Mini Audiobook Reviews: Themis Files Trilogy

Mini Reviews_ Themis Files Trilogy Header

For this set of mini reviews, I’d like to talk about the Themis Files trilogy. Having heard some fabulous things about these books ever since the release of Sleeping Giants, I’ve been keen to check them out for myself. This science fiction series has a unique premise, as you can see from the blurb below.

An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by a quest for truth—and a fight for control of earthshaking 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 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?

Does this sound like your kind of book? Keep reading to see my thoughts!

section separatorSleeping Giants, by Sylvain NeuvelSleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Published by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group on April 26, 2016

Series: Themis Files, #1

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 8:28:42

Source: library

Find on Goodreads

Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Sleeping Giants took me by complete surprise! Despite having heard great things, I didn’t expect it to wow me as much as it did.

“Stories are there to entertain, preserve history, or serve a societal purpose of some kind. I think this one does a bit of everything.”

The format is structured as a series of interviews and journal entries, which I wasn’t sure was going to work in audio, but it did. The full cast narration definitely helped, and each narrator did an excellent job of injecting the right personality into their voice acting. In fact, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed this as much had I read a physical copy. Additionally, the story itself was fascinating, and the ending wrapped everything up nicely while also leaving a whopping cliffhanger.

Completely unique and entertaining, I loved this book! The format might not work for everyone, but if you enjoy books told that way, definitely check this out.

5-b&w
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Waking Gods, by Sylvain NeuvelWaking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

Published by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group on April 24, 2017

Series: Themis Files, #2

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 9:02:53

Source: library

Find on Goodreads

Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

I grabbed the audiobook of Waking Gods from my library almost immediately after finishing Sleeping Giants. After having loved the first book in the trilogy so much, I was a bit apprehensive that this wouldn’t live up to it. And the beginning did start out a bit slow. But it did eventually pick up and find its own place.

The scope of the story grows in this installment, and it continues to probe the question of what it means to be human. The narration is still excellent, although I think some of the actors changed from the first book, which threw me off a bit since I listened to them back to back. And this also ended in a major cliffhanger to propel you into the third book.

Waking Gods didn’t impact me quite as much as Sleeping Giants did, but it was a solid second book to the trilogy.

5-b&w

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Only Human, by Sylvain NeuvelOnly Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Published by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group on May 1, 2018

Series: Themis Files, #3

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 8:43:56

Source: library

Find on Goodreads

Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

I’m a little disappointed in Only Human. While I did still enjoy it, it didn’t live up to the first two books for me.

By the third book, something of the magic that was sparked in Sleeping Giants is now gone. There is also a lot of political and social commentary in this installment (way more than in its predecessors) and it felt like the author was trying to make a point rather than tell a story with a point. Additionally, some of the narrators changed again, and I preferred the styles of the previous actors.

The events of Only Human provide a good ending to the overall arc of the Themis Files, but this is not my favorite book of the trilogy. If I ever decide to read this series again, I’ll most likely try at least the second and third books in print to avoid the inconsistent narration.

3-b&w

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So, there you have my mini reviews of the Themis Files trilogy! Did you read these books? What did you think about them?

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4 thoughts on “Mini Audiobook Reviews: Themis Files Trilogy

    1. I think you could read just the first book and be done with it, if you’re okay with ending on a cliffhanger and don’t need to know what happens next. The first book wraps up its own storyline quite nicely.

      I haven’t read any of the audiobooks you reviewed, but I do have The Last Black Unicorn on my wishlist to borrow from the library someday.

      Liked by 1 person

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