The Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel | Series Review

January 1st – 12th 2017
★★★★☆

May 19th – 25th 2017
★★★★☆

June 26th – July 3rd 2018
★★★★☆

This is a weird moment.

I started the first book in this series, Sleeping Giants, at the beginning of last year. I got a free digital version of the book from some promotion, and it sounded really interesting. Giant robots? Science? Aliens? Sign me up! I read it in just under two weeks, coming off of a massive re-read of Harry Potter that I had started at the beginning of December 2016. This was the first “new” book that I had read in a few years. I felt rusty, learning new stories instead of depending on old ones that felt nostalgic to me. There’s something amazing about re-reading a series you love, but there’s something even more amazing about discovering a new one.

The Themis Files are that series for me. I’ve read a few series the past two years, but this one stands out as one of my favorites. Finishing the first book in January of last year, I had to wait until March for the second book to come out. The real eternity came with the over year-long wait for the third and final book. Though this book came in the mail in the midst of my reading slump, I’m glad that I finally picked it up and was able to get back into this world.

Sylvain Neuvel started writing this book on his iPhone, sitting on his couch at the end of the night. He’s a busy dad, he didn’t have time to write 

And he did. Three times. He’s a huge inspiration for me. I’ve read his interviews, I’ve talked to him briefly on Twitter and Goodreads. Besides being a great author, he’s a kind and amazing human being who loves his fanbase and is just excited to have someone to talk to about the stories that he’s telling. If I’m ever published, I hope to some day be the type of author that Sylvain Neuvel is.

Spoilers ahead.

These books tell a complex story. They weave characters in from other planets, and they do so with such care. The entirety of the trilogy is told through interviews, recorded conversations, news broadcasts, letters, and journal entries from a sea of different characters. He killed off and brought back one of my favorite characters, then killed two other favorites. But they’re all favorites. Neuvel’s characters are beautifully flawed and real. They react as humans would react.

The main premise of the books are this: mankind finds giant robot parts buried at different points in the Earth. They uncover them, build the robot, and try and find ways to pilot it. They find that the robot was put here by an alien race who visited a long time ago, and that alien race comes to Earth to finish what they started.

Things get more complicated from there. There are politics, science, and giant robot fights. It’s a wild ride from start to finish. Countries are at war, people are detained, different languages are spoken in the book, not all of them from Earth.

The third book in particular feels extremely relevant to everything going on in today’s world, and makes me wish that an alien race would just come down and tell us to stop everything happening politically. 

I found myself lost in these books. They’re quick, fun, enjoyable, and I can’t wait to see what else Sylvain Neuvel writes, because I know I’ll get just as lost there.

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