Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.
Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science-fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled - and her twin sister dead.
Fleeing to her father, whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England - a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off.
Combining elements of autobiography with flights of imagination in the manner of novels like Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude, this is potentially a breakout book for an author whose genius has already been hailed by peers like Kelly Link, Sarah Weinman, and Ursula K. Le Guin.
©2010 Jo Walton (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
“Walton succeeds admirably. Her novel is a wonder and a joy.” (The New York Times)
"Katherine Kellgren’s Welsh accent, with its lyrical cadences, suggests that audio may be the most authentic way to experience this 2011 winner of the Nebula Award." (Audiofile)
Blossoming, fannish, and different
Love the accent. Really brought me me over to Wales with the voice.
It's not a usual coming of age story. The characters are all flawed, some with deep scars inside. Made it more real, more believable characters. Really enjoyed the book. Also enjoyed her discovering the fannish world and her love of books.
Written in the style of a diary or memoir, a fictional coming of age story of a teenage girl going to English boarding school in late seventies. It has the most realistic approach to how magic could exist in the real world, but there is very little magic actually done.
If you grew up as the outsider and used sci-fi, fantasy or reading as a form of escapism you'll connect with this main character. At least half the book is of her views and opinions of classic sci-fi & fantasy stories.
For some reason I found this an addictive read.
(No spoiler here.) The final scenes which reveal (I think) what the story was really all about.
Excellent. I am not sure about her Welsh accent, but she has me convinced. First rate, and a difficult role.
The book is more of a coming of age story than anything else. There is no SF in it at all, and even the fantasy is thin - this is not a negative criticism.
Totally addicted! It's possible I might need Audible rehab.
It's rare that I don't get through a book. I can't give an honest review of the story because of the narration. I appreciate a good thick accent but this was missing changes of inflection or something. It was just difficult for me to listen to long enough to really invest in the story.
Maybe in print, but not audio.
The itself was good and the ending worked everything out.
Someone with a younger sounding voice. The girl in the story was 15 and since she was telling the whole story, it needed a much younger sounding narrator.
Took me back into myself, into the worlds of books I dove into and jumped off from when I was a kid. I keep trying to tell people about the story, and keep finding myself saying "it's hard to describe... it's itself." And it is. Kellgren's narration is particularly splendid. I am glad I listened to the narration before I read the book myself, which is a bit of a shock to me, but listening to the cadence and passion Kellgren breathes into the first person storytelling was a warmly intimate way to meet Mori, and I savored it. Now to dig out the books that populate Mori's world, both the old friends and the ones she introduced me to.
I felt that the story starts after the actual interesting story has already ended. I kept hoping for flashbacks that would tell me the real story. I find it a boring trope to have the main character as some sort of super reader. There were just lists and lists of SF books that the main character reads and if you are not familiar with them then it is very boring. I started to eye roll every time the main character would start to chronicle her new favorite SF books and was wishing I was reading those books instead. If I read this book as a physical book I would have skimmed or skipped many sections. Underlying story is somewhat interesting but there is a lot slogging to piece together that story.
I was disappointed in the book. The other reviews were good but I found it painfully pretentious and mostly boring.
I very much enjoyed READING the story, and I normally really like Katherine Kellgren. However, her Welsh accent in this one drove me crazy ~ too "sing-song" for my preferences.
The story in general is original, and the novel has some excellent parts. However, the constant literary references consume more time and authorial energy than the plot itself, and it gets annoying fast. If I have to hear the term "SF" again I may scream, and this from an admitted bibliophile who adores Science Fiction. I mean, it's nice to hear titles and authors I love mentioned, but, really, who wants to hear what the protagonist is reading ad nasueam? Seriously, it's continuous. I appreciate the connections the character is making between the novels and her own life, and recognize the role this plays in advancing the story, but enough is enough. Also, the narrator's inflections become irritating after a bit.
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