Book Review: The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis

I really wanted to like this. I utterly adore the Falco novels and have read every one more than once. Upon rereading Nemesis, I saw more clearly how Albia was being set up as to follow Falco. The first time I read it, I remember thinking – aargh, no, I can’t stand this character, why is Lindsey writing about her so much? The second time it was obvious. Albia was going to wear the Falco crown and badly she wears it too. The problem with Albia is that she is unlikable. She’s boring; she’s a bad judge of character; she’s apparently tough but we never see it; she has so many chips on her shoulder she can hardly see straight; she has no sense of humour whatsoever; she’s not Falco. There’s not a lot one can do about the last one but why did she have to be so uninteresting? Falco was funny, he was smart, he was tough, he loved Helena with all his heart and soul. His view on Rome was fascinating. His conversations were brilliant. Albia never relates an intimate conversation. There’s very little personal stuff. We don’t see her interacting with her family at all, though they clearly play a strong role in her life. Worse, through the Albia books, Lindsey Davis is systematically removing everything from Falco’s life that brings him joy. I fully expect her to kill off Helena just to make him more miserable. Why? Is this a case of an author who has come to hate her popular creation? A sad ending to a brilliant series.

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About susannahjbell

I am a writer of science fiction and other strange and surreal works. I mostly write novels and the occasional novelette. My published works include A Doorway into Ultra, the Fleet Quintet and the Exodus Sequence. I live in London in an attic flat but really want to live in a tree. I wanted to be an astrophysicist but would settle for an alien abduction. I write because I don’t know what to read.
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2 Responses to Book Review: The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis

  1. mgm75 says:

    I have tried to avoid reading most of your short review to avoid ruining anything (because I am 11/12 books in to the 20 book Falco series). Is this a spin off (and if so, stand alone or a new series)? And would you recommend it?

    In case you want to avoid spoilers, the next one for me to read is The Accusers 🙂

  2. Apologies – didn’t mean to spoil the Falco series for anyone! Don’t read it until you’ve read the last Falco book, Nemesis. The new spin-off series with Albia (I won’t say who she is) picks up after Nemesis. Enjoy the rest of the Falco books, though; I really loved them! Not at all keen on the Albia series though…..

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