04 August 2013

Review: The Humans

The Humans
The Humans by Matt Haig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is really an interesting book. A mathematician has possibly solved the hypothesis, which discusses prime numbers and the infinite nature of the prime number patterns. The alien race that has already solved it comes down to protect the secret by having one of the aliens take the place of the mathematician. The goal is to eliminate the people who may know the truth, but the alien is finding humanity to be more interesting than originally thought.

The idea behind the book comes across as sort of a action book, or even something funny. While it has moments of levity, the book is actually really philosophical in nature, beyond the math theorems. A basic theme of the book is about what it is to be human, about how an alien society might actually view what we are and how we act. It's very introspective in nature, and it works extremely well. Too often, books like this get bogged down in their own thought processes, concerned more about philosophical arguments than plot. To its credit, this story certainly puts the observational aspects front and center, but not at the expense of a fairly riveting story with an unexpected conclusion.

Definitely glad I read this. I hadn't read anything from Matt Haig, but I will definitely be looking for more from him. For this specific book, though, it's the best genre fiction has to offer in terms of finding interesting, compelling themes that are applicable to real life, what many look for from science fiction to start. Highly recommended.

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