Only Human (Themis Files #3) – Sylvain Neuvel


Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Del Rey Books

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.

Only Human picks up nine years later after the events of Waking Gods. A large portion of the novel is told through flashbacks to fill the reader in on what happened while the characters were away. At first, I was disappointed that I’d be missing out on what happened, but I was pleasantly surprised and satisfied with the flashbacks.

Only Human is not as action packed as its predecessors because it focuses more on the politics and implications of what’s happened. Only Human features a grim future that isn’t as far fetched as we’d like. Neuvel’s depiction of the future is spot on given the current political climate. The message Neuvel is trying to communicate is timely and pessimistic, but something I agree with wholeheartedly. The ending may seem like a cop-out, but looking back at the first novel, it’s the only ending possible.

When I first started reading the Themis Files I was expecting something akin to Pacific Rim, but the Themis Files is so much more in every sense of the word. If you’re looking for a brilliant science fiction adventure that speaks directly to current events and politics, Neuvel is sure to rock your world.


Have you read the Themis Files? What did you think?

5 thoughts on “Only Human (Themis Files #3) – Sylvain Neuvel

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