cover image All the Birds in the Sky

All the Birds in the Sky

Charlie Jane Anders. Tor, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7994-8

A friendship between two adolescent misfits is the catalyst for an apocalyptic reckoning in Anders’s clever and wonderfully weird novel. Novice witch Patricia and preternaturally intelligent Laurence form an uneasy bond as they attempt to survive bullying at their Massachusetts middle school. Ten years later, they reunite in San Francisco, where Patricia quietly practices her craft and Laurence, now a tech-world wunderkind, attempts to manipulate time and space, setting off a battle between magic and science that could mean the end of the human race. Anders (Choir Boy) smoothly pivots from horror to humor to heartbreak and back again, and she keeps readers guessing as to the fate of her two protagonists—and the world. Talking animals and a sentient computer searching for love and understanding tighten the narrative strings. Fans of genre fiction will be delighted by Patricia and Laurence’s story, and Anders’s smart, matter-of-fact prose will appeal to a mainstream audience as well. (Jan.)