Morwenna “Mori”Phelps has just been shipped off to a posh British boarding school by her previously absent father and his bizarre sisters. At the boarding school, Mori feels lost among a group of girls with whom she has nothing in common. Mori loves science fiction novels and can do magic and see fairies, and she desperately wants to go back home. Yet, home isn’t an ideal place either–her mother is mad. Join Mori as she struggles to establish her place and confront the aftermath of the home tragedy that destroyed her and her sister.
What an incredible book! Jo Walton has developed a wonderful plot-line, expertly weaving ordinary challenges and supernatural ones into one fascinating story. Walton takes the reader into Morwenna’s head through her journal entries. I found this tactic quite effective–it does certainly record events, but we also get Morwenna’s musings on her beloved science fiction books. Morwenna is a marvelous narrator–I liked how Walton painted her in subtle, yet strong characters. She is a determined individual, but, even though she is magical, her power is not the focus of her character. I really related to her.
Additionally, I liked the way Walton portrayed magic in Among Others. There are no real displays of power in the book–in fact most of the results of magic could be chalked up to coincidence. This system frames the story nicely and adds another interesting layer. I really liked that Walton did something different and incorporated it so well.
To summarize: This is a fantastic book! Go read it!