The Humans by Matt Haig

Title: The Humans
Author: Matt Haig
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Expected Release: July 2, 2013
Source: publisher (NetGalley)

Synopsis (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.

While reading The Humans, I’m sure I’m not the only one who was reminded of the television series 3rd Rock from the Sun, and at one point, of the ST:TNG episode Encounter at Farpoint. There’s a bit of The Doctor in our alien protagonist as well. But don’t be fooled into thinking this novel is some sort of knock-off: the execution is fabulously unique. Matt Haig takes us on a brilliant and imaginative journey through the human experience, the best and the worst.

With short, easy-to-devour chapters bearing titles such as Detached Nouns and Other Early Trials for the Language Learner and The Melancholy Beauty of the Setting Sun, I raced through this book. I could not wait to read more, but I didn’t want to miss a thing.

And may I just say, I am completely jealous that the Vonnadorians can consume books in capsule form! Seriously?!

I can’t rave about this book enough. It’s thoughtful. Wise. Funny. Tender. Uplifting. Thrilling (there was an awesome unexpected twist!). I was hanging on every word, each moment for its own reason, all the way to the very end. The Humans swept me away; it is by far my new favorite read of 2013. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

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