All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

While this novel reads like literary fiction, the writing contains technical jargon and fantastical, largely-unexplained magic that readers who do not regularly enjoy science fiction or fantasy may find difficult to appreciate. If you can enjoy a story in which you don’t fully understand the fine points, All the Birds in the Sky is a creative and thought-provoking blend of science and magic. Patricia and Laurence are unusual children. She may be a witch who can sometimes speak to animals and he is building a semi-sentient supercomputer in his closet. Rejected by their peers in school, Patricia and Laurence form an awkward but mutually beneficial friendship. They grow apart as they age, each developing his and her unique skills amidst like-minded people. Unfortunately, groups of like-minded people can easily become extremists, so blinded by certainty that they cannot see another point of view. With the planet on a path to self-destruction, the magical community and scientific community believe in conflicting game plans with Patricia and Laurence playing on opposing teams, but forever connected by a force neither understands. With shades of bleakness and joy, hopelessness and hope, this is a big story that revolves around two likable but flawed characters and the elements of science and magic they represent.

Readalike: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

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