REVIEW: The Just City by Jo Walton

The Just City - Jo Walton

The story follows various people who take part in an experiment, set up by Greek gods, Athena and Apolla to recreate Plato's Republic.


The writing style is solid and there is plenty of eye for detail. For example, when Apollo stands in a beam of light that shines on Athena's desk, she notices him not because he casts a shadow, but because the light broadens (Apollo is a god of light after all).


The initial setup is well done and you get drawn into the story, even if you haven't read Plato's Republic.


My only and biggest complaint is how the book works towards the ending. There is some setup done for it, but it all feels disjointed. It's not that the ending isn't logical, and the suddenness of it is justified. Yet the way the plot gets there struck me as extremely artificial.

The ending thus left me dissatisfied, and maybe that was the intention of the author, but I can't say I enjoy reading such things.


Final verdict:

I think that to get the most out of this book you must have read Plato's Republic. I haven't and maybe that's why I consider this book only 'okay'. On it's own, the story doesn't carry.