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The title drew me to this book more than anything else. There is something magical and promising about it.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Eileen Stevens. I enjoyed the voices she gave to Mattie (the automaton), Nairobi (spelling could be off here), and the stone gargoyles, but her male voices left something to be desired. When she was narrating, her voice was a bit flat and monotonous. I almost gave up part way through, but managed to perservere to the end.
I liked the concept of the protagonist - a machine that can reason, feel physical pain and pleasure, as well as identify to a specific gender and emote enough to fall in love. The only thing lacking is a soul. The themes throughout the book were that of political power, subservience, and oppression of caste.
I was intrigued by the characters Mattie, Nairobi, and the Soul Smoker.
A few things were confusing to me. It seemed incongruous to have a sophisticated automaton in a technically backwards society. At the end of the civil unrest, I was still uncertain as to what it was all about. Character development seemed to be lacking in some of the characters that would have helped in making the story cohesive. Perhaps these things were lost in interpretation by the narrator.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Great listen. Eileen Stevens is one of the best narrators I've ever heard. Her portrayal of the characters was fresh and charismatic. Ekaterina Sedia has created a world so different and wonderful, she could write a series of novels set in its passages. Alas, it is refreshing to know she isn't one of 'those' writers. If you like other worldly and urban fantasy come no further, this book is for you. I couldn't wait to hear more.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful