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Among Others (Hugo Award Winner - Best Novel) Paperback – January 3, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. World Fantasy Award–winner Walton (Tooth and Claw) turns the magical boarding school story inside out in this compelling coming-of-age tale. Welsh teen Morwenna was badly hurt, and her twin sister killed, when the two foiled their abusive mother's spell work. Seeking refuge with a father she barely knows in England, Mori is shunted off to a grim boarding school. Mori works a spell to find kindred souls and soon meets a welcoming group of science fiction readers, but she can feel her mother looking for her, and this time Mori won't be able to escape. Walton beautifully captures the outsider's yearning in Mori's earthy and thoughtful journal entries: "It doesn't matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books." 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. (Jan.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With a deft hand and a blazing imagination, fantasy writer Walton mixes genres to great effect. Elements of fantasy, science fiction, and coming-of-age novels combine into one superlative literary package that will appeal to a variety of readers across age levels. After engaging in a classic good-magic-versus-bad-magic battle with her mother that fatally wounds her twin sister, 15-year-old Morwenna leaves Wales and attempts to reconnect with her estranged father. She was sent to boarding school in England, and her riveting backstory unfolds gradually as she records her thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a series of journal entries. An ominous sense of disquiet permeates the nonlinear plot as Morwenna attempts to avoid a final clash with her mother. In addition to casting an irresistible narrative spell, Walton also pays tribute to a host of science-fiction masters as she peppers Morwenna’s journal with the titles of the novels she devours in her book-fueled quest for self-discovery. --Margaret Flanagan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I did like some of the ideas regarding the relationship between magic and the real world, but again there was little sense of wonder inspired in this reader.
Unfortunately it doesn't really pick up. Ever. Plenty of side plots are introduced but not developed. Even the final climax of the story is incredibly anticlimactic. In the end it really does just feel like you've picked up a teenager's journal, it just so happens that the teenager is a bit magical but otherwise rather dull.
Perhaps you would get more out of the book if you are a big fan of 1970s science fiction, as she makes many comparisons to characters is Zelazny, Delany, Heinlin, Dick, Le Guin and occasionally McCaffrey books. I was familiar with maybe half of the references but even that wasn't enough and I felt left out for not recognising the other half.
Overall, I had high expectations but was fairly disappointed.