A witch child who can talk to birds? Science whiz smart enough to build an AI computer in his bedroom? These two tweens, Patricia and Laurence form a trauma bond through their one commonality—they are both misfits, bullied at school, and to different degrees, at home. During one of her parentally forbidden romps through the woods, nature lover Patricia learns from the birds that she is a witch with a connection to the natural world. Laurence draws the attention of a secret organization trying to open a wormhole to other worlds in order to save humanity. Forcefully estranged as children, they reunite as adults in San Francisco in a near-apocalyptic future.
Like its main protagonists, this novel lives in both the sci-fi and fantasy worlds at the same time. It wrestles with overarching contrasts while also touching on the multiple human themes of friendship, belonging, hubris, awkward young adulthood. This book manages to be funny and dark at the same time. In it, Anders also considers the ignoble actions some people will take in pursuit of a noble cause.
Great for those who like to read apocalyptic fiction, environmental fiction, and fiction with dark themes. On the other hand, it may also be a good fit for people who enjoy humorous or whimsical fiction.