Finishing a series is always a good feeling. I’ve been reading Sylvain Neuvel’s Themis Files since the beginning, and I was so excited to find out how it ends, with Only Human. Sadly, I didn’t get approved for an ARC on NetGalley (not sure why – I got ARCs of the first two in this series), so I had to wait for the actual release date. But I’ve finally got it, and read it fairly quickly, despite my reading slump.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
(From Goodreads) 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.
To be completely fair, I should admit that I’ve been going through a bit of a reading slump lately. That said, I do think this book starts off pretty slowly. There is much less action than there was in the previous two books, and it took me a good few days to get into it. The story just didn’t pull me in like I’d expected it to. The story picks up almost ten years after the end of book two, so there is quite a bit to catch up on, and it is a bit disorienting at first. The characters have changed a lot, but it was more shocking to see how much the world has changed since the events of Waking Gods.
I did enjoy seeing more of the alien race that built Themis, but I couldn’t help but want more. I totally get that there just wasn’t time for it within the context of this story, but I wouldn’t say no to another book all about the Ekt. We get glimpses of their life, their society, their politics, and their personalities, but it was just enough to spark my curiosity. My one complaint is that the book uses the Ekt language quite a bit, and I was a bit lost, because there aren’t always translations. Not a deal-breaker, just occasionally annoying.
The action did pick up quite a bit towards the end of the book (and so did my reading pace). I flew through the last hundred pages or so, and am glad it got back into the action I loved in the first two novels.
★★★★☆ – I’d say this was maybe more like a 3.5-star rating. Only Humans was not my favorite book in the series, but it was a good conclusion. I’m not mad about anything that happened, I was just missing the excitement.
Only Human is available in bookstores now (order on Amazon here).
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose Only Human as one of your two free books. I haven’t listened to any of the audiobooks in this series, but I’ve heard they do really great full-cast recordings.
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