I was going to just write this review on Goodreads but this book was too good not to share. Another one of my reads from 2017!
Also, sidenote, I didn’t read the blurb before writing my review so apologies for the coincidental repetition!
The August Birds by Octavia Cade
Genre: Science History | Speculative Fiction
August is nine years old, and dreams of becoming a scientist. This is a dream that will never come true, because August is dying. The only dream that’s left to him now is that of reaching his tenth birthday, on the last day of the month he was named after.
Yet on the eve of that month, August gets two surprise visitors: time-travelling ravens Muninn and Huginn, come out of Norse mythology to bring him the science that he loves. On each of the final days of August, the birds take him back through time to an event in science that happened on that day – the writing of the Einstein-Szilard letter; the discovery of the first Neanderthal grave; helium and Hiroshima and hot air balloons…
August comes to understand that these trips into science aren’t simple kindnesses. They’re ways for him to come to terms with his own death, to make peace with his mortality. And, if Muninn has her way, they’ll give him a chance to cheat death after all…
Get it here: Amazon | Smashwords (free)
I really, really enjoyed this one! The writing immediately stood out so I knew it was going to be a good read, and such an interesting premise! August wants to be a scientist when he grows up but he’s very sick and knows he’ll never reach that dream. A more manageable dream, he desperately wants to make it to his 10th birthday, which is a month away (the last day in August).
Two ravens, Muninn and Huginn (who I now know after reading American Gods!), appear in his room one day and make a deal with him — if he promises to hold on until his 10th birthday, they’ll show him a piece of science every day. Each of these days, we’re transported to a different time and location to see an important scientific discovery, invention, or event that happened on that date in history.