Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

GoodReads Summary:
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.
Review:
The third book in the Themis Files, Only Human, was an excellent finale to this incredible trilogy. I listened to this book (as well as the first two) as an audiobook from my wonderful library. I really loved the audiobook experience for this series. It was really more of a performance than just a narrated story. The only complaint I have for this audiobook is that two of the characters were narrated by someone different than in the first two audiobooks. I got used to the new voice of Rose, but I couldn’t handle how different the narrator for Eva sounded. In book two she had a Puerto Rican accent because that’s where she grew up until she was ten, but in Only Human, she has something closer to the accent of a New Yorker. It bugged me the entire time I listened.
I continued to love all the characters that make up this story. Rose was interesting in this book. I liked the conflict between her and Vincent. Rose wanting to stay on the alien planet was not a surprise at all, but the attitude of the aliens that inhabit the planet was a bit surprising. Vincent was still entertaining and doing his best to be a father to Eva. In his attempts, he may have made their relationship worse. His loyalty and love for Eva led him to do crazy things that may have been a bit over the line. But Vincent would do anything he needed to in order to protect his loved ones. Eva grew into a little fireball. She’s now nineteen and trying to assert her independence. Like Rose, she didn’t want to leave the alien planet. Growing up there she made friends and created a life for herself. So it’s not really a huge surprise that she didn’t want to come back to Earth. She was a firecracker and didn’t hold back. I love that she always spoke her mind no matter who she was talking to or what she was saying.
I think what I liked most about this book was that even though it was the conclusion to the series and most of the story was wrapping up loose ends there were still things happening that surprised me. I was surprised at the chaos that was Earth once they returned. I liked how this book was concluded. Too many books leave me unsatisfied with the ending of the series, but this one did not. I liked that everything felt final and like the readers got some closure.
Only Human was an excellent ending to the Themis Files. Readers got to see into the goings on of another planet while also seeing how alien intervention could affect Earth and the human population. We also see the characters make a hard choice to do the right thing, the better thing for the planet overall. I loved the characters and the story. I especially loved the format of these books. Written as if we’re listening to a series of interviews, radio broadcast and things of that nature (which I did actually listen to because audiobooks are the best), made for a really interesting listening experience. To any readers that enjoy themselves some science fiction, this series is one that I will recommend until I’m blue in the face. This series will also always be my first recommendation when talking about audiobooks.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

www wednesday picture new

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I am currently listening to Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel, the third and final book in the Themis Files trilogy. Head to our master review list to see my thoughts on the first two books in the series.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. I’ve been interested in this premise since I first saw it and have finally gotten around to reading it.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I just finished The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I received it as an ARC courtesy of NetGalley. Keep an eye out for my review in the next few weeks!

Antonia- I just finished Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts. Check out my review here.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I am hoping to read Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard or Uprooted by Naomi Novik or Watch You Burn by Amanda Searcy. I have too many books in too many different formats available to me right now so I never know what I’m going to read until I choose.

Antonia- I’m not sure. I’ll probably try to finish the Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series by Linsey Hall.

Thanks for reading our W’s this week. What are yours? Leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

GoodReads Summary:
As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she’s dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers—and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.
Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars.
Review:
Much like the first book in this series, (Sleeping Giants, find my review here!) I have nothing but good things to say. I listened to this story as an audiobook from my wonderful library.
The narrators, there are several that read this book, did an incredible job making this book sound more like a performance than a story. They really brought the characters to life. I cannot say enough about how great the audiobook narration was done. This series is for sure one that I will recommend as part of my favorite audiobooks to listen to. They will be hard to knock out of first place.
The storyline was incredible, so interesting and creative. This book never has a dull moment. There wasn’t a single point where I lost interest or was in any way bored. There was so much action and drama and I just needed to know what was going to happen next. I was left guessing through the whole story. I had no clue what I was in for. Waking Gods is written just like the first book, as a series of interviews, personal journals recordings, radio broadcasts, and recorded speeches. I think this was such an excellent way to tell this story. The plot twist that we were left with at the end of Sleeping Giants was a big one and we get some answers and follow through when it comes to that, though this sequel takes place about ten years after the ending of the first book. We also get a few more big twists. Waking Gods essentially ripped my heart out and stomped on it, like five times, but I loved every second of it. I would say more than that but I don’t want to give any spoilers.
The characters are still fabulous. I love Rose and the drama that comes along with her. We’re basically seeing a totally different Rose in this sequel. I loved getting to know this new Rose and seeing her deal with the craziness that is going on around her. Kara and Vincent were still super entertaining. I love how far their relationship has come in the last ten years. They ended up exactly where I wanted them to be. I think my favorite part of Waking Gods was FINALLY getting to know more about our mysterious interviewer, though we still haven’t learned his name. We find out his backstory and how he got into the influential position that he’s in. I really enjoyed getting to know these characters better.
Overall, I loved Waking Gods. I loved every minute of my listening experience. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the third (and I think final) book in the series. With the way that the second book ended (yes, cliffhanger!) I am super anxious for the audiobook to be available from my library. I don’t want to have to wait for Only Human. I need to know what happens and I need to know now. I’ve come to care for these characters. I am invested in this story. Read it and you will be too.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

WWW wednesday

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer as an ebook. I’m also still in the middle of Air Awakens by Elise Kova. I’m listening to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Antonia- I’m about to finish Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts. I always love her books and this has been no exception. Look for my review soon.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished listening to Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel. I also recently finished reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman. The book was not what I expected, but I’m excited to watch the show and see the differences.

Antonia- I recently finished Earth’s End by Elise Kova. It was amazing and you can read my review here.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I’d like to start Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. It’s sitting on my side table in my living room staring at me…Begging to be picked up and read. I will also likely listen to Truthwitch by Susan Dennard as my next audiobook. I’ve requested it from the library like three times and just haven’t had the time to listen to it yet.

Antonia- I just bought a few new books I’d been waiting for and Shelter in Place was one of them. Originally I’d planned to start with A Court of Frost and Starlight but as soon as my husband saw it he stole it and took it on vacation with him. So I’ll either continue with the Air Awakens series or start Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake.

Thanks for reading our W’s this week. What are yours? Leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Hidden Gems books that haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that I think deserve some recognition.
ttt1. Flamecaster (The Shattered Realms series) by Cinda Williams Chima – I love this series and this author. I just feel like I don’t really see her books advertised anywhere. I don’t see other bloggers talking about her books like I do. I definitely think she should be a more widely read author with the incredible worlds shes built full of diverse and loveable characters.
2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – This one I feel is always overlooked in favor of Vampire Academy. Because they’re part of the same world everyone turns to VA instead of talking about these books.
3. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – I found this series on my Kindle but it’s definitely one that I think more readers should try. The reviews vary but I think Forrest has built quite the reading adventure with this 50+ book series.
4. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – Buxbaum’s debut novel was so excellent. I thought I would hear more about it from my fellow bloggers. It makes me sad that I don’t hear more about it.
5. Sleeping Giants (Themis Files) by Sylvain Neuvel – I listened to this audiobook at the recommendation of a BookTuber (Thoughts on Tomes) but aside from the brief mention as one of her top audiobooks I haven’t hear others talk about this series. This is a mistake because Sleeping Giants was insane and amazing.
6. Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World) by P.C. Cast – I found this series outside of the blogging world. I haven’t heard a single blogger talk or write about this book/series. It’s a shame because they’re super interesting books with unique storylines and great character development. I can’t wait for the third to be released later this year.
7. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher – An older book, but still great. Creative and full of mystery. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about this story.
8. Talon by Julie Kagawa – While I see that her other series, The Iron Fey, get attention I never see bloggers reading this series.
9. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa – See above comment.
10. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, and Margo Lanagan – With the superhero obsession that’s been going on the last few years I’m unsure how this series hasn’t made a bigger splash in the reading world.

What books do you love that you think deserve more attention?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

WWW.png

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently rereading Air Awakens by Elise Kova on my Kindle. I’m also listening to Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel.

Antonia- I just started Water’s Wrath by Elise Kova. I’m only about a chapter into it but I’m loving this series so far.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished reading The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw. My review will be posted next week.

Antonia- I just finished Earth’s End by Elise Kova. I couldn’t wait to start the next book (Kova really knows how to keep you invested with these endings), but you can expect to see my review of this one soon.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I’ll be listening to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I’ll continue the Air Awakens Series with Fire Falling by Elise Kova on my Kindle. I think I’ll be starting Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard sometime this week too.

Antonia- Honestly, it’ll probably be Crystal Crowned by Elise Kova. I’m a little obsessed with this series and don’t think I’ll be able to help myself. I’d originally planned on reading other books in between so my reviews would be more spaced out but that obviously hasn’t happened.

Thanks for reading our W’s this week. What are yours? Leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Summary:
A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.
Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.
But some can never stop searching for answers.
Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
Review:
What in the actual F just happened? I can’t even with this book. I one million percent understand the hype about this series now. Guys, I finally get it. Now I just need the second book and I will be okay. I will recover. But it’s more than a six-week wait for the next audiobook through my library and I might just die in the meantime.
Okay, sorry about that, but I just finished listening to this audiobook and I think I definitely died on the inside a little bit with that ending. Sleeping Giants was freaking incredible. I want to stand on the roof and shout at people walking by that they need to read this book. The story was just incredible. It was so creative and unique that I could not stop listening. I legitimately listened to this book in two days. It would have only been one day, but I’m a real adult and I had to be responsible and get my college work done. I’m honestly just blown away at how much I enjoyed this book.
First of all, the storyline was like nothing I’ve ever read before. It was so incredibly creative and unique that I’m just blown away. This book may just become one of my new all-time favorites depending on how I like the rest of the series.
The characters in Sleeping Giants were awesome. They all had such interesting and distinct personalities. Each character brought something important to the table. They each played an important part in the task that was this giant hand that they’re still researching and trying to learn more about. I can’t even write about half the things I’d love to mention because I don’t want to spoil anything.
I really liked how the story was written. Instead of the traditional story, it was read to me as a series of interviews. With a nameless, unidentified man heading this mysterious project he led interviews with all of those that were involved in the research. There were army pilots, geneticists, mathematicians and physicists that created an extremely interesting group of people that was hilarious and sad and explosive all at the same time. I’m still left wondering who this nameless interviewer is though. He seems to be the man in charge; even at the end of the book when everything is seemingly falling apart he still manages to flip the situation around to benefit him and the team.
I just still have so many questions that I know won’t be answered until I get the next book. I’m honestly still reeling from the craziness that was this story because I just finished listening and I think my brain is still trying to reform after being melted.
The audiobook for Sleeping Giants was seriously impressive. All the different characters had their own narrators so it was more like a performance rather than one person just reading the book. This was my first audiobook that had multiple narrators and it just makes the listening experience that much better.
I honestly have nothing bad to say about this book. Starting today I will be recommending this book to anyone and everyone who wants to listen to me. I will absolutely recommend it as one of my favorite audiobooks and just all around as an amazing story. There were fantastic characters who played their parts in an incredible story and I just wish there was more for me to read or listen to.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*We recently have become Amazon Affiliates. Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our link (just click on the book cover) to support us!