Only Human

Themis Files, Book 3
Series: Themis Files, Book 3
Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
4 out of 5 stars (58 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel, read by a returning cast. 

We always thought the biggest threat to humanity would come from the outside. We were wrong. 

As the human race picks up the pieces of destruction left behind, a new world order emerges. New alliances are formed. Old divisions are strengthened. And with a power struggle fuelled by the threat of mutually assured destruction, nothing is certain. 

At a time when the world's nations should have been coming together, they have never been more divided. With the human race teetering on the brink of total war, Rose, Vincent and Eva must choose sides. But doing the right thing might mean making the ultimate sacrifice. 

©2018 Sylvain Neuvel (P)2018 Penguin AudioBooks

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What listeners say about Only Human

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Changes is cast

The story is a bit different than the other two but quite enjoyable, and I liked it though the end was a little bit too happy for me. I would rather read a bittersweet ending.
Unfortunately, they changed the voice actress that does Eva's character... And it was not a good idea. The first actress had a Puerto Rican accent, but this one... Well, I don't know much about accents of the English language, but she says 'u' instead of 'r' - it makes no sense at all, why she would pick this accent in the context of the book?!

1 person found this helpful

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Great performance. Story not so. First two good

the first two books were good. not so this one. lacking in suspense and drama

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    4 out of 5 stars

An interesting conclusion to the trilogy.

Not the best out of the three books but still intriguing and interesting. I enjoyed the some of the new characters and the effect they had on the storyline.

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Profile Image for A Clementson
  • A Clementson
  • 06-01-18

Disappointing ending to an excellent series

I listened to the first two books in this series and loved them, to the point i pre ordered Only Human. The expectation of a fantastic finish to the series was crushed by the disappointment that arrived instead. There has been a change of cast from the first two, and this does have an effect, with some of the replacements trying to sound like their predecessors, and it just doesn't quite work. it's like listening to a tribute band, you can appreciate what they are doing but it's not like seeing the real thing.
Coupled with the average performances, the story just makes little sense. it's painful to listen though the alien exchanges as the author has created a language that is not nice to listen to, and is then translated back by the next speaker making the whole thing pointless as well as painful.
i was genuinely looking forward to this, wanting to know what happened to the characters, but this book should not have been written. There was an ending at book 2 that could have ended it as a 2 book series, there was no need for this. Stick to book 1&2 and enjoy those for what they are, pretend this book doesn't exist and use your 8hrs doing something fun instead.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Emma Lynne Anderson
  • 05-23-18

Such a disappointment

The first two books in this series were so good it is unfortunate that the author felt this book would benefit from an insane amount of gratuitous profanity. The story itself was lacking in any development.

The performance was poor compared to the previous two and I was left wondering why Eva’s accent went from strongly Latino in the previous book to annoyingly fake Bronx. Other characters had noticeably changed and it really took away from the story.

A poor ending indeed when the previous books had been so well written and preformed.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Elle Love Mcluskey
  • 05-18-18

loved it!!!

a brilliant story! hope to read more from this author. one of the best stories I've ever read and great performances!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for C. PEART
  • C. PEART
  • 05-08-18

I guess it had to end somewhere

I have been such a huge promoter of this series, even before book 3 came out. I'm not sure where to go with this. I guess the story is what it is and the voice acting can also take you out of the story, I still enjoyed the characters.... But "Eva, a girl that grew up on Puerto Rico for half her life and then on another planet, having a New York accent, really started to gripe on me every time she spoke, and then the Aliens sound like a Speak & Spell. I guess this was the Matrix 3 of the story, although this didn't really feel like I had closure on the characters I cared about... In all honesty, it felt like a Twin Peaks episode.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Fiona
  • 05-14-18

Gripping end of trilogy

This was a great finish to the trilogy, possibly even my favourite out of the three books. The ending felt right leaving the story at a satisfying point

2 people found this helpful

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  • Misspelt
  • 05-13-18

A great finish!

I was a little sceptical of having all those narrators but it worked great. There's large robot fighting, conventional warfare, an armed uprising, aliens, politics, a toy store, a weird Russian and aliens (again).

The ending fits the story. It covers the time line and introduces some very interesting new characters.

As alien stories go this is a must listen/read. As any story, this is a must!

Give all three a try, you shouldn't be disappointed with them.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jenny
  • 05-13-18

End of an Era

I LOVED this trilogy and am sad it's over. It's a wonderful, compelling, satisfying and highly intelligent piece of sci-fi. I recommend you start at Book 1 and don't stop. I wish there was another.

Mr Burns and 'our friend' - amazing characters.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • A young man
  • 05-29-20

It's okay.

Sett-up:
We jump about 9years forward in time with the main cast returning from the alien world to earth. We get to learn what happened with them at the alien world, but it's very much about the situation on earth when they get back. Hostility is rising, and earth society is in many ways breaking apart as the larger powers struggle against each other.

The problems:
A cast change for the audiobook. I got used to the new Rose...but Eva is the big problem. She has a very strong and distinct American accent. Like she grew up in New Jersey. It sticks out as a sore thumb, as language is one of the themes of the book. You might prefer to read it, over the audiobook.

The story is okay. It's an okay ending to the three books. The alien stuff is interesting at times, but nothing special.
The characters we are left with from the previous books just are not that interesting, and the conflicts between individual characters seem somewhat forced, and play out in typical ways we have seen many times before.

Not a bad book, but I would have reservations against recommending the trilogy to friends becouse of how mediocre the final book is. It's a shame after how much I enjoyed the first two.





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  • phil mccarthy
  • 03-11-20

A genius and unique sci-fi masterpiece

I was worried the final book if the trilogy would stand up to the incredible first and second parts but this was as perfect a finale as I could hope to read along with the continuation of the best ensemble voice cast I've ever heard, I'm already counting the seconds to his new trilogy.

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  • Julia 13
  • 01-19-20

Brilliant. Gripping.

I loved the whole series and was gripped from beginning to end. The story never faltered and the style of writing each chapter as an interview or report or personal entry gave it all so much more life. I really recommend this series, it's great entertainment but also carries a lot of home truths, put over in ways it's not always easy to anticipate. Very well kaleidoscoped from all perspectives. Great writing, great presentation. A rare triumph.

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Profile Image for Elle Esse
  • Elle Esse
  • 06-09-18

Some performances were irritating beyond belief

I’ve enjoyed this series. Unusual storyline, some great characters and some quality voice performances.

But this third book was bizarre.

- One of the protagonists had a Puerto Rican accent in Book 2 then a false Jersey accent in Book 3 for no apparent reason. Plus she used made-up ‘alien’ curse words that were tedious and felt forced.
- An antagonist female (supposedly a high ranking Russian military enforcer) used the most grating nauseously facetious, singsong, mocking voice constantly that made me want to punch the my device.
- An entire chapter was read in a computerised alien voice (imagine a 5 year old doing robot arms and saying “su-ren-der hu-mans”) so hit the skip button repeatedly.

Unless this book gets re-recorded, I’d suggest you find another read.

5 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 07-07-18

entire series ruined by a single character

Major Catherine Lebedev ruined the entire series for me. Couldn't even finish this book because of her. Voice actors are universally brilliant, but my god. I wanted to smash my phone after 30 seconds of her lines. Awful.

3 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 06-13-19

Great first two books.

Didn't need the third. Generally good voice acting except the change with Eva really made it hard to listen past the start.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kris
  • 11-27-18

It's not a plot device if there's no plot.

The readers did as well as they could work the whiny drivel they were given. The vestiges of a plot left over from the previous book were not enough to make another volume so it was padded with puerile monologues to meet the word count. No redeeming features. Don't waste your money or credits on this one.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Annabel
  • 03-21-20

Twas okay!

I'm glad I powered through. It was a bit rocky to begin with, I could not stand Eva's new accent. It was still a good story in the end. But it was a slog in the beginning. all the recasting was very jarring.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-05-19

Cool story, bad voice acting

The story is kinda cool but has it’s logical fallacies imo. Voice acting is really bad on some important characters. Too bad.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Benjamin Davis
  • 05-20-19

Worst of the three so far

The previous book finished on such a high, this entry in the series is jarring in how it changes gone. Focusses on more development of the alien race, which is neat, but is a lot more of a political drama than a sci fi action. Could be for some people, not for me

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  • Matt Lisson
  • 03-16-19

Less interesting than the first two.

Eva's new voice actor had a completely different accent and annoying made up swear words.

A new character Catherine is permanently the sarcastic good cop, which becomes grating fast.

The setting for one half of the book is just not that interesting, and all decision making by everyone in positions of power come across as irrational.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-25-19

A different take on a,clever story.

great idea concept, with a few twists and turns clever plot and reasonably friendly aliens

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-22-18

incredible series, incredible performance

worth the listen. I thoroughly enjoyed this series! performed by a full cast, great story!