"I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books." So says our protagonist, a 15-year-old girl who has just fled from her mother, reunited with her father, and been shipped off to boarding school. Mori is awkward and lonely, but confident in who she is, a mixture that is undeniably appealing. Her crippled leg (a souvenir from a car accident or a magic battle or perhaps both) gets her out of the physical part of her lessons, leaving her hours of uninterrupted reading time in the school's library. Mori is a devout fan of SF, and her diary reads as a love letter to the classic books in the genre, shaping her just as surely as the circumstances around her. Mori sees beyond the surface of things, an ability that makes her a critical reader, a keen observer of people, and able to see fairies. The magic in this book is unlike anything I've otherwise seen. It's a quiet magic, and the theory behind it is so well done that I started to wonder if perhaps everything I once believed was magic and later convinced myself was coincidence was truly magic, after all. Although the story is told from a teenager's perspective, the book is marketed as adult fiction, and it would be well worth reading in either age group. Mori's self-sufficiency makes me want to cheer, while her love of books and desire to understand magic set off my soulmate vibes.— Danielle
Walton describes Among Others as being about a science fiction reader who has fantasy problems. Set in the heydey of scifi, 1979, Mori is at boarding school coming to terms with her sister's death, through books and fairy magic. The magic here is grim and disturbing, but the book itself manages to maintain a painfully sweet emotional depth.
Like Mori says, “it doesn’t matter if it’s magic or not, anything you do has power and consequences and affects other people.”— From Jackie
Winner of the 2011 Nebula Award for Best Novel
Winner of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novel
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.
One of School Library Journal's Best Adult Books 4 Teens titles of 2011
One of io9's best Science Fiction & Fantasy books of the year 2011
“A wonder and a joy. ” —The New York Times
“Compelling... Never deigning to transcend the genre to which it is clearly a love letter, this outstanding (and entirely teen-appropriate) tale draws its strength from a solid foundation of sense-of-wonder and what-if.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Beautifully crafted... Among Others calls to those who desire a wild, magical world in place of the one they have but eventually learn that their own lives are the greatest story of all.” —Bloomsbury Review
“There are the books you want to give all your friends, and there are the books you wish you could go back and give your younger self. And then there's the rare book, like Jo W alton's Among Others, that's both.” —io9.com
“An utterly amazing and beautiful book.” —RT Book Reviews, Top Pick