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)
Retired teacher and interpreter. I read classic and contemporary fiction, as well as Mystery/Suspense/Horror, Fantasy&Sci-fi.
Very enjoyable listen.
The narrator is so perfect, she even slowly changes her accent over the course of the story just as the character is said to, as she grows and changes from very Welsh, to adapting to life in an English boarding school.
Also, there's a very clever juxtaposition between the 'fantasy' of faeries and magic, and the world of Sci-Fi which absorbs Maury's free time and ignites her imagination.
I am mediately fell in love with the main character, Morwenna, especially the voice used by the reader to portray her. The first person POV of her journal lets you get into her head and heart, so you get to know her on a very personal level.
Her story unfolds peppered with her critiques of the various science-fiction novels she's reading. It proved to be an interesting technique for letting the reader get a better understanding of Morenna's thought processes.
and just when you thought the final chapter could become a cliché, it surprised you with the delightfully unexpected and satisfying end.
I loved the reader from the start. It's almost like listening to music; the words don't matter that much. I liked the character and even the diary style story but it just never got too far off the ground. Walton does a good job of telling the story through the main character's viewpoint and weaving her past into the present story. But I agree with other reviewers--this story is rather anticlimactic. But worth it just to listen to Katherine!
I LOVE SciFi ! I'm also a PhD student in Engineering and can only find the time to read using Audible!
It was exceptionally real feeling. The thought process written down of a young girl in her diary feels spot on. All the SF references were great, and especially amusing in a fantasy story. The fantasy aspect of the story was relatively mild, but then became disproportionately intense.
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.
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