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Plague Birds


"For fans of Jemison’s Broken Earth trilogy and Dreamblood duology, Meyer’s The Host, Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, weird and unsettling AI stories, creepy children with godlike powers, and cross-species friendships.
—From J.Z. Kelley's review of Plague Birds

Glowing red lines split their faces. Shock-red hair and clothes warn people to flee their approach. They are plague birds, the powerful merging of humans and artificial intelligences who serve as judges and executioners after the collapse of civilization.

And the plague birds’ judgment is swift and deadly, as Crista discovered as a child when she watched one kill her mother.

In a world of gene-modded humans constantly watched over by benevolent AIs, everyone hates and fears the plague birds. But to save her father and home village, Crista becomes the very creature she fears the most. And her first task as a plague bird is hunting down an ancient group of murderers wielding magic-like powers.

As Crista and her AI symbiote travel farther from home than she ever imagined, they are plunged into a strange world where she judges wrongdoers, befriends other outcasts, and uncovers an extremely personal conspiracy that threatens the lives of millions.

Plague Birds is a genre-bending mix of science fiction and dark fantasy and the epic story of a young woman who becomes one of the future’s most hated creatures, with a killer AI bonded to her very blood.

Praise for Plague Birds

"A masterpiece in world-building, Plague Birds is a wildly imaginative thrill ride set in a weird future populated by biogenetically engineered human/animal hybrids, benevolent and malevolent AIs, alien forces and—strangest of all—plague birds, powerful arbiters of justice who are bonded to AIs that course through their veins.  An action-packed and riveting page-turner, I couldn’t put it down."
—Mercurio D. Rivera, World Fantasy Award-nominated author

"Such a perfect blend of sf and fantasy weaving memory, loss, technology, and family into a wholly unique tapestry that left me turning the pages just to see what he would do next"
—Maurice Broaddus, author of Pimp My Airship and Kingmaker

"A book thick with bloodlines of family, friendship, and history. This is truly Jason Sanford at his finest: a story with real bite. Its characters are so clear and so real that I laughed with them, cried with them, and sat gripping the final pages because I didn’t want to let them go. With cities that come alive (literally) and prose with personality, Plague Birds is a book that I’ll be thinking about for days, months, years to come."
—Jordan Kurella, author of the forthcoming novel I Never Liked You Anyway

"For his debut novel, Plague Birds, Sanford has written a lush speculative fiction epic set in a post-apocalyptic world. Filled with genetically enhanced humans and AIs, the story centers on a reluctant heroine-turned-plague bird who must investigate the past to create a new future. Readers desperate for characters who transform tragedy into hope will love how Sanford weaves seemingly disparate threads to a thrilling climax and satisfying conclusion."
—Monica Valentinelli, author of the Firefly Encyclopedia

"In this fun and thrilling far-future story where towns are sentient, monks are cannibalistic, and AIs are both gods and jerks, Jason Sanford explores how trust is still a characteristic of the human condition, even if that being is not what we recognize as human at all."
—LaShawn M. Wanak, editor of GigaNotoSaurus

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5.25 MB
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File Last Updated:
October 18, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on October 18, 2021.