The City in the Middle of the Night: Charlie Jane Anders’ new futuristic tale

(Cover design by Jamie Stafford-Hill; courtesy Tor)


January is a dying planet—divided between a permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Humanity clings to life, spread across two archaic cities built in the sliver of habitable dusk. And living inside the cities, one flush with anarchy and the other buckling under the stricture of the ruling body, is increasingly just as dangerous as the uninhabitable wastelands outside.

Sophie, a student and reluctant revolutionary, is supposed to be dead, after being exiled into the night. Saved only by forming an unusual bond with the enigmatic beasts who roam the ice, Sophie vows to stay hidden from the world, hoping she can heal. But fate has other plans—and Sophie’s ensuing odyssey and the ragtag family she finds will change the entire world. (synopsis via

Charlie Jane Anders first novel, All in the Birds in the Sky, is one of those books that I dived into and almost immediately loved, engrossed by a thrilling narrative, exquisitely well-wrought characters and an accessible intelligence to proceedings that added so much to its endlessly-engaging story.


Charlie Jane Anders (image courtesy official Charlie Jane Anders Twitter account)


I can tell you already beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m going to love her next book too because not only has her publisher Tor unveiled a dazzlingly-captivating cover but they’ve also given us an excerpt to whet our appetite:

“Bianca walks toward me, under too much sky. The white-hot twilight makes a halo out of loose strands of her fine black hair. She looks down and fidgets, as though she’s trying to settle an argument with herself, but then she looks up and sees me and a smile starts in her eyes, then spreads to her mouth. This moment of recognition, the alchemy of being seen, feels so vivid, that everything else is an afterimage. By the time she reaches the Boulevard, where I’m standing, Bianca is laughing at some joke, that she’s about to share with me.

As the two of us walk back towards campus, a brace of dark quince leaves, hung on doorways in some recent celebration, waft past our feet. Their nine dried stems scuttle like tiny legs.” (Read the full excerpt.)

See doesn’t that make you want to read it already?

I can’t wait to finish it all in one sitting but alas wait I shall have to until 12 February 2019 when the book lands in bookshops, online and in my eager hands.

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