The Parliament – by Aimee Pokwataka
Hardcover – Tor – Jan 2024 – 358 pages
Mad Purdy has agreed to teach a chemistry class for middle-school students at her hometown library. The birds are already gathering, but nobody takes note until the network goes down and one of the librarians goes outside to check the lines. The birds descend quickly, with gruesome results. All Mad wants is to protect these kids, but she also has to contend with being trapped in a building with her peers, people she had been friends with before and after the school shooting she witnessed at age 11. On her way through the library, she finds a copy of a childhood favorite, The Silent Queen. She reads it out loud as a distraction, and it serves as a counterpoint to the increasingly dire situation inside the library. They’re going to have to find a creative solution to escape, but fortunately, the library contains a wealth of knowledge.