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Review: The Themis Files

A rollicking sci-fi trilogy about the discovery of giant robot mecha.

October 21, 2019Filed under Art#book reviews#science fictionMarkdown source

I keep my book review ratings simple—they’re either required, recommended, recommended with qualifications, or not recommended. If you want the TL;DR, this is it:

Recommended: The Themis Files is a delightful trilogy of books by Sylvain Neuvel, about the discovery of giant mecha (“robots” but they need drivers!) left on Earth by an alien race ~3,000 years ago. Popcorn, but really fun popcorn. Neither plot nor characters dazzle, but they also don’t have to for it to succeed as a rollicking sci-fi romp. And it keeps things interesting with a literary conceit I’ve never seen done quite this way before: every chapter is an interview transcript or a personal journal entry. This occasionally breaks suspension of disbelief—people don’t monologue all of these kinds of things!—but it mostly works, even when it shouldn’t. Fun enough, and short enough, that I read the whole trilogy in 3 days.