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)
I've heard Katharine Kellgren with an English accent in Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, but her Welsh accent was just as brilliant, maybe better! (At least to this untrained Australian ear.)
The story by Jo Walton is also lovely, the inner monologue, or conversation, that Mor has with her diary is honest and amusing. Read in Kellgren's Welsh accent just listening to this book made me smile, a lot.
The main character Mor is a teen learning about life. Between her passion for science fiction novels, her disinterest in the vain girly things of her classmates and her interaction with the fantastic and magic things of the world this book is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers.
Good for literature and sci fi lovers as it references a lot of sci fi novels.
The main character for her resilience.
The final scene.
Brilliant Welsh accent by reader.
Yes, I enjoyed the book but I also didn't expect too much.
The ending was satisfying but not particularly profound.
The challenge with this book is that nothing ever happened.
Listening to this was worth the time.
The reader is fabulous, and probably the reason I persevered with the story. The story is full of onerous details like what someone is wearing, expressions on faces, the weather, which slow everything down. The reader is hoping for a big finish to reward the slow going. But the end of this story is a bit of a fizzer.
Not really. There are plenty of better reads than this I can recommend.
Wish I hadn't bought more Jo Walton books
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
If you're thinking of getting this book, you'd better listen to the sample of the narration! Consider whether or not you can deal with that voice and that accent (on and on without variation) for 10 hours! Seriously!
That said, there is a very intriguing story here. There are moments of magic, but also a good bit of frustration. The main character is wonderful and engaging. But there's a lot of name dropping (of book names and author names, especially SF and Fantasy) that is overdone in my view. I relished the stuff about love of reading, and libraries, and book shops, but I must admit I mostly just wanted to get on with the story, if there was ever going to be one!
Because of the narration, I am going to give this book another chance -- in written form! I know some reviewers have loved "the voice", but I ultimately found it to be unbearable.
The writing seems to be good. The story line intrigued me. The flow was good but the narration (for me) was just too awful. The singsong speech pattern distracted from what I think is a good story. I really hate to be critical of narrators because I appreciate the work they do.
Of all the books I own, I most love the ones that paint word movies in my mind.
I usually love the lilt and musicality of the Welsh accent, but as performed by this reader, it was so emphatic and so thick that it really became painful to listen to. It was like a Welsh valley girl constantly rambling on and on about nothing -- AAaaarrrgggghhhhHHH! Shut up already! I'm about 2/3 of the way through and I had to stop to give my brain a rest! Will I like it better when I finish it? (Oh, I WILL finish it!) I don't know. But for now, what started as a charming story became a forced march through teenage hell. Proceed with caution!
Note: Don't know if I would have liked story because reader ruined for me so that I could not continue. Reader has a Irish accent that is thicker than I like but that is not worst part. She doesn't have any pause at the end of sentences so a whole paragraph seems to be one continous one. She also doesn't use different voices for different characters so it is hard to know which character is talking.
I would try the book again if there was a different reader but I don't think that is going to happen.
This book seemed to take a very long time to make it through. I kept checking the timer of the player and thinking “2 hours and 30 minutes? How can that be?” I was thinking this book was about magic in modern societies, but I ended up believing this is a diary of a schizophrenic. The further I got into it, the more she sounded like the Chief from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest”. Truly, the 200+ hours of the Games of Thrones series moved more briskly. I will never again complain that Peter F. Hamilton’s Void series was too verbose. This was the longest 10 hours of my life. If you only have 10 hours to live, this is definitely the book. Not only will it make those 10 hours seem much longer, but it will make you want to “cross over” so it will end.
No Pink Ponies
This is a diary form of a tale, told in first person by Morwenna, who survived a car accident that cost her her twin sister. But the accident is no ordinary accident; magic is involved--and witches, and...Morwenna's mother, who is apparently trying black magic to become the Dark Queen and be empress of the world--or so we are led to believe. We follow Morwenna as she's reunited with her absent father, goes to a posh but dull boarding school mandated by her three rich (witch?) aunts and she matures as a teen, gets a boyfriend, and battles magic. All through the book there is a running thread of the books Morwenna reads and loves, most of them science fiction. It's fun to hear her (abbreviated) opinion of the classics of sci fi but ultimately, there is less here in this novel than meets the eye and and the ultimate showdown is a bit of a let-down. The rest of the novel maunders on in diary form--interesting enough but not really gripping. Katy Kellgren's Welsh accent gets a bit on my nerves after the first section, but it's well-done and she's a good narrator, though she sounds a bit mature for the role of teenager. I've read worse, but didn't think it deserved a Nebula in the least.
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