I received a free eARC from Penguin UK , via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Title: Only Human
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Series: The Themis Files #3
Paperback Release Date: 4/4/2019
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 39
(see breakdown below)
We always thought the biggest threat to humanity would come from the outside.
We were wrong.
As the human race picks up the pieces of destruction left behind, a new world order emerges. New alliances are formed. Old divisions are strengthened. And, with a power struggle fuelled by the threat of mutually assured destruction, nothing is certain.
At a time when the world’s nations should have been coming together, they have never been more divided.
With the human race teetering on the brink of total war, Rose, Vincent and Eva must choose sides. But doing the right thing might mean making the ultimate sacrifice.
After the cliffhanger of book 2, I was excited to dive back in and rejoin our characters as they faced the next chapter of their journey. However, I felt this instalment was a much slower pace than the previous two and it was a little disappointing overall.
I have always enjoyed the interview and audio log style formatting of this series and I do feel that it was back to form on this one. I enjoyed how it moved between the two timelines of the groups time on the alien planet and their return to earth. While book one was fascinating, book two was action packed and brutal, this final instalment was definitely more political. It really held up a bit of a mirror to how we as humans like to group themselves and how damaging that can be.
I felt the character stories were a lot more focused in this book. In fact I feel there was a much greater focus on Vincent than anyone else. I like Vincent’s voice, it is a very natural character. He is far from the contouring hero and I like that. For me, there was definitely a great hole left by the absence of certain characters who were personal favourites in the previous two books. Eva was also a little underwhelming, we follow her growing up but the jumps in her age don’t really give the reader a sense of her developing her own personality and she is kind of written off as a surly teenager even at 19!
Rose is a great character but she really takes more of a background in this one, and with that we loose a lot of the Science aspects I found super fascinating in the first book. This also means I was disappointed in the world building. We get very little disctiption of the alien world. Those moments we do get are fantastic but as we are more focused on the human aspect and political aspects of the characters time there we never get a solid feel for the place. I just wanted more aliens and more giant robots!
I really liked the plot, the story itself was interesting, though it could have included much more giant robot fight scenes. It was defiantly intriguing and it did keep the pages turning, just not as fevourishly as books one and two. I do think it was a fitting ending to the series, I was satisfied with it. I am in two-minds as it if it was a little too “happily ever after” for my tastes but I definitely felt this had a clear and consice ending that didn’t let down the series as a whole.