The Qwillery | category: Themis Files


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Melanie's Week in Review - May 13, 2018

Melanie's Week in Review - May 13, 2018

Hello folks. I hope you have had a good week. We had a stunning bank holiday last weekend with the temperature hitting 28 C on Monday. Whoop whoop. I even managed not to get totally sun burnt. Whoop whoop x 2. However, its back to normal English weather - chucking it down with rain and we have the heating back on. Bummer! The plus side of the weather being totally pants is that I tend to stay in and read books. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - May 13, 2018
I received the final book of Sylvain Neuvel's Themis Files series from the lovely Qwill a few months ago but only just read it this week.  I was determined not to read Only Human too far ahead of the publication date as then I wouldn't be able to talk about it for ages. I have really loved this series and was really looking forward to the final book.

Book 2 - Waking Gods ended with the hugest cliffhanger. Billions of people were killed when the aliens who built the giant robots invaded, several of our favourite characters were dead and the others were transported to the alien planet that built the robots. Only Human starts almost a decade later with Vincent, Rose and the now teenager Eva landing back on earth in the robot Themis. The world they have returned to is very different to the world they left. The United States has become the world power after repairing the remaining alien robot and threatening anyone who might try to resist. Anyone with a drop of alien blood has been interred in camps along with anyone who is considered a risk. Friends and neighbours are now pitted against each other as the world has fallen into chaos. The world that Rose and Vincent has returned to almost seems more alien then where they have been living for the last decade. It's up to them to try something, anything .. to stop another world war.

The story is told again in a series of interviews with the main characters both in present day and in the past. We discover what happens to Rose, Vincent and Eva when they land on Esat Ekt  - the home planet of the alien race who created the robot army. We learn why the Ekt killed so many humans and how they treated the humans that have landed in one of their very own robots. We also get to 'watch' Eva group up. If you remember from book 2 Vincent and Kara were Eva's biological parents but had only discovered she existed when the world fell apart. Vincent is desperate to return to Earth so that Eva could have a 'normal' life. The problem is that Eva now considers Esat Ekt home and doesn't want to leave. This book is much darker than the previous two and not quite as action packed. The themes of fascism and racism were prevalent in almost every chapter and every conversation especially those between Eva and Vincent. My favourite character, the mystery man, was obviously not in this book and I really noticed his absence. The story wasn't quite a the same and was lacking without him. The interview format didn't quite work as well without him as well. It was still a good book but not quite as unique and gripping as the others.

Melanie's Week in Review - May 13, 2018
The second book I have to tell you about is really novella - In the Darkest Midnight by Grace Draven. The story is set in the same world as her The Wraith Kings series. Jahna Uhlfrida is born with birth mark which makes her a target for bullies all her life. The annual winter festival should be a time of music, fun and festivity but for Jahna it is a time of taunts and hurtful names. When her father hires a handsome swordsman to teach her brother Jahna's life starts to look up.

If you are looking for a quick, easy read then this is the novella for you. Jahna is sweet and her love of hunky swordsman is evident from the very start. Its not a challenging read but a satisfying time filler.

Well that is it for me this week. I am looking for a new series to read so if you have any suggestions let me know. Until next week Happy Reading.

Only Human
The Themis Files 3
Del Rey, May 1, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - May 13, 2018
Pacific Rim meets The Martian in the explosive follow-up to Sleeping Giants (“One of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory.”—NPR) and Waking Gods (“Pure, unadulterated literary escapism.”—Kirkus Reviews).

Brilliant scientist Rose Franklin has devoted her adult life to solving the mystery she accidentally stumbled upon as a child: a huge metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. The discovery set in motion a cataclysmic chain of events with geopolitical ramifications. Rose and the Earth Defense Corps raced to master the enigmatic technology, as giant robots suddenly descended on Earth’s most populous cities, killing one hundred million people in the process. Though Rose and her team were able to fend off the attack, their victory was short-lived. The mysterious invaders retreated, disappearing from the shattered planet . . . but they took the scientist and her crew with them.

Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find a devastating new war—this time between humans. America and Russia are locked in combat, fighting to fill the power vacuum left behind after the invasion. Families are torn apart, friends become bitter enemies, and countries collapse in the wake of the battling superpowers. It appears the aliens left behind their titanic death machines so humankind will obliterate itself. Rose is determined to find a solution, whatever it takes. But will she become a pawn in a doomsday game no one can win?

Melanie's Week in Review - May 13, 2018
Book 1
Melanie's Week in Review - May 13, 2018
Book 2

In the Darkest Midnight
April 16, 2018
eBook, 121 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - May 13, 2018
~Previously published in the now unavailable AMID THE WINTER SNOW anthology~

The mark Jahna Uhlfrida was born with has made her a target of the cruel and idle all her life. During the long, crowded festivities of the winter holiday known as Delyalda, there's nowhere to escape and no one to save her from the inevitable taunts and mockery.

Until a handsome swordmaster promises to teach her how to save herself.

--IN THE DARKEST MIDNIGHT is a stand-alone novella of approximately 43k words and takes place in the world of the Wraith Kings series. For those who've read the first two books in the series, this storyline takes place after events in Book #2 (Eidolon).--

Melanie's Week in Review - April 2, 2017

Melanie's Week in Review - April 2, 2017

Happy spring! I can't believe it is April already. It felt like it was just minutes from when I was telling you about my favourite books of 2016. Before I look forward to April showers I thought I would tell you about what I read this week. I actually read 2 books but midway writing this I checked the publication date and realised one of the books I read won't be released until October 2017! You are going to have to wait a while to hear what I thought. However, I do have a book that more than makes up for it. So wait no longer..... Note: There are slight spoilers for the 1st book in this series so read at your own risk.

Melanie's Week in Review - April 2, 2017
I had been waiting months to read Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel and I was finally able to. It was rather like waiting counting down for Christmas but in this case I was counting down to the publication date of the 4th April. I had the book for a few months but didn't want to read it too much in advance of its publication and my opportunity to find out what happened next to my favourite characters from Sleeping Giants (book 1 of The Themis Files), one of my all time favourite books.

Waking Gods is set approximately 10 years after the events of book 1 and humanity is enjoying relative peace thanks to the giant alien robot Themis, built by the Earth Defense Corps. When another robot appears in Regents Park (in London, UK) and ends up decimating most of London, killing millions, everyone soon realises that the peace they have enjoyed is now over. It's up to the EDC to figure out how to save humanity from complete annihilation from the alien race. Are they up to the job? I will let you find out for yourself.

All my favourite characters are also back including Rose Thornton who died midway through book 1 but who reappears, unharmed in Ireland but missing 4 years of her life. We get to find out what happened to Rose and how and why she returned. Also back is the mystery man who conducts the interviews which tell the story through book 1 and most of 2. Neuvel is a real tease by solving some of the mysteries from book 1 including who the mysterious interviewer is and how he came involved, but then leaves us with one big whopping cliff hanger at the end. We also find out more about Themis and why she was left buried, in pieces around the world. There are some real shockers in Waking Gods and don't get too attached to some of the characters....that is all I am going to say about the plot. Another fantastic novel in the Themis series. Well done Neuvel. From clever debut to exciting second novel.

That is it for me this week. Short and sweet. Apologies for not having more books to tell you about and I promise to take more care about publication dates and when I should be reading certain books. Until next week, Happy reading.

Waking Gods
The Themis Files 2
Del Rey, April 4, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - April 2, 2017
In the gripping sequel to Sleeping Giants, which was hailed by Pierce Brown as “a luminous conspiracy yarn . . . reminiscent of The Martian and World War Z,” Sylvain Neuvel’s innovative series about human-alien contact takes another giant step forward.

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 now 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.


Sleeping Giants
The Themis Files 1
Del Rey, January 24, 2017
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Hardcover and eBook, April 26, 2016

Melanie's Week in Review - April 2, 2017
A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton, World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.

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 the 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?

See Melanie's Review here.

Melanie's Week in Review - May 13, 2018Melanie's Week in Review - April 2, 2017

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