both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who's working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world's magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world's every-growing ailments. Little 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.A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse"-- Provided by publisher
"When Patricia Delfine was six years old, a wounded bird led her deep into the forest to the Parliament of Birds, where she met the Great Tree and was asked a question that would determine the course of her life. When Laurence Armstead was in grade school, he cobbled together a wristwatch-sized device that could send its wearer two seconds into the future. When Patricia and Laurence first met in high school, they didn't understand one another at all. But as time went on, they kept bumping into one another's lives. Now they're both grown up, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who's working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world's magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world's every-growing ailments. Neither Laurence nor Patricia can keep pace with the speed at which things fall apart. But something bigger than either of them, something begun deep in their childhoods, is determined to bring them together. And will"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : TOR Books, 2016
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780765379948
Characteristics: 316 pages ; 25 cm


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sclibrary_justin Mar 13, 2019

I love how this story mashes up the tropes of the mad scientist and the powerful witch.

Feb 07, 2019

Place. "A quirky and strange blend of science and magic."

CRRL_MaryB Jan 29, 2019

Wonderful! Combines a coming-of-age story, with romance, science fiction, and fantasy with great characters and a plot that keeps you wondering how it will all work out.

Jan 10, 2019

All the Birds in the Sky is about two middle school friends who are both outcasts at their school. One is a budding witch; the other is a boy that is gifted in science and electronics. He builds a supercomputer in his closet that is capable of artificial intelligence. An assassin is pursuing them even though he is not allowed to kill children. He believes that one or both of them are dangerous to the future of the world. He tries to persuade one of them to kill the other. Things happen, and they go their separate ways, only to meet up again as adults.

This is a really well-done sci fi/fantasy novel. I thought the characters and the situations were interesting. The ending seemed a little anti-climactic, but not so much so that it was a problem.

IndyPL_SteveB Dec 28, 2018

Patricia and Laurence meet in middle school and change each other’s lives. When they meet again many years later, the fate of the world is at stake. Both children grew up in emotionally abusive households; both were bullied and isolated in school. Each has a special skill beyond that of normal humans; but they are such different skills that conflict occurs even between them. Patricia can do magic. Laurence is a wizard of technology. Patricia goes off to a secret magic school. Laurence goes to MIT. In their 20s they meet again in San Francisco. Can they become friends again enough to prevent two secret societies from combining in a war which will destroy human civilization?

The author has some great scenes and gives all of the background necessary for us to be deeply sympathetic to these two children, the science nerd and the magic nerd. She makes both of their worlds seem real and dangerous. But something didn’t ring right for me. This book won several awards and high praise, but I didn’t feel like it held together.

Aug 07, 2018

This is one of the best books I have ever read. It is, basically, about the relationship between science and magic as exemplified in the relationship between Laurence and Patricia. As you might imagine, they are sometimes friends and sometimes enemies. There is humor in this book (for instance, ice cream as a reward for assasins?). The book also contains some philosophy, including some things that, even with my M. A. in philosophy, I am not sure where to go with it (for instance, "Life is often a choice between freedom on someone else's terms and slavery on your own terms" (or something like that)). One last thing: although I consider this a science fiction/fantasy book, you will find it in the general fiction section.

Jul 25, 2018

A modern era sci-fi book that is a lighthearted at times take on some not so lighthearted topics with a focus on the relationships of characters vs. attention to technological details and world building. If you could put the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", "Lemony Snicket", and "Harry Potter" in a blender with a few dashes of romance and ecological disaster you might have something close to how this book reads.

The book at first reads like a young adult novel, then changes over to a progressively more "20's" something novel in terms of style, but I never found that an issue as it tracks with the character's ages.

Perfect summer time sci-fi reading that is a fun romp, but not thoughtless or without heart.

Mar 02, 2018

The beginning of this book feels like something straight from Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. The middle and end change in tone and writing style almost completely. While there are some incredibly good lines and scenes and even characters in this novel, it felt like a first draft that needed a rewrite in order to make things flow better. Overall I enjoyed it, but some better editing would have helped me fall in love with it.

Nov 25, 2017

I loved this book. It is going on my short list of favorite reads this year. Refreshing, quirky and satisfying. It is the first book in a long-time that I wanted to start reading again when I reached the end.

Aug 19, 2017

An interesting concept that shows a lot of promise in its early chapters, but ultimately fails to materialize into anything substantial. This novel suffers from what I call "cutesy" style that, as someone mentioned previously, veers toward YA ground fairly rapidly.

As with a lot of stuff like this, feels like it was written specifically to get optioned and turned into a movie...which would allow some of the lackluster writing to be smoothed over with glitzy visuals.

There are some interesting ideas here, but nothing that felt important or innovative enough to go out of you way to read it. Nice cover design, though.

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Nov 25, 2017

When the whole world turns chaotic, we must be the better part of chaos. (Ernesto)

Jul 22, 2017

That's the definition of evil right there : not faking it like everybody else.

May 15, 2016

"I think that the most basic thing of ethics is being aware of how your actions affect others, and having an awareness of what they want and how they feel."

May 15, 2016

"I mean, the longer I live, the more I feel like the stuff I see and feel is like a tracing of the outline of the real stuff that's beyond our perceptions."


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mvkramer Jun 12, 2016

Sexual Content: A cheerful sex scene between two characters.

mvkramer Jun 12, 2016

Violence: Magic vs. technology battles in which people are killed.


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