Monday, May 14, 2018

Review: Only Human

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel
The Themis Files #3
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Release Date: May 1st, 2018
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: 3/18/18 to 3/24/18
336 pages

In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. And she must pick up the pieces of the Earth Defense Corps as her own friends turn against each other.
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I bit late with this book but hey at least I actually completed the review. 

So just to back up a bit, this is the third and final installment of this trilogy, and I guess to get straight to the point, I don’t think I loved this as much as everyone else did. Which is fine because I still very much enjoyed it, BUT it just didn’t meet my expectations. 

There will be SPOILERS for the first two books. Here is my review of Sleeping Giants if you want to know if this series is for you! 

What do I even say about this trilogy? To be fair, it was a pretty strong and solid finish, and maybe I should’ve expected another time jump of 10 years, but I guess it didn’t completely wow me. Though, now that I look back, I never absolutely loved any of the books. Maybe the second one, Waking Gods? BUT this is NOT to say that I didn’t enjoy it! I mean I finished the series and was looking forward to this last book. 

Let’s go through what I liked: 

  • One of our main characters, Eva, is all grown up! She’s become one of my favorite characters in the series. 
  • WHERE DID ROSE & CO. GO AT THE END OF WAKING GODS? Well now we find out that they were transported to an alien planet! It was cool to learn about where these huge robots came from, and also the politics of…the universe I suppose. 
  • After 10 years, the U.S. and Russia have pretty much taken over the world as the only two superpowers, by the use of these robots. So that’s cool. 
  • ALSO, BASICALLY EVERYONE IS PART ALIEN? Hence the title. Which is a bit of a twist on the usual story. 

I guess the main takeaway from this is that I really did enjoy where the plot went, and of course the characters. But on the other hand, I wasn’t really a fan of how it was executed:

  • A big part of these books is that the story is told through interviews and journal entries, so there is only so much you can do. Everything that happened on the alien planet was told through Vincent’s entries, and I guess I would have liked it to not be told as a flashback? 
  • People who were part-alien were put in concentration camps or whisked away to labs and such, and well, this didn’t really sit well with me. Also, Eva [spoiler] escaped from a camp so easily, it was almost a bit unbelievable? [end spoiler] 
  • ALL MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS ARE DEAD (this is most definitely a personal problem) 

I do very much think that the Themis Files is worth reading, because it is thought-provoking and unique. I think I’m just that type of person that doesn’t do well with these entry-style formats? But the plot and characters were enough to keep me engaged and interested.

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