If you want to explore an ancient society with witches and wish to prevent the world from falling apart, All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane will be the best option. Even though this 2016 science fantasy novel is the author’s debut in the vast world of speculative fiction novels, the book’s storytelling method that beautifully weaves each character’s life story into the larger narrative makes the book a work of a genius.
Anders narrates the story masterfully and unfolds the stories of Patricia and Laurence, who cross their path in a mysterious circumstance and who may have the key to save the planet from its doom.
Like her other works, the story is set shortly and is about Patricia, a witch, and Laurence, a techno-geek. Patricia found that she had magical abilities when she was 6. She would talk to birds and had other powers but didn’t have any control over them.
From a young age, Laurence was interested in technology and invented new gadgets. He succeeded in making a two-second time machine from a watch and built a supercomputer. Both Patricia and Laurence attended the same high school, where other children alienated them for being weird.
But their friendship didn’t last long as they soon got separated from each other. Patricia ran away when she was accused of witchcraft with the help of a bird. She got later enrolled in the school of witches. During this time, Laurence was sent to the military reform school for his non-confirming attitude.
Ten years later, the adult Patricia and Laurence meet each other at a party. Now, Patricia is a witch who can control her abilities, while Laurence is a part of like-minded geeks building a wormhole generator. Patricia and Laurence try to build a new relationship but got separated from each other due to their different philosophies.
All this happens when the world is going through a difficult phase beset by super storms, earthquakes, and wars destroying humanity. This is just the beginning of the ruins of the planet. Science and magic need to be combined to save the planet, which brings Patricia and Laurence together again. When the story ends, we see both of them reconciling their differences and combining magic and science to stop the unraveling.
What makes the book intriguing is the author’s approach toward her character. Whether it is love or hate, or any other sentiments, the characters are portrayed with intense emotions. We can see how she pushes all the characters to go from one trial to another, making the readers fall in love with all her characters.
Every moment in the book, whether it is an apology, heartbreak, laugh, or hatred, Anders has successfully portrayed what connection means to people.