Only Human (Themis Files #3) by Sylvain Neuvel

What a thrilling conclusion to this sci-fi trilogy! I can’t wait to see what new works Neuvel comes up with!

Note that the following blurb may have spoilers for the first two books.

Blurb: 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.

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 336

Published: May 1st 2018 by Del Rey

Source: Library

CW: mild descriptions of battle scenes and death scenes

As with the first two books, I was really excited to jump into the audiobook of the last book of the Themis Files. The format is the same as the previous two, all written in audio files or transcripts of meetings, etc. which I find that I really enjoy in a book, especially if I decide to listen to the audiobook.

I don’t think I read the blurb before jumping into this one because if I had, I would have been unsurprised by another time jump. This book starts another nine years after the events of the second book. It wasn’t as disorienting as the time jump in the second book and as I went on in the book, it made sense why Neuvel wrote in the fast forward.

“People are denying even the most basic scientific facts because it makes them feel better about hurting each other. Do you realize how horrifying that is? We’re talking about human beings making a conscious effort, going out of their way, to be ignorant. Willfully stupid. They’re proud of it. They take pride in idiocy. There’s not even an attempt to rationalize things anymore.”

What I really liked about this conclusion is that it goes really deep into the elements that make up humanity and society. Neuvel does this by looking at a near future on Earth while also giving insight into an alien world that has many similarities to Earth. I found the social commentary that Neuvel made within this story to be very interesting; he makes them in a world in the near future where America has the only giant robot and is using it to interfere in other countries to promote world peace … by sometimes destroying buildings, etc. Not only that, but there are camps around the world housing people with different levels of alien DNA. While it’s a part of a fiction story, it was sad that I thought it was not beyond us humans to make these decisions.

“People are compliant because they don’t expect the system to be fair.”

The book continues to mostly follow Vincent, Rose, and Vincent’s daughter Eva. Vincent and Rose still feel the same while Eva is now a teenager. Kind of a bratty teenager although I love how passionate of a character she is. She’s a social justice and civil rights fighter although she sometimes mixes that up with her anger and frustration towards her father .. those scenes were frustrating to listen to. I found Rose’s story to be the most interesting because I could tell that she was constantly thinking about the state of the world and if she could possibly fix it. She also hated to see the injustice of the world, but didn’t do anything frustratingly rash.

“There is decency in this world. We just need to look for it.”

While a lot less action compared to the first two books, I found this conclusion a lot more thought provoking and definitely satisfactory. I highly recommend this whole trilogy!

Do you have plans to read this trilogy? Have you? What were your thoughts on the final book?

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