Sunday, 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?

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.

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

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?

Book 1
Book 2

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

~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).--


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