Among Others

Jo Walton
Among Others Cover

Among Others


First of all, I have really enjoyed this book. However, I find it difficult to place it into a cathegory and to analize it under any specific genre, and it is not the typical book I would expect from a Nebula and Hugo winner.

It is definitely not a sci-fi book, although most of the book involves comments on sci-fi books. I particularly enjoyed this, since I love sci-fi (much more than fantasy), and I have read many of the books and authors that are mentioned, and ended up getting a lot of tips on books to read from the comments in the book. In this sense, I think someone who is not a huge sci-fi fan may be bored or put-off by this (very extensive) side of the book. A completely different aspect of the book is the story of a girl who has an abusive mother (maybe she is a dark witch, or maybe she is just plain crazy), has lost her twin sister and been separated from the rest of the family she loves and has to deal with the loneliness of being placed in a boarding school for upper class English girls. The story itself is sad, but it is also very well written, and I enjoyed the way she is slowly drawn out of her shell by a kind people and an opportunity to share her enthusiasm for books and find new friends to this. It is a beautiful coming-of-age story, about a young girl who suffers a great loss but gradually comes back to life and comes to understand that she must look forward to life, instead of clinging to the past. A third side of the story is the one that deals with fairies and magic, and I believe this is what makes this book part of the "sci-fi and fantasy" genre. However, this side of the book felt more incidental than central to the story.

As said in the beginning, I have really enjoyed the book, and would certainly recommend it as a nice reading for anyone who likes both sci-fi (although the book itself is definitely not sci-fi) and fantasy (although it is not a central part of the story), but who also (and mainly) appreciates a nice story about growing up and finding your place in the world.