Lightreads's Reviews > Among Others

Among Others by Jo Walton
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's review
Nov 12, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: urban-fantasy, historical, fiction, fantasy
Read in October, 2011


So this is the sequel to a book that doesn't exist. That book -- the prequel -- is a standard issue fantasy about Mor and her twin sister growing up in Wales and seeing faeries, and how they save the world. This book is about the aftermath -- about Mor sent away from home, and grieving, and having to live in the world of school and estranged relatives after all she's done and seen. Having to live disabled in the world, I should clarify. And it's about that -- a coming into the mundane world because that's where we all grow up, ultimately, even if like Mor we read instead of breathing and don't really understand other people.

I don't . . . it didn't . . . yeah, not quite. Should have loved it -- my buttons, there they are. And yet? There was a lot of trying too hard, a lot of all my female geeky readers who grew up in books will love this! if you know what I mean.

Still. Mor has an excellent voice (and Katherine Kellgren does a beautiful reading, really, I can't recommend the commercial audio highly enough.) And it is lovely and strange and unlike anything I can think of. And important, I think, in the ongoing conversation about fantasy literature and what parts of it belong to childhood and what to adulthood (see Lev Grossman, to name one). I just . . . I don't think it's quite as important a contribution to that conversation for me as a lot of people apparently found it to be.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I almost read this - made it all the way home from the library - but then I got busy and forgot. The sole reason for checking it out of the library was hey! Morwenna is my sister's name! But that's not really enough to recommend it.

But! This review makes it sound worth my while - the aftermaths, they are interesting times.

Lightreads Yeah, I would go for it. I have a huge lit kink for aftermath stories, and this is a pretty good one. Just not quite all the way for me.

Isis I love Katherine Kellgren! She reads the Bloody Jack books and is probably 50% of the reason I love them.

Lightreads Isn't she great? I've started grabbing things from Audible just because of her.

message 5: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell DUDE, finally someone who felt the same way about the book....EVERYONE else I knew loved it. And....I don't know, I kind of wanted to love it? People thought I would love it? And I just....don't know. Part of it was I really disliked the guy at the end, and the setup for the scifi convention. Also a friend of mine said, if it had been written by an author she totally didn't know, she would have wondered a lot more whether the fairy-things were actually real, and I think that would have been more suspenseful? Again....I don't know. It didn't quite click for me. However, since it's a book about finding your own people and so many of my friends LOVED it, the not-clicking felt really weird.

The flu has made me so inarticulate. :-/

Jenne I really love Jo Walton's posts on I don't always love her books or even the books she recommends. I haven't read this one yet, but I'm a little hesitant even though, like you say, it seems like a slam-dunk.

Lightreads Moira -- yes, the guy, I did not like him! I was actually quite confused to realize that the book was expecting me to like him, at a certain point. And like you, I can't even articulate why, but something about him.

message 8: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell Jenne wrote: "I really love Jo Walton's posts on I don't always love her books or even the books she recommends"

Yeah, that happens to me too. I like reading about her literary theories, not so much the actual practice.

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