all the birds in the sky

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

This book forced me to go and google the differences between speculative fiction, urban fantasy, apocalyptic, post apocalyptic, dystopian. 

I'm reasonably pleased to say that I still don't know with an absolute certainty how to classify All the Birds but if you're clambering for labels, I'll grant you apocalyptic and urban fantasy. Maybe also science fiction?

Not that we have to label nor categorize anything but you may be well served to have an idea of what you're getting into here. Anders posits the old science vs. nature question and embodies those two elements with Patricia and Laurence. As much as it may seem counterproductive that a large portion of the book is dedicated to watching these two grow up, it ultimately feels essential to fully appreciating them. Their friendship and how well drawn all the characters are is the highlight of All the Birds.

Somehow, this wan't quite what I expected which is fairly ridiculous because I'm not entirely sure precisely what I expected. There were a couple of jarring incongruities to me, such as Patricia's parents and sister being cruel - and that's the word that is actually used - in multiple ways when she was a child, but all is easily forgiven when she is an adult. It's true, as I've read in other reviews, that the ending felt like a bit of an... unraveling, but it's also true, as I've read in other reviews, that it kinda sorta mostly doesn't really matter, as the resolution of the larger world is less important than the inner worlds. 

Honestly, I would've been torn between three and four stars on goodreads but I also listened to this on audiobook and the narrator, Alyssa Bresnahan, was excellent, making me sidle over to the four. I absolutely recommend the audiobook. 

Also, if you've already read this or do and wonder what the deal is with Berkley, Anders has written his story over at Tor. I haven't even read it yet, but it'll be a treat this weekend! Anders will remain on my radar and I will certainly try her again.