Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Review - Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel @neuvel @randomhouse

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #3
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Date Read: April 19, 2018
Length:  352 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★★
Pacific Rim meets The Martian in the explosive follow-up to Sleeping Giants (“One of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory.”—NPR) and Waking Gods (“Pure, unadulterated literary escapism.”—Kirkus Reviews).

Brilliant scientist Rose Franklin has devoted her adult life to solving the mystery she accidentally stumbled upon as a child: a huge metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. The discovery set in motion a cataclysmic chain of events with geopolitical ramifications. Rose and the Earth Defense Corps raced to master the enigmatic technology, as giant robots suddenly descended on Earth’s most populous cities, killing one hundred million people in the process. Though Rose and her team were able to fend off the attack, their victory was short-lived. The mysterious invaders retreated, disappearing from the shattered planet . . . but they took the scientist and her crew with them.

Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find a devastating new war—this time between humans. America and Russia are locked in combat, fighting to fill the power vacuum left behind after the invasion. Families are torn apart, friends become bitter enemies, and countries collapse in the wake of the battling superpowers. It appears the aliens left behind their titanic death machines so humankind will obliterate itself. Rose is determined to find a solution, whatever it takes. But will she become a pawn in a doomsday game no one can win?
My Thoughts

This was so good!  The whole trilogy is really amazing.  I actually remember reading the first book in the trilogy, Sleeping Giants, and thinking that it was just okay.  Everything changed when I decided to try the audiobook for the story.  I was really able to appreciate the story much more with the help of the narrators.  When I picked up the second book, Waking Gods,  I was worried that I wouldn't be as impressed by the book in print after my experience with this previous book but I liked that book right from the start.  The same can be said for this book.  I thought that Waking Gods ended with just a bit of a cliffhanger and I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen to these characters.  This was one of my most anticipated reads for the year and I was not disappointed.

This review will contain spoilers for the previous two books in the trilogy.

I went into this book expecting it to pick up right where the last book ended and it did to a point.  The first part of the book goes back and forth between a time 9 years after the previous book and various points during those 9 years.  I had so many questions about what had happened to everyone during those 9 years and I am glad that we got to see some of the more important events.  We do learn more from the characters as they are being interviewed about their lives during those lost years as well.

So Vincent, Eva, and Rose have spent a significant amount of time living on an alien planet.  You would think that they would have changed a lot during those years.  They did experience some changes but the most dramatic changes happened here on Earth.  Our planet has not done well during those years.  Things are bad.  Countries are power hungry and using the robots to intimidate other nations while their people are being treated poorly.

I loved the characters in this book.  I really feel like I have got the chance to really know Rose and Vincent during the course of the trilogy.  Eva is much older and I liked her character more in this book.  Many of the key players from previous books show up in this installment as well.  I was always thrilled to get to see these familiar characters play a part in the story even when they were a character that I loved to hate.  There were a couple of new characters that seemed to fit into the story quite flawlessly as well.

This story was just as exciting as I had anticipated.  How could a book about giant alien robots be anything but exciting?  Anyway, this book had all of the action scenes that I had hoped to see.  There were quite a few surprises along the way and I found myself turning pages as fast as I could just to see what would happen next.  I was somewhat surprised by how things worked out in this one and it really was a good surprise.  I was very satisfied by how everything ended.

I would highly recommend this series to others.  This is an exciting and highly imaginative trilogy that has been a whole lot of fun.  I do plan to purchase a copy of the audiobook of this one for a re-read in the near future.  I can't wait to see what Sylvain Neuvel comes up with next!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley.
Themis Files Series
Book #1 - Sleeping Giants - My Review
Book #2 - Waking Gods - My Review
Book #3 - Only Human
About the Author
SYLVAIN NEUVEL dropped out of high school at age fifteen. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator though he wishes he were an astronaut. He likes to tinker, dabbles in robotics, and is somewhat obsessed with Halloween. He absolutely loves toys; his girlfriend would have him believe that he has too many, so he writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course).

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

33 comments:

  1. I really need to finish this series. I’ve only read the first one, but I liked it enough that I want to continue. Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I think that this series is just so well done, AJ. Definitely try to pick up the rest of the series if you get the chance.

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  2. Ok - I only read your intro paragraph because this series is on my to be read list and I don't want to be spoiled. I am going to go with audio, and this makes me even happier with that decision since you enjoyed the first book so much more in audio!

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    1. The audiobook uses a full cast and it is just amazing. So good!

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  3. You're the second person I know to think it was meh until you got it on audio. I plan to make this series part of my library reading this year. On waiting list for this one and hope to get to the first two while I wait. ;)

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    1. I think that the audio really helped me get a feel for all of the different characters. I hope you enjoy it, Sophia Rose!

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  4. I haven't read this series but it sounds good. Thanks for the great review.

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    1. It is such an original and entertaining series, Mary!

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  5. I don't think I knew about this one but it's great to see that you had such a great time with it

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  6. Eeeeeek, yes yes I should read it. Hmm, better check the libraries to be sure first

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    1. I think you would love these audiobooks, Blodeuedd!

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  7. Oh, I remember when the first one came out and I was intrigued about the hand. But I didn't read it back then. I think this series would be one to get from the library for me though(price).It also sounds like it would make a good movie or mini-series.

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    1. I think that this would be the perfect trilogy to binge read. It would definitely make a great movie as well.

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  8. I actually have Sleeping Giants, but I haven't read it yet! I'm happy to know the series is really good and ends wonderfully. I skimmed everything about the actual book so I don't spoil anything for myself. I'm thinking I need to get to this one sooner rather than later so I can read the other two!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Yes, yes, yes, Lindsi, you really need to read this series :)

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  9. I am going to have to get book one.this sounds perfect for me!

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    1. I am pretty sure that you would love the audiobooks, Kimberly, if you were thinking of trying that route!

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  10. Ack. I can't wait for this one to come out! I love, love this series. And I'd forgotten a lot of the story lines now so it bears a re-read before the last book comes out. OMG. They're in space!!!

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    1. I have re-read the first two books and really liked both of them even more the second time around. I think you will love this one, Joy!

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  11. It's great that you stuck with the series even when you didn't enjoy the first book as much.

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    1. I really loved the first book when I tried the audiobook so it might have just been whatever mood I was in when I first read it. It is a lot of fun!

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  12. Glad you find a series you love! XD

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    1. I have really had such a good time with it!

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    2. *found - my grammar was no good yesterday, clearly!

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  13. I love when a trilogy gets better! I hate when a trilogy ends on a weak note but it's such a delight when there's a strong end!

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    1. This one really did end strongly which is the way it should be :)

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  14. The idea of this book interests me but I've never liked this journal and interviews format for reading a book-it put me off Illuminae as well. I'm really not sure I'd like it because of that.

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    1. It is definitely in a different format. The audio really made it seem like listening to a movie though. I wonder if that would work better for you.

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  15. I am glad you had the audiobook out there to save your experience of reading the first book in print, and it's pretty interesting that your cross back over into print worked out well for you. I am glad that the end of the series was so brilliant and enjoyable! I still have to read these but they are on my TBR.

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    1. The audiobooks just really worked well in regards to bringing the characters to life. Once I had the voice in my head, reading the story in print seemed to work better for me.

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  16. I skimmed your review because I haven't yet read the earlier books in the trilogy. I am so glad you enjoyed this one. I can't wait now to read this trilogy.

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    1. I had such a good time with this series. It is a trilogy that I know I will be re-reading many times in the future.

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