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review 2018-11-10 00:44
It would be hard to sit in a chair if your legs faced backwards
Only Human - Sylvain Neuvel

Believe it or not, this is my second time writing this particular post. The first one which was ready for publishing was accidentally deleted in its entirety by yours truly. Well, I guess after this many years I was due a massively huge screw up. IT WAS SUCH A LONG POST, GUYS. I'm afraid this is going to be missing some essential points as a consequence but I'll do my best to recreate what I hardly recall writing (even though it was earlier this week).


Today I'm going to be reviewing Only Human which is the third and final book in The Themis Files trilogy by Sylvain Neuvel. If you've forgotten (or never knew in the first place) this series began with Dr. Rose Franklin who found a giant robot hand when she was a little girl and from that moment a series of events led to a giant robot (definitely of alien origins) being pieced together. Things spiraled out of control pretty quickly after that especially once other governments outside of the U.S. discovered that this behemoth could be piloted and used as a weapon. Moreover, raising this robot from the depths of the earth alerted the alien race which left it here and prompted their return to reclaim their property with mass genocide being the result. Cut to Only Human which opens years after the conclusion of Waking Gods with 2 pilots inside huge robots killing civilians in a war being waged between the U.S. and Russia while thousands of others are being held in interment camps because of impure bloodlines (sound familiar?). (This is where the dystopian tag on this post comes in by the way.) Meanwhile on a distant planet called Ekt, Rose and her team (Vincent, Eva, & the General) are trying to acclimate/come up with an escape plan back to earth. They are essentially refugees on this world which is wildly different from anything they've ever known. The parts where Neuvel focused on describing the planet, its people, and their customs were by far my favorites of this book, ya'll. So original and engrossing. The most distinguishing factor of the Ekt (besides their backwards facing legs) is that they have a strict policy of governmental non-interference which forbids them from any further action against or for the people of planet earth (even though they were the cause of its current state of awful). This is sci-fi political angst at its finest. 


If I had to rank the books in this series it would be 1, 3, and then 2. A lot of the magic from the first book came from the total originality of the plotline and Neuvel's descriptive capabilities. A lot of that was lost in the second book which in my opinion was super dry. He got a lot of that oomph back with this book though. Taken as a whole, it's an excellent series and I wouldn't say no to checking out more of his work in the future. 7/10 for Only Human.


[A/N: To catch up with the first two books check out my posts on Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods.] 


What's Up Next: Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts


What I'm Currently Reading: Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-08-23 04:42
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (audiobook) - DNF
Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel

DNF @  5 % (23 out of 509 minutes)


So I'm less than 5% in and already I don't want to listen to this scientist character. Seriously, you skip your own father's funeral and just expect your mother to put you up? That's not grieving differently, that's being a self-centred ass.


Besides, this interview format doesn't hold water. This isn't an interview; it's a weak contrivance to pour out personal information that wouldn't be coming out in an interview. I also have issues with how dull the narrator made the prologue sound.


Someone told me that the audiobook was a good way to make the chosen format more interesting but I don't agree. Already I've tried to listen to it twice and stopped it because I just can't take it any more. The problem with audio is that you can't skip over the boring bits, and yes, I'm barely 20 minutes into it.


Also, what are they carbon dating? They've just talked about metals so far and you need carbon to do any carbon dating. It's literally measuring the concentration of one carbon isotope compared to another one.


I'm probably going to drop this one. I'm not even sure I care enough to flip through a paper copy to try to find any interesting bits. And yes, I'm biased against the format.

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review 2018-04-25 19:44
Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel
Only Human - Sylvain Neuvel

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

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.

Initial Thoughts
I loved this! This falls somewhere between 4 and 5 stars for me. Right now I am going with 4 but I may bump it to 5 after I have some time to really think about everything. This bulk of this book takes place 9 years after the events of the last book with some pieces of information from that time filled in along the way. Things are not looking good for anyone in this book but I was really quite satisfied by how everything was resolved. This was definitely a page turner for me and I can't wait to listen to the audio of the story once I get the chance to add it to my collection.

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text 2018-03-31 16:08
March Recap
The One - John Marrs
Never Never - Colleen Hoover; Tarryn Fisher;
Forever Right Now - Emma Scott
You Look Different in Real Life - Jennifer Castle
The Queen of Hearts - Kimmery Martin
Gemina (The Illuminae Files) - Jay Kristoff,Amie Kaufman
Only Human - Sylvain Neuvel
Tarnished City - Vic James
The Vanishing Girl - Laura Thalassa

Wow...this month was a long one.  I went on vacation (which was so needed), and then a week later I had surgery on my foot.  I have super bad plantar fasciitis, from working on cement floors for so many years.  So they cut me in my arch on the bottom of my foot and in my calf, to stretch the tendons, and hopefully, when I'm more stretchy I won't have this problem anymore.   Right now, I'm basically on bedrest because I can't put any weight on it, yet.  After my surgery on the 20th, I managed to listen to a few more books and boost my reading, it was way down from my usual.  My April reading should be phenomenal though...I don't go back to work until at least the middle of May.





(Audiobook) The One by John Mars

Finish Date:  03/03



(eBook) Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

Finish Date:  03/09



(eBook) Forever Right Now by Emma Scott

Finish Date:  03/15



(Audiobook) You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

Finish Date:  03/15



(Audiobook) The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

Finish Date:  03/22



(Audiobook) Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Finish Date:  03/23



(eARC) Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Finish Date:  03/26



(Audiobook) Tarnished City by Vic James

Finish Date:  03/27



(Audiobook) The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa

Finish Date:  03/30



9 Books Total, 6 of those are Audiobooks, 2 eBooks, and 1 Netgalley eARC.

For a total of 3,364 Pages (including Audio)


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review 2018-03-27 21:42
4.7 Out of 5 "Themis Inspired" Stars
Only Human - Sylvain Neuvel




Only Human

Sylvain Neuvel



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.






If you love audiobooks, then this amazing series is a must listen.  I know...I did read this. And, I only did so because I was preapproved for an ARC, and I couldn't wait until the release date to find out how this all ended.  I will be listening on Audio, once it is released.



I am sure that once I listen to this on Audio, my rating will be a full 5-STARS.  My .3 deduction is because in book format; it's really difficult to follow the conversations because of the format it's written in.  Every chapter is a transcript between two or more people (with a few journal entries thrown in every so often).  And I seriously could never keep it straight.  Luckily, I didn't really need to all the time, to get the full effect of the story.  Also, it will be irrelevant since Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods has had a full-cast narration, therefore, I am confident that Only Human will also have a full-cast narration.  And in case you didn't know...full-cast narration rocks! 


If you've been searching for your next thought-provoking, easily-digestible Science Fiction series to start on.  The Themis Files really has it all...



From the intense action to the meaning of life, and everything in between; it has it all.  Plus...it has giant robots…that are hopefully coming to the big screen, soon.  



Only Human comes out soon, and that's the last edition of this trilogy...so what are you waiting for?!?












Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5+/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.


Book Cover~ Amazing, all three of them are amazing

Series~ Themis Files #3

Publisher~ Random House - Ballentine

Setting~ Earth and Esat Ekt

Source~  I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.




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