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I was interested in reading this book to see an interpretation of Plato's Republic. I thought it would be good to see how someone would write about it having studied it and thought through the meaning. I wasn't disappointed, but certainly didn't agree with some aspects. eg. Suggesting that Plato 'got it wrong' and putting that into the mouth of Socrates; treating the gods as human - a bit on the edge there; and emphasis on 'rhetoric' when I'm sure that Socrates would never teach or engage in 'rhetoric'. He was a dialectician through and through. Any rhetoric he practised would be just by the way. I guess you could call his Apology 'rhetoric', but it was dialectic that we look to learn from him. I'm thinking about reading the other two in the trilogy. For the same reason I read this one - what will the author do with it?
I am a huge fan of Jo Walton, and have every book of hers on Audible except those in this series, so I was excited to find this book on a sale. However after multiple attempts I have only managed to get about half way through this book, and will probably return it. Like most Jo Walton books it has plenty of interesting ideas to get across and well developed characters. Just City does not have a strong plot, which is also characteristic of Jo Walton's writing style. Her ideas, and characters are what draw you into her worlds.
What killed this book for me was that the narrator did not know how to pronounce Athene, who is a main character that gets mentioned about once every ten minutes. Instead of pronouncing the last syllable like a na (as anyone who has taken so much as a middle school level class on Greek mythology would know to do) he says nee. Every time this happened it pushed me out of the story, and I just could not get past it. There were also a few other words like supplicant, and Catullus that the narrator also mispronounced.
If the mispronunciations are something you can get past I would recommend this book to you. Jo Walton is a great author and her stories always give you plenty to think about, and have great re-readability. If you can not get past this give the audible version a pass. If you are not sure if you can get past the mispronunciations you probably can't. They are constant, and even if it only irritates you a little at first, believe me, that irritation will grow.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
I liked the tale, but often got a little tired of the dialogue. I understand this is a beginning to a series or set, but even though it seems like the story will continue, I probably won't get the next one, at least not right away.