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Publisher's Summary

From the editor-in-chief of io9.com, a stunning novel about the end of the world - and the beginning of our future.

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn't expect to see each other again after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one's peers and families. But now they're both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them.

Laurence is an engineering genius who's working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world's magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world's ever-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together - to either save the world or plunge it into a new dark ages.

A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.

©2016 Charlie Jane Anders (P)2016 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Alyssa Bresnahan is so good that it's possible just to enjoy her voice and forget everything else. Luckily, this geeky, spiritual love story is strong enough to keep listeners riveted, and Bresnahan's performance is the icing on a very tasty cake." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Too twee for me.

Too twee for me. While there is some good writing in here Anders spends so much of the time trying to be cute and whimsical that it distracts from the story she's trying to tell. The whole thing has the feel of an lengthy io9 article which she wrote for. Not my bag, but if you like cute this may be for you.

40 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • John
  • Clayton, Mo USA
  • 02-18-16

Story Sputters Along

Really interesting start. Awkwardness of teenage years. Interesting as the two protagonists come back into each other's lives. Wished the author had stayed in the relationship dynamic and woven in more of how art and science or magic and technology are always linked together. Story goes off the rails with the Milton character and the doom machine. Goes to predictable battle scene. This hijacked the book and I listened more by duty to finish and not excitement to have story unfold.
This author has something special just needs to develop more. I would recommend reading interesting line about surrounding yourself with people who support you becoming the best person you envision yourself becoming. Must be a catchier way to capture this thought that would be more of a light bulb moment.

46 of 50 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Not for everyone

The concept was good. I was somewhat uncomfotrable with the whole cult concept. Older man luring young girls with the promise of feeling free, only to be used and manipulated. Good read, just not a book for me.

32 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Meh

The story is a great Idea, but never really goes anywhere. With only an hour of listening left, I was concerned about how it would be wrapped up. POORLY. It's rushed to an end in the last 15 minutes. Again, POORLY. Decent book that could have been great. Did enjoy the narrator though.

35 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Dictionary of Stereotypes

This book, particularly in the early chapters, reads like a dictionary of stereotypes. It traffics in them with the same studied glee as stripper choosing a costume to give some thematic element to her dancing around a pole. While the author starts to hide these better as the book continues, they remain almost unmistakable. The story is as equally uncomplicated in all the worst possible ways. From the early chapters, at least in broad strokes, the entire book is utterly predictable and no sudden surprise will creep up on you here. Pair this with continuous angst, constant self-doubt, and ending that couldn't be more clichéd and truncated if it tried and you have a book that can only be described as disappointing at best.

47 of 53 people found this review helpful

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  • AndyVee
  • Bay Area, CA United States
  • 01-08-17

Great narration. Too Harry Potter...

the witchcraft stuff is just too cheeseball. If you're into Wicca meets tech, this is your read.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Incoherent story

Ugh. Okay, if you are going to have a “bird parliament” in your book, at least make it realistic enough that your adult reader can suspend disbelief and doesn’t feel vicarious embarrassment for you, another adult, who has come up with something that sounds like it was cribbed from a fourth-grader’s creative writing session. Cringiness aside, the magic had no clear rules or limits that would seem to prevent a deus ex machina at any point (this isn’t a spoiler), the author seemed to have no idea what her male protagonist actually did at work, and there were more things but I’m tired of thinking about this stupid book, so that’s all you get. I wanted to like it so badly, too!

The narrator also clearly failed to do her homework with regard to local landmark names, though they're easy enough to find examples of on YouTube. Not a big issue if you're not familiar with the San Francisco Bay Area, but if you are, you might be wondering where "Noah Valley" and the "Dumberton Bridge" are.

41 of 48 people found this review helpful

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Unexpected delight

I read and enjoy all genres, but I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. It is engaging with an interesting and unexpected message. I will now read anything else by this author. I read more than 100 books a year and rarely review. I highly recommend this book!

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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returning it

I wanted to like this, the synopsis sounded good, and I got more than half way through. But I agree with another reviewer, it started good then went to sputtering. I think the problem is the story, not the narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Eh.

I felt like I was listening to a college students take on writing in the style of Neil Gaiman.

I think that there were some really good plot ideas, but the development of the characters never came to fruition.

In addition to the story being weak, I wasn't a fan of the voice artist.

26 of 33 people found this review helpful