Review: Necessity by Jo Walton
3.5 Stars , Reviews / August 16, 2016

Necessity is the final book in the Thessaly trilogy by Jo Walton. As the story continues generations from the start of the series, we find the citizens doing very well, integrating themselves into the interstellar world. There are alien residents and traders visiting the planet. The individual cities seem to be thriving, and people are free to move wherever they feel best fits their personal ideology. It is utopia, finally (or at least much closer than they had achieved previously). But there are complications caused by a sudden death and then a nearing spaceship that will be their first interactions with space humans which kick our story for this final chapter in the series. I have to say, my reading experience with this one was a little different than the first two. Both The Just City and Philosopher Kings seemed to create a more philosophical undertone to them that I just didn’t find in Necessity. The Just City really showed how rigid structure, even when it is with the best intentions, creates a new set of problems. It also explored what constitutes a thinking being, at what point does artificial intelligence become independent and an individual. Philosopher Kings took a strong look at forgiveness versus vengeance,…

The Just City by Jo Walton
5 Stars , Reviews / January 10, 2015

A very thought provoking and insightful book that makes you question the way things are in the world, as well as how they could be (and if that “other way” would really be better or worse). The Just City is an experiment carried out with by a Goddess. Her goal was to create perfectly balanced society where its citizens are judged solely on their own merits and abilities. There is to be no preferential treatment, people there should want to be their best selves and strive to do right by the city. If everyone lives by this code, then the city should thrive. The adults (or “masters”) in the city were all prayed to Pallas Athene for exactly this opportunity. They expressed a desire and interest to come to this. Many of them are people famous for their ideas and efforts during their times in history. The children however, were brought to the city under different circumstances. The city needed children for the experiment to work, but there was controversy over how to best do this. How can you best populate a new city with over ten thousand 10 year olds? It makes for an interesting dynamic. Since the masters had all prayed to Athena specifically to…