This is so much the book I’d wish I’d written… an intriguing tale of magic melding with science fiction in the adolescence of a young girl; an elegy to libraries and to the power of words. Teenager Mori has run away from the Welsh valleys, from her malignant mother, and the death of her beloved twin sister, to find sanctuary with her father in England. Sent to boarding school, Mori immerses herself in her love of science fiction, and finds new meaningful connections with those that can share this passion for exploring space and time. But it is the other world of faerie that keeps pulling her back to her roots, and to a final confrontation with her mother.
Whether Mori’s encounters with the elemental fae are real or figments of her imagination doesn’t really matter, neither does her constant referencing of science fiction works (you don’t need to have read them all to understand!); this is a beautifully told story that really drew me in. Mori’s fierce intelligence and independence pull you along to believe every word of her narrative, and I eagerly devoured this story, desperate to know how it ended. And it’s a great testament to the transformative power of reading, and the importance of libraries – so a sure-fire winner for me. Rating:****
Corsair, 2013, ISBN 9781472106537