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A History of What Comes Next

(Take Them to the Stars #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,417 ratings  ·  375 reviews
Showing that truth is stranger than fiction, Sylvain Neuvel weaves a scfi thriller reminiscent of Blake Crouch and Andy Weir, blending a fast moving, darkly satirical look at 1940s rocketry with an exploration of the amorality of progress and the nature of violence in A History of What Comes Next.

Always run, never fight.
Preserve the knowledge.
Survive at all costs.
Take the
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 2nd 2021 by
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taylah a lot. mostly death, torture and gore. there's also sexual harassment (alongside allusions to rape & coercion) and homophobia and a graphic descriptio…morea lot. mostly death, torture and gore. there's also sexual harassment (alongside allusions to rape & coercion) and homophobia and a graphic description of conversion therapy.(less)

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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(2.5?) This is my fifth book by the author but probably my least favorite (well maybe after the last book in the Themis Files series).

The concept was interesting, the flashbacks to older generations were great but I found the writing too dry.

I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction but I hoped the the rest would compensate, which it mostly did. I'm not sure it needed to be a series but I might still read the next book.
Emily May
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2021, sci-fi
He found himself directing research on a small ballistic missile for the army. His rockets are light-years behind von Braun’s, but few people understand mathematics the way Hsue-Shen does. We have been bouncing ideas off each other for almost a decade, and I just wrote to him about my CO2 conundrum.

I hate to say it, but I think this book might exist on a level of nerd I'm incapable of reaching.

You can tell Neuvel put a lot of research and heart into his latest project, but I do wonder just h
Lala BooksandLala
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
The topic was intriguing and I typically enjoy the pairing of real world with science fiction; the inexorable relationship between the space race and the war being an especially strong lure. Sadly the narration style lacked the emotional depth I hoped for and I found it really dragged overall. Full review on my youtube channel- thanks to TOR for the opportunity to read it early.
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-reads
I thought I would be a perfect match for this book. I loved Sylvain Neuvel’s Sleeping Giants trilogy and I’m a bit of a space nerd — so Neuvel’s book about space race should have been a treat. But unfortunately, this one fell a bit flat.

This book is about the Kibsu — superpowered aliens which have gone though a hundred generations of Mother-Daughter pairs, whose sole goal is to help human civilization develop space flight and eventually get off the planet — to ensure our eventual survival. In th
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
A soft 3 stars for this alternative history novella focused on the space race post-WWII, with a SF twist to it.

description ... plus (view spoiler).

Final review, first posted on (along with my co-reviewer Bill's review):

In A History of What Comes Next, Sylvain Neuvel recasts history with a science fictional element, inserting a chain of mysterious mother-daughter teams who manipulate key events and powerful men through the ages to try to get the human race to re
Apr 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best reading experiences – and one that is increasingly rare in our oversaturated media age – is where you go into a book cold and it takes you so completely by surprise that, for a couple of days, it consumes you totally. Prior to this I had no idea who Sylvain Neuvel was.

‘A History of What Comes Next’ was one of those books I requested in a fit of pique from NetGalley, annoyed at being constantly ignored by publishers. You know what happens next, of course. Suddenly you get a spate
Feb 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, overdrive
This book is about a mother-daughter team from an alien race whose mission is to take humans to the stars (for reasons unclear). It basically rehashes the space race as if it were engineered by these aliens. The story in this book begins with the Nazi era, but there have been many generations of these identical aliens, going back centuries, and some are described in flashbacks. They are being pursued, for hazy reasons, by some all male counterparts. Unfortunately, the women have to find males in ...more
Mar 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-shelf, sci-fi
While the over-story in this is merely pretty okay and the end, well, the less I say about it, the better, I actually enjoyed the grand majority of this novel.

I really enjoyed the mother/daughter stories. Of course, it's not REALLY a mother/daughter kind of thing, but the biological twist, the cloning aspect that carries on for a hundred generations, IS fascinating and the vignettes through time were all a real treat.

But most interesting was the real history of the space race and rocket researc
La Crosse County Library
Take them to the stars

While this book is undoubtedly science fiction, it defies being pinned down so easily, incorporating elements of historical fiction, mystery, political intrigue, and even the supernatural. Having previously read Neuvel's "Themis Files" trilogy (2016-2018), I can attest to the author's resistance to telling stories in the traditional way. This tradition is carried on in A History of What Comes Next (2021), the first book in Neuvel's "Take Them To the Stars" series.

From t
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was ok
What comes next??? ... Try Mars... I'm going to sleep... ...more
Whispering Stories
May 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Book Reviewed on

A History of What Comes Next is an unusual book in that it blends history with sci-fi, two genres that are often on the opposite scale to one another. It is also a hard book to recap without giving the plot away.

What I can tell you is that we first meet teenager Mia towards the end of WWII. She is in Germany needing to locate and persuade Rocket Scientist, von Braun, to follow her instructions and leave the base he is at and head with her to the safety o
Kristen Beverly
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved Sylvain Neuvel’s Sleeping Giants, so I’ve been super excited to dive into this one. I think it’s perfect for fans of The Man in the High Castle. It stars powerful women that are racing to change the course of history by shaping the international space race. Little do they know, other dark forces are at play and will stop at nothing to make their wanted outcome part of history. It’s a deep exploration of how progress often comes at the expense of humans and brutal violence. It ...more
Jan 16, 2021 rated it liked it
I'm somewhere between 2.5 and 3 stars... I really enjoyed THE TEST by this author, so I was excited to try a different SF series form him. Alas, while I think the premise of this one is really interesting (a matriarchal line of aliens who have infiltrated Earth to enable humans achieving space travel), the writing style did not jive with me. The individual sentences were beautifully written, but they didn't flow together in a way that I enjoyed. I would still try more from this author, but I'll ...more
Iryna *Book and Sword*
Mar 22, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: sci-fi
Sylvain Neuvel is writing another sci-fi trilogy?
I’m ready!! I’m ready! I’m READY!!

Sahil Javed
May 31, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: science-fiction
oh this new trilogy is going to fuck me up so bad. bring it on.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

A strange yet intriguing version of the space race is retold in this first installment of Sylvain Neuvel’s Take Them to the Stars trilogy, an alternate history following the lives of several generations of women from a family of otherworldly beings. Sara and Mia are the latest members in a long line of Kibsu, an all-female society whose ancient origins are believed to go way back beyond the dawn of human civilization. Si
Feb 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Hmmph... I don't know what to make of this book. I did enjoy some parts, and I'm intrigued as to where the sequel would go, but I didn't love the writing and, at times, I felt underwhelmed and annoyed. The focus on the space race and the science aspects of the narrative sort of redeemed it, though, and managed to distract me from how much I didn't like any of the characters. ...more
Nov 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley, sf, series, 2020
This book is tough to rate - parts of it were super intriguing while others just didn't hold my attention.

Mia and her mother are the Kibsu, aliens who've worked for generations to help humans reach the stars. Always a mother and daughter pair. Always on the run from the Hunter.

While the novel shifts in time, showing us earlier generations of Kibsu and their subtle machinations to get human technology upto speed. Most of the story focuses on Sarah and Mia.

Mia's mission is to lure Wernher Von Bra
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A History of What Comes Next is the first instalment in the fact-meets-fiction Take Them to the Stars trilogy of novellas, primarily set against the backdrop of World War II Europe. Showing that truth is stranger than fiction, Sylvain Neuvel weaves a sci-fi thriller that blends a fast moving, darkly satirical look at 1940s rocketry with an exploration of the amorality of progress and the nature of violence. It begins in 1945, and follows Mia Freed and her mother, Sarah, who are the ninety-ninth ...more
Holly (The GrimDragon)
"I pulled a pen out of his shirt pocket, put it in his nostril, and drove it into his skull with my palm."

A History of What Comes Next is the first in the Take Them to the Stars trilogy by Sylvain Neuvel. 

I read Neuvel's novella, The Test, almost exactly two years ago & fucking LOVED it! It was intense & emotional & surprising all within something like 100 pages.

A History of What Comes Next is much longer & significantly less emotional. In fact, it was quite bland & often difficult to navigate.
Lisa Wright
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are always two; a mother and a daughter. They are the Kibsu and for 99 generations they have lived for one goal to "take them to the stars." They pass through history nudging, encouraging, hinting, helping scientists from Babylon to Werner Von Braun. Whatever it takes. They will survive and continue their work no matter how many people have to die. But there are others equally committed to stopping them.

Sci fi and history intertwine in this dark, compulsive thriller. Loved it!
Denise Ruttan
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review is also on

I received the book “A History of What Comes Next” by Sylvain Neuvel (expected publication date of February 2, 2021, from Tor) as an e-ARC for an honest review from Netgalley.

First of all, I will try my very best not to review this book with SPOILERS because very few people have read it so far, seeing as it’s an upcoming release, and sadly I have no one to talk with about these spoilers yet; but I can’t wait for more people to read it so I can geek
ash | novelly rooted
A History of What Comes Next is a creative take on the space race told in a similar writing style as Neuvel’s Themis Files. It’s a genre mashup of historical fiction and science fiction -- closely mirroring timelines and historical figures from our recent history.

What immediately hooked me was the premise. It’s three thousand years of the Kibsu, or “superalien” women working in mother-daughter pairs to sway the course of history in order to get space travel up and running. There can never be thr
Feb 12, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Quality of writing: 3
Plot development: 3
Pace: 3
Characters: 3
Enjoyability: 3
Ease of reading: 3

I've hear a lot of good things about Sylvain Neuvel's work and was excited to get my hands on his newest book. Took me a month to finish... A History of What Comes Next is not a bad book. But at one point I just got really bored.
Overall it's a decent book. Don't know where the next book will go, but I'd be interested to see. The one thing I really enjoyed was the flashbacks to previous generations. Mi
MJ (The Book Recluse)
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A History of What Comes Next

***Book Review***

A History of What Comes Next
By. Sylvain Neuvel
P. 304
Format - eArc

Rating - ****1/2

This eArc was provided to me for free in exchange for an honest review by @netgalley. It has not impacted my review.

A History of What Comes Next is a historical science fiction set mostly at the end of World War II. The story follows Mia and her mother Sarah. The two are identical in every way except age. They are the 99th
Branden Davis
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book is for a very narrow audience.

If you love:
- science-heavy sci fi
- historical fiction
- books about space exploration
- stories about invisible minorities throughout history
- mother/daughter relationships
- aliens

This book is all of those things wrapped into one. But I imagine if you’re not interested in even once of those, this book will be a slog to get through. But it was everything I wanted it to be and more.

Mia is a very interesting character, whose struggles with breaking free
Margaret Schoen
Sep 21, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a review of an ARC from NetGalley.

Well, that was odd.

Sarah and her daughter Mia are the Kibsu, two in a long line of mothers and daughters sworn to help mankind reach the stars, and escape the evil that is coming. But even as they are helping shape history, they are being hunted. No matter where they go - medieval Amsterdam, the Kievan Rus empire, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia - someone is trying to stop them before they can help humans get the knowledge they need to escape Earth.

This is
Erin (roostercalls)
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2020-reads
“There’s so much I’ve never experienced. I can calculate thrust coefficients with my eyes closed but I don’t know what it’s like to sleep next to someone, to feel their chest move with every breath, or how much heat two bodies can generate.”

A HISTORY OF WHAT COMES NEXT is a fictional retelling of the 20th century space race that interweaves historical fact with a mysterious alien presence—generations of mothers and daughters—whose sole goal on Earth is to take us “to the stars,” and another ali
Jan 01, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, historic
Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was very much drawn to the concept of the book. Two strong heroines, a mother and daughter, Sarah and Mia, with lethal powers and a scientific agenda that drives them to advance humanity un the space race. Tons of historical research and some action scenes that reminded me of a Tarantino film.

Mia working for the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) is sent to recruit a
Ashley Hoover
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
A History of What Comes Next was one of my most anticipated 2021 releases, so I was ecstatic when I received a review copy and had to jump right in as soon as I got it in my hands. I’ll go ahead and recognize that this book isn’t going to be for everyone. It’s satirical, a little dry, really science and historical based, and has no quotation marks, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. The writing was wonderful and just a little snarky, making this an easy binge read.

My only complaints: characteriza
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Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India, and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator, though he wishes he were a ...more

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