AMONG OTHERS by JO WALTON.
'It doesn't matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.' Fifteen-year-old Morwenna lives in Wales with her twin sister and a mother who spins dark magic for ill. One day, Mori and her mother fight a powerful, magical battle that kills her sister and leaves Mori crippled. Devastated, Mori flees to her long-lost father in England. Adrift, outcast at boarding school, Mori retreats into the worlds she knows best: her magic and her books. She works a spell to meet kindred souls and continues to devour every fantasy and science fiction novel she can lay her hands on. But danger lurks... She knows her mother is looking for her and that when she finds her, there will be no escape.
...... Amazon book description.
MY THOUGHTS: Firstly can I say that I haven't forgotten to add the first sentence or memorable moment, an uncorrected proof copy, the conditions of my receiving this book specify that no quotations be given.
Who would have thought that someone who spends their every spare moment reading would find a book about a teenager who spends her every spare moment reading so uninspiring.
Given that I don't like to use the word boring to describe any book let's just say that I found Among Others with its constant almost obsessive references to science fiction books and authors incredibly tedious reading. The fact that though certain things are hinted at throughout (Mor's twin sisters death, her disability, their mothers 'witchcraft', the fairies) and yet not ever really explained frustrating. That Mor never developed beyond a one dimensional character disappointing.
Written as a diary (never my favourite format I admit) Among Others begins with an incident that occurred in 1975 before skipping forward four years where we find circumstances much changed for the now fifteen year old Mor.
A coming of age novel, a story of what it is to be different, a tale of what it's like to feel you don't fit in, I was hugely disappointed that more wasn't made of the fairy tale aspect, that this wasn't the magical book I was hoping it was going to be.
DISCLAIMER: Read and reviewed on behalf of NEWBOOKS magazine I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
Though not published until March 2013 (the hardback version is available November 2012) Among Others is available to pre-order at Amazon now.