Monday, June 05, 2017

A Hugo Review: Best Novel - All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders

All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders, is about the meeting of science and magic.

This book took me forever to get into, but once I got into it, I mostly enjoyed it. It never quite reached the point of being excellent, for me, but the ideas were intriguing enough and the characters worked.

The good: Loner kids hanging out together and figuring out life was fun, and I liked how their relationship developed and bloomed and wilted and bloomed again. The AI was also a fun character, especially how it crept back into the story - it reminded me of "Cat Pictures Please". The background, that becomes more pronounced, of a world just falling apart was suitably horrible.

The bad: Some of the ideas were so over-the-top they just kicked me right out of the story. The parents of the two children were almost parodies. The "school" the parents dropped him off at was silly on so many levels, although the basic idea was real enough (sadly). The assassin was idiotic. It sometimes felt like the author didn't want the reader to take the story too seriously and so sabotaged the work.

Conclusion: This is now in the number two spot on my ballot.

Best Novel: I've read The Obelisk Gate, Death's End, and All the Birds in the Sky. I need to read A Closed and Common Orbit, Ninefox Gambit, and Too Like the Lightning.