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The Automation

(Circo del Herrero #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  53 reviews
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, sa ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by SOBpublishing (first published July 7th 2014)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  81 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
The gods are baaaaack. Or, maybe they never left us (according to this novel). This book features automatons like you've never seen them before!!!! They were made by the god Vulcan (what he is called in the book, but called in the summaries online "Hephaestus", which I found super confusing. but they're supposed to be the same god in this book so I guess I don't care that much) and have sense fulfilled their original purpose. that is where this story takes place. They have no modern purpose, and ...more
P. Duck
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is strange but it knows it. It modernizes classic literature concepts and turns them on their heads. So, you might not want to read this unless you have a firm understanding of epic poetry and also studied a lot of classic literature in college. The footnotes make this a book worth buying in physical form because most ebooks can't seem to do them justice. ...more
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Publisher's Weekly called this book "self-conscious" when really I think the better word is "self-aware." Not since The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or the Discworld series has a book been so obvious of what it was meant to be. In the age of comic books, movies, streaming, etc., this makes the outdated form of "epic poetry" digestible once again. I picture the author as some unemployed gay guy sitting in his parents' basement, giggling at how much he's just gotten away with. This book is nut ...more
Sage Knightly
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it
The Automation is a strange, gods-rich novel with equally strange characters and a world built with webs of deceit and secrecy. It was interesting to read, but the book also had it’s fair share of disturbing qualities.

Odys witnesses a suicide, and doing so let him be entered into a world he didn’t know existed, a world with Automations (Automata?). Not only is he dragged into a plot to take down a rogue Master who has assumed evil intentions, his sister gets involved and danger takes a whole ne
Briar's Reviews
The Automation was a unique, niche book.

I did not enjoy this book, but it's not a bad book. For me, this book was wildly confusing with the two narrators and the foot notes on almost every page. The plot jumped all over the place and the chapter titles and stanzas just threw me for a loop. There was so many explanations and pieces of information that I didn't need in the foot notes. It felt like the editor had actually left their notes to the author in the book.

I had to force myself to finish th
It can never be said that I do not like to step outside the box of mainstream reading. The Automation by G.B. Gabbler was more than just a step for me, it was like a trip into the Twilight Zone. Except Rod refused to give the controls back to me.

I see this becoming a cult classic as people attempt to read and understand the ebb and flow, the ups and downs and the quirky footnotes in a banter between writer and narrator, who by the way are one and the same?

From the strange set of twins to the s
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Automation is “told” by two people: an insane “narrator” (read: author) and a controlling “editor” who redirects the story through the footnotes (read: interruptions like you would see in a Literature textbook but funnier) and editorial pressures. Really I should say the editor makes excuses for the narrator and tries to pigeon hole the story as some sort of embellished-yet-artistic memoir against the narrator’s will. However, the narrator and editor are merely characters in the “actual” sto ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full review is here, on my blog

Alright, so I’ll admit that I was actually putting this book off a little bit, which is part of why it took me so long to get to it, because while I really love mythology (especially Greco-Roman mythology) in general, this book is presented in a rather unique way compared to most modern literature and I wasn’t sure if it was going to be too… I dunno… too weird for me? Too meta? It’s told by a Narrator, who is the author, and then annotated (you can read this as pep
Sara Lucinda
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
It’s hard to explain this book really. It’s a smart-ass and it knows it?

Odys meets a stranger behaving oddly on a busy city street one day. The man hands him a coin and then proceeds to commit suicide right in front of him. Turns out the coin is actually an automaton created by the god Vulcan, and just by receiving it Odys’s life is changed in an instant.

This is an extremely character driven novel. The characters are very developed, as the author is quite meticulous when writing about things lik
Katrina Ayala
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
You can find this review at LenaMayBooks

“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…”

I chose to take an excerpt from the author’s
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
See my other reviews at Never Enough Books

The Automatons of Greco-Roman myth are not clockwork creations; they are so much more. They are intricate and divine in a way that no human mind could ever create. They are not mindless creations, but they do have a purpose; they have a function – a pre-programmed existence their creator installed in each one. A function that some would call questionable.

Odys finds his rather staid lifestyle disturbed when he witnesses a stranger commit suicide right in
Adam Oster
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

G.B. Gabbler's The Automation is a hard book to categorize. It's a little experimental, a little goofy, and a little science-fiction-y, while also hosting a bit of Greek myth and hard boiled detective novel-style narration. And on the whole, I think it does a fair job of combining this hefty grouping of categorizations well.

It was suggested to me due to my enjoyment of House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. And while the use of fo
Oct 11, 2015 rated it liked it
+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 characte
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where to even start with my review! There is so much that happened and didn't happen at the same time! The characters were well created and the backstory that you picked up along the way was fantastic. This was so unlike my recent reads that it was an exciting break from the norm. I did not know what to expect and the beginning I could tall it was going to be interesting. There are so many taboo topics that I just found made the book more real and the perspectives more interesting. So many twist ...more
Victorique Crawford
At times, I was completely confused but nonetheless found the work entertaining and enjoyable. Even when I have no clue as to what is happening. 

The writing had a lot of charm, with some strange things happening all around while I have little ideas. But the book succeeded in making me care about the characters which as usual was difficult when it comes to me. 

Odissa and Odys, which were twins and I found them really relatable here. As well as all the characters whom I did grow on such as Dorian
Jinni Griffin
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
To me this is a rookie novel, not good or bad, but you can tell this is an author experimenting. The book itself is not great, but it’s a great start. You can tell the series is going to be fantastic overall. I keep seeing people talking about how it compares to American Gods and Percy Jackson, which I think is the wrong thing to do. I think it is more comparable to His Dark Materials Series, because of the "soul outside the body" plot point. ...more
G.B. Gabbler
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
If Tumblr and Epic Poetry made a novel-baby, it might turn out something like this book.

Expect footnotes, expect many breakings of the 4th wall, expect English major cliches.

We liked this book, but, then again, we wrote the darn thing. Visit for more.
DNF @ 65%

I tried, I swear I did... This story sadly not for me, and I really don't like footnotes. I can see why other readers might love the book- it is humorous at times with a sprinkle of absurd. Just not for me.
Rebecca Crunden
Dec 14, 2020 marked it as to-read
↠↠ arc received, review to come ♡
Dec 15, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish
I'm not giving this book an actual rating because I didn't finish it. I got just over halfway through.

The reason I didn't finish the book is partly a spoiler, though I feel like it's something worth knowing before you decide to pick up this book. If I had known the book contained this in the first place, I never would have started it.

I give my reason at the end of this review, under a spoiler warning.

That being said, when I first started reading this book I REALLY liked it. It was weird, nothing
Nicki White
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
So….This one took me awhile to get through. The journey was definitely a very new one, that I’m not sure I wish to take again.

Chapter one amazed me. I became stuck in this trance-like state of wanting to explore more, but not fully comprehending what it was that I had read. And the more I read, the more I wanted out, but I still need my answer to the question which all developed in chapter one within the first 10 pages or so.

What started off as a completely new, different, unique writing style o
Caitlin Farley
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Automation is a gritty urban fantasy that gives a nod to classics such as Homer’s Odyssey.

The characters in this novel, both human and Automata, are believable and intriguing. There’s a delightful interplay between plot and characters as the past of this secret society as well as individual backstories and Automation history come to bear on the motives and origins of the current situation. The premise that an Automation runs on its Master’s soul, effectively stealing and embodying it, provi
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
This has to be the strangest little book I’ve read in a very long time, based on gods, family, power, and souls anthropomorphising.

The format initially knocked me for six. The narrator’s editor chimes in constantly with footnotes - adding, clarifying, and inserting information, whilst repeatedly slagging off the narrator for their choices of plot device, names, metaphors - anything. It’s jarring, and utterly disorienting, but it’s an interesting and unique way of driving the story along and maki
Glenn Conley
Oct 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
I did not finish this book. I just couldn't. It was that bad. I read the first few chapters, hoping for something great, because the premise of the book intrigued me. But the chapters I read were so bloody disappointing, that I had to just skip to the last chapter, and find out if any of this book was really worth reading. Turns out that it wasn't. It wasn't even worth skimming the rest of it to see if there was any nugget of goodness in it. Because I knew for certain that the author was just to ...more
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

*I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Automation is not my usual kind of book but since I was in the mood for a challenge, I decided to accept the author’s request. I did break a new record with this book (It took me four days to finish reading it; two of which I spent adjusting to it). My previous record was two days, and needless to say, that was a record I wasn’t eager to break.
The story begins when a stranger shoots himself in front of Odys Odelyn a
Rosie Amber
Jul 18, 2016 rated it liked it
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 assis
Sci-Fi & Scary
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: request-author
When I first starting reading The Automation, I loved it. The footnotes cracked me up, the writing was filled with enough snark to make grin in appreciation. I absolutely loved it when two of the ‘masters’ got into their insult slinging phases. The Automatons were cool. The characters were odd, but in a good way. Even the stanza breaks were mostly amusing. My interest lasted for about 127 pages, though it started dying out before then.

By turns hilarious and offensive in the beginning, The Autom
Apr 30, 2015 rated it did not like it
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I actually finished this two weeks ago but my feelings weren’t in order until now. It’s being pitched as a book that fans of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods would like. I adore Neil Gaiman so I was sold on The Automation.

I can’t even describe what the plot is because it’s all over the place. There are so many things going on and I found it very confusing and difficult to follow at times. The whole Automaton idea
Sarai Henderson
There is a lot to be said about this book so I'll start with what I liked about it. The story was well written with characters that fit into the world well. I liked Odys way of looking at the world, it reminded me of my Autistic son and how everything has to be just right or the whole world ends. The Automations were interestingly portrayed and gave the story a sense of mystery.

The things that took away from the story for me were the narrator. I felt like every time he stepped in, I was taken aw
G.B. Gabbler
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who liked American Gods
Recommended to G.B. by: The god Hephaestus
If Tumblr and Epic Poetry made a novel-baby, it might turn out something like this book.

Expect footnotes, expect many breakings of the 4th wall, expect English Major cliches.

We liked this book, but, then again, we wrote it. Visit for more.
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Editor of THE AUTOMATION, Vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. Spouse/partner/babysitter to The Narrator of said series (B.L.A.).

[Gabbler is the second half (maybe the better half, who knows?) of the pen name for The Author - singular - of the CIRCO series.]

This is technically a joint account for B.L.A and G.B. Gabbler because B.L.A doesn't really do the whole on-the-grid thing and would rath

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Circo del Herrero (2 books)
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