The Themis Files is a series that I picked up the first book based only on the descriptions I was hearing: In the style of World War Z (a story told through interviews), follow a girl who falls into a hole and lands in the palm of a giant hand that turns out to belong to a giant robot.
To be honest, I was expecting something more like the children’s movie Iron Giant, but I got giant robots and politics and war, told through interviews and files. The girl is quickly moved to adult, and works with a mysterious government person to find all the parts of the robot, which were scattered around the world. The search turns deadly at times. Then comes the quest to find people who are capable of piloting the robot. The military is heavily involved, and then international politics. And once pilots are found, an unethical biologist tries to experiment on them in order to ‘create’ more pilots. Definitely not Iron Giant.
With the second novel, we go even further. It’s nearly ten years later, and the world has (mostly) come together, with Themis (the giant robot) primarily used as a peacekeeper and propaganda device. But now, new robots start appearing, and they are anything but peaceful. As well, one of the acts against the pilots of Themis in the previous book bears fruit (almost literally).
And even though book one was nothing like what I expected, I was honestly shocked by events in book two. Especially several deaths that I would never have thought possible. This book also ended on more of a cliffhanger, leaving me anxious for book three. Sylvain Neuvel is proving himself a writer to watch.