I have to give thumbs up to Sylvain Neuvel for writing such an astonishing novel. It is the first installment in his series called The Themis Files. I haven’t had a chance to read the other parts of the trilogy, but I am one hundred percent certain that I am going to.
The story originates with a little girl by the name of Rose Franklin. Who at the time is 11 years old. Her parents are throwing her a birthday party where they have invited a bunch of other kids. Although Rose welcomes the effort her parents had made, she can’t get the thoughts of her brand new bike out of her head. A brand new bike that her father purchased her for her birthday today.
She goes through the motions of opening her presents, blowing out candles, and smiling. She can’t shake the thought of her bike out of her head and how much she wants to ride it. Eventually, she decides to sneak out of the party and go out for a ride on her new bike. She pedals as fast as she can and heads up to the end of the road where the woods are.
She spends some time there, and when it starts to get dark, she decides to make her way back home. Not paying attention she eventually falls in a perfectly square hole in the ground.
Rose sees that the walls of the hole are glowing and she runs her hands over them as she lays there. Unknown to Rose she is not on the ground but in the palm of a large metal hand.
The rest of the story is broken up by chapters in the form of interviews. The interviews
are discussions between a mystery man and a group of people that form up a secret team that work on the cracking the mystery of the giant’s hand. This team is head by none other but Rose Franklin herself! I found that this was an excellent way of breaking up the story.
The way the interviews are done helps pull out information about the story, the past of the characters, and their current feelings about their lives, others on the team, and most importantly the project. There is no way you don’t know one character is hurting inside, another who isn’t sad inside, or one is in love.
The book itself was a perfect size for me. It took me around a week to read. Just like I like it. Just long enough so I don’t get bored with the story.
If there were anything that I would change about this book, it would probably be that I would write in some chapters that were not in the form of interviews. I’m pretty sure that would defeat the format the author was trying to make of building the whole story out of discussions.
Now to sum this up. I found this book fresh, a new idea of what ifs, and easy to read. If I had to recommend this book to a specific type of person, I would have to say that I would recommend it to somebody who likes that feels real with just the right amount of Sify in it.