“Some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever read hinges on characters about whom it’s very difficult to give a flying walnut” -Natasha Pulley

How do you pick books to read? What are the features that attract you?

Good characters matter much more to me than good plotting or good prose. Some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever read hinges on characters about whom it’s very difficult to give a flying walnut. It’s hard to plough on with that sort of thing for fun, for all it is linguistically improving. If I want improving, I read nonfiction. In fiction, what I want is somebody whom I care about terribly.

Read the rest.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

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Gabbler Reviews The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton

The Philosopher Kings (Thessaly, #2)The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, B.L.A.’s predictions weren’t entirely accurate (see: https://circodelherreroseries.com/2015…), but there’s still one more book to go, so I’m not throwing out the prophesies just yet!

I was a bit (rather, a LOT) disappointed with this sequel because it took a step back from the intellectual momentum it built up in the first. It suffers from “second novel syndrome” in that it trudges through the plot just so it can finally arrive were it really wanted to go all along: Book 3.

Another qualm I have with the book is that it has a lady in a refrigerator–a woman dies for the sake of male character development. Right off the bat.

Beyond these, though, the weird “superpowers” given to the too-many-to-remember children of Apollo can be forgiven; the rickety deus ex machina of Zeus can be forgiven; the jarring sci-fi twist can be forgiven… Why? Because the philosophical topics the story continues to explore are its main saving grace.

But can it be this series’ continued salvation?

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