The Automation is the first book in a series and is a novel written in a style paralleling an epic Greek poem. It has footnotes throughout and uses the fourth wall technique of speaking directly to the audience at points during the prose.
The story begins with Odys Odelyn meeting a strangely dressed man who engages him in conversation, gives him a strange coin and then commits suicide right in front of him. Odys and his sister Odissa are in their 20’s they share an apartment and are library assistants, it is later revealed that they are twins. Their father has a financial hold over them and Odissa leaves for a meeting to keep up their end of the contract to keep their money flowing.
Shocked by the suicide of Pepin Pound, Odys becomes ill, but wakes to find a strange women in his apartment. She discloses that she is an Automaton and represents his soul, they take energy from each other and neither can survive without the other. Maud drip feeds Odys information, he is very wary of her, rightfully distrusting of her. Others are curious about the couple and Dorian and Fletcher break into the apartment, sent by “Mother” to find out how much Pepin told Odys. But Odys is in the dark and soon finds himself thrown into a world of Gods, humans and their Automatons.
When Odissa returns, the group try to keep her apart from Odys, they need to know if she too is a pawn in the bigger plans of Vulcan and who else is pulling strings. They go to extremes to erase traces of their existence. There are lots of twists and turns, sub plots, and characters to keep you on your toes, yet the slow pace of the book and the distracting side stories also made it wearisome.
The author sprinkles in great lines like; “The grey clouds had decided to shake out a little bit of snow” and amusing lines like “The muses do know how to recycle a concept”. At other times I felt the author wanted to shock the reading audience with both his language and characters, pushing the reader to their limitations.
This isn’t an easy read, more a niche market piece for those who don’t mind their read being like an author’s experiment with the written word. For me it was an exhausting read, trying to follow all the madness in the story threads, the book ends in preparation for the next in the epic series, it just didn’t work for me.
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