Monday, July 25, 2011
Among Others by Jo Walton
I really enjoyed the Ha'Penny series by Walton, and I thought this would be quite good, too. Unfortunately, I only made it about a quarter of the way through before giving up. It's just a little to vague and young adult for my tastes, though others may like it quite well.
The story is about a girl, Morwenna Phelps, who has lost her twin sister in some sort of vague, unspecified magical (she believes) disaster triggered by her mother, and been crippled, herself. She's sent off to live with her father and his sisters, and must accustom herself to her new surroundings, including an English girls school.
It's vaguely reminscent for me (and it's been many many years since I read them) of The Magus by John Fowles, and I Capture the Castle by an author whose name I have forgotten, as well as having some undertones of the whole Narnia thing, without any of its excitement or moral certainty.
Walton does some very good descriptive and evocative stylistic things in this novel, but it never really held my attention, despite the fact that the heroine is a serious science fiction and fantasy reader, and the book is peppered with references to classics of the genre, such as:
(regarding her father) "If he's Lazarus Long to our Laz and Lor, I'd expect to have some sense of recognition."
Alas, despite the Heinlein references, I just couldn't continue.