The book is definitely in the fantasy genre. There are fairies, and magic comes into play. Still, the story of Mori's first year at a boarding school that she hates is the strongest element. She turns to the world of books for comfort, and most of the time she is reading science fiction or fantasy authors. She mentions many authors in those genres throughout out the book, with allusions to what she thinks about the author and/or the book, although with few specifics about books.
I don't know if this is a great book, but it is definitely one I will reread. I will pick up more books by the various authors mentioned in the book and try out some of the authors I have not read yet. Many of the authors were familiar to me, although I may have read some of their books long ago. Others were totally new to me. Such as Samuel R. Delany. To be honest, the fact that the book features reading, books and authors as a major part of the story was the main draw for me, and I might never had read it otherwise.
This is the first fantasy novel by Walton that I have read, but I have read her trilogy of books set in an alternate England where Germany and England reached a peace agreement in 1941: Farthing, Ha'penny, and Half a Crown. Tor has recently published a book compiling some of her blog posts for the Tor.com website, titled What Makes This Book So Great. That book also talks mainly about fantasy and science fiction books and authors, and Walton's love of books and libraries shines through.
Walton's dedication for Among Others:
This is for all the librarians in the world, and the librarians who sit there day after day lending books to people.There are elements of the book that are auto-biographical. The author drew on her own experiences with a disability and turning to books instead of friends for solace. The author talks about this on her website and this interview at the Guardian website.
Publisher: Tor Books, 2011
Length: 302 pages
Format: Trade paperback