I recently saw Mary Beard give a talk about her new book. She actually referenced I, Claudius and the character of Livia. Because, you know, who doesn't love Sian Phillips.
Seriously, who doesn't?
So, in part, this book seems to be influenced by that BBC production of the Graves novel - though the Livia here comes across as a bit strong willed but a bit meh. In fact, the book is simply about her early life and leaves out the whole bit where Augustus becomes Augustus. It also becomes a bit soap operay and bit too I, Claudius without the fun bits.
It's not bad. It's just not great.