10 November, 2015


Title: The Automation
Author: G. B. Gabbler
Series: Circo del Herrero #1
Genres: Fantasy
Publisher: SOBPublishing
Source: Paperback
Pages: 376

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SYNOPSIS: The capital-A Automatons of Greco-Roman myth aren’t clockwork. Their design is much more divine. They’re more intricate than robots or androids or anything else mortal humans could invent. Their windup keys are their human Masters. They aren’t mindless; they have infinite storage space. And, because they have more than one form, they’re more versatile and portable than, say, your cell phone—and much more useful too. The only thing these god-forged beings share in common with those lowercase-A automatons is their pre-programmed existence. They have a function—a function their creator put into place—a function that was questionable from the start…
Odys (no, not short for Odysseus, thank you) finds his hermetic lifestyle falling apart after a stranger commits suicide to free his soul-attached Automaton slave. The humanoid Automaton uses Odys’s soul to “reactivate” herself. Odys must learn to accept that the female Automaton is an extension of his body—that they are the same person—and that her creator-god is forging a new purpose for all with Automatons…

The novel calls itself a “Prose Epic,” but is otherwise a purposeful implosion of literary clichés and gimmicks: A Narrator and an Editor (named Gabbler) frame the novel. Gabbler’s pompous commentary (as footnotes) on the nameless Narrator’s story grounds the novel in reality. Gabbler is a stereotypical academic who likes the story only for its so-called “literary” qualities, but otherwise contradicts the Narrator’s claim that the story is true.

THE AUTOMATION is a this-world fantasy that reboots mythical characters and alchemical concepts. Its ideal place would be on the same bookshelf as Wilson’s ALIF THE UNSEEN and Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS—though it wouldn’t mind bookending Homer, Virgil, and Milton, to be specific.

And, yes, "B.L.A. and G.B. Gabbler" are really just a pen name.

This book was given for free in exchange for an honest review. They're always honest but I had to write it down anyway. So I would say this is not the kind of book I'm used to reading on daily basis but it certainly was original.

THE WORLD: It is pretty much the real world as we know it but Gods are real. Yes, Gods in plural. Specially featuring the creations of one of the Gods, the Automatons (a.k.a Guardians), which are natural extensions of their owners' souls.

CHARACTERS: The main character is Odys Odelyn and they story begins when Pepin J. Pound kills himself in front of Odys after giving him his umbrella and a penny. But the penny is a special penny, in fact is not even a penny but an Automaton. Suddenly, Odys sees himself bound to the Automaton, Maud, and I mean literally bound because the Automatons run on their Master's souls. They are the physical manifestations of their Master's soul so to speak but Odys struggles with it because he doesn't want Maud so they don't completely sync. Meanwhile, other Masters contact Odys and Maud, wait no, more like they threat Odys and Maud to follow their rules if Odys doesn't want anything bad to happen to his sister, Odissa. They have a special brother-sister bond. They're twins.
And this is only the beginning! We get to know why this God made the Automatons, and why one of the Masters wants to kill all the other ones (there has to be someone evil right?) and a whole lot of things.

LOVE: No romance is featured in the book although there are some "adult" conversations. Hint: look for f*cks to give. (That joke is not even funny but I couldn't resist)

PLUS: Here is what I think. I think the story was interesting, really, and the concept of Automatons also. I particularly enjoyed the author-editor interactions through the footnotes. They were hilarious and added a lot of originality to the story.
Oh! and I like when I read Spanish phrases in English books. But just as a note: there were some mistakes in the Spanish phrases, not big ones but... for example when  means "yes" then it has (needs) a tilde while if si means "if" or the musical note it doesn't have one.

PLUS-MINUS: This is a new concept because although I enjoyed the narration style at the beginning (because the author-editor have interactions between them and they also comment on the story itself) by the end of the book I was pretty much annoyed. Some interactions and pauses were not necessary.

MINUS: I'd say that the major minus was the development of the characters. The book happens really fast, barely a week or so but I did not see any character development at all and most of the Masters were annoying. They though of themselves as "Gods" because of their God-given-gift. Those pricks. I relate to Odys although I would've kill them instead of just playing along... and also the relationships between the characters were f*cked up. It was really weird to read, ew.

OVERALL: I give it a final rate of 3 stars. As the rating policy states "not really my type but I did enjoy reading it". I would say that if you have experience with this type of books it may not appear as strange to you so you can go ahead and give it a try. And if you don't have any experience, like me, but are willing to step out of your comfort zone, also give it a try! I find myself wanting to know the answers of all the questions stated at the end of this book. Second book when?


What did you guys think about THE AUTOMATION?