The Themis Files
On her 11th birthday, Rose Franklin falls into a hole in the ground and finds herself lying in the palm of a huge metal hand. Years later, now a respected physicist, she finds herself working on the project to study the same hand that she fell into as a child. Research has stagnated in the intervening years on what seems like an isolated curiosity, and further progress seems hopeless, until Warrant Officer Kara Resnik’s army reconnaissance flight is brought down by the emergence of another piece – and it becomes obvious that an entire body is scattered across the globe. Driven by the project’s mysterious overseer, the search strains global diplomacy and the relationships among the team alike to the breaking point. And as more pieces are collected, it becomes clear that what they’ve found is not merely a statue, but some kind of vehicle — and possibly a weapon — the implications of which are nearly unimaginable. And the consequences of activating it may be more than the world can handle.
The Themis Files is told through a series of interview transcripts and journal entries, providing a feel of delving into classified documents. The overall story unfolds easily through this technique, and quickly draws the reader into the developing project to study, assemble, and control the artifacts, but it is a very different experience than a standard third- or first-person narrative. The format of the story causes almost all action to be related at one remove, as the characters present recount their experiences to their mysterious, nameless supervisor rather than letting the reader see them in the moment. For the most part, it is done well; the lack of attribution in interview transcripts makes it sometimes difficult to tell who is speaking, but it usually becomes obvious through mannerisms and context. My only real complaint is that the last third of the story felt a bit too rushed, and I would have liked to see some of the later-introduced characters developed further – indeed, this probably could have been two complete novels. Otherwise, this is worth checking out as a unique experience, and I would be interested to see what the author does next.
|Bot Bot Publishing
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|Science Fiction & Fantasy