The Automation: Vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero Series (The Circo del Herrero Series/The Blacksmith’s Circus) by B.L.A. and G.B. Gabbler

The Automatons of Greco-Roman myth are not clockwork creations; they are so much more. They are intricate and divine in a way that no human mind could ever create. They are not mindless creations, but they do have a purpose; they have a function – a pre-programmed existence their creator installed in each one. A function that some would call questionable.

Odys finds his rather staid lifestyle disturbed when he witnesses a stranger commit suicide right in front of him. Only later does he realize the stranger did such a thing to free the Automaton attached to himself when she uses Odys’ soul to resurrect herself. Odys must come to accept this new development; this Automaton is part of him and they are now two halves of a whole. He must also accept that while his life doesn’t have much direction, hers does and it now includes him whether he likes it or not.

This is yet another book I was provided with for the purpose of review.

The Automation touts itself as a “prose epic”, a conglomeration of different writing styles and literary cliches. Told by an enigmatic Narrator and an Editor named Gabbler, they are the frame for the story. While the Narrator maintains the story is true, Gabbler’s doubt of the tale’s veracity shows up in the numerous snide comments made via footnote. It is this back and forth that helps keep the story grounded and from running too far amok.

Dear reader, I want to say that I enjoyed reading The Automation. Truly I do. However, I had a hard time with this one. The frenetic writing style made it difficult at times to follow along with the story and to understand what was going on. Add to that the fact that there were a few sensitive subjects touched upon (suicide, mentions of incest, etc.). There were a few instances where I felt somewhat uncomfortable reading it.

That is not to say that others won’t enjoy this book. Over on Goodreads, I have seen quite a few glowing reviews for The Automation. Sadly, I cannot add my own to the list. While I am certainly curious as to what will happen in the following books, I won’t be actively seeking them out either.

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