Saturday, 14 June 2014
Review - The Humans by Matt Haig
Genre: science fiction
Rating: 3,5/5 stars
Summary from Goodreads
The narrator of this tale is no ordinary human—in fact, he’s not human at all. Before he was sent away from the distant planet he calls home, precision and perfection governed his life. He lived in a utopian society where mathematics transformed a people, creating limitless knowledge and immortality.
But all of this is suddenly threatened when an earthly being opens the doorway to the same technology that the alien planet possesses. Cambridge University professor Andrew Martin cracks the Reimann Hypothesis and unknowingly puts himself and his family in grave danger when the narrator is sent to Earth to erase all evidence of the solution and kill anyone who has seen the proof. The only catch: the alien has no idea what he’s up against.
Disgusted by the excess of disease, violence, and family strife he encounters, the narrator struggles to pass undetected long enough to gain access to Andrew’s research. But in picking up the pieces of the professor’s shattered personal life, the narrator sees hope and redemption in the humans’ imperfections and begins to question the very mission that brought him there.
I found writing a review for this book pretty hard, because I had very mixed feelings about it. I had pretty high expectations for this book, but in the beginning it didn't really live up to them. The first 2/3 of the book took me quite a long time to read. I think I expected to much from this book and also I just wasn't in the right mood. The first few pages were very interesting and original, but after that I felt like the narrator went on and on about the weird things humans did. It's not strange that an alien would observe the differences between humans and his own race, but after a while it just started to get a little boring.
I put this book down for two weeks and after that I read the last 100 pages in one go. This time I started to like the book a lot more. This probably had to do with the fact that the main character became more human throughout the story and thus more relatable. In the beginning he didn't really feel any emotions and I personally find it hard to relate to someone who doesn't really feel anything.
Other characters that appear in the story are Isobel Martin, the professors wife, and their son Gulliver. In the beginning they weren't a very big part of the story and for a very long time they seemed very flat characters. In the last 1/3 of the book the story starts to revolve around the relationship of the alien with Isobel and Gulliver a lot more which also made the story a lot more interesting.
There isn't that much that I can say about the beginning of the story because there just wasn't a whole lot going on. The book definitely got better throughout and I ended up really enjoying it.
The descriptions about human life were lovely, especially the ones later on in the story and the book was often quite funny. I loved how the ending of the book was what I was hoping for, while still being realistic.