I picked up Sylvain Neuvel’s debut sci-fi novel, Sleeping Giants, based on synopsis alone (well, that and the cover): A hunt to find pieces of a bizarre artifact?! Count me in.
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #1
Published by Del Rey on April 26th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction
Narrator: Andy Secombe, Charlie Anson, Christopher Ragland, Eric Meyers, Laurel Lefkow, Liza Ross, William Hope, Adna Sablylich, Katharine Mangold
Length: 8 hours and 28 minutes
A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton, World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.
A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.
Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.
But some can never stop searching for answers.
Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
clandestine missions, extraterrestrial possibilities, and metallic discoveries
- The mystery of the “sleeping giant.”What are these pieces they’re finding? Where did this stuff come from? WHEN did it come from? How does it work? The mystery of it all is so much fun and really makes the first half of the book easy to tear through.
- Holy cow the AUDIOBOOK! It was amazing! It’s a full cast of readers for this one, and they’re 100% PERFECT. The story is told mostly through interviews, but there are a few diary entries or descriptions of surveillance video. This makes having a full cast awesome, because I felt like I was listening to a podcast or something like that, rather than a book. And what’s also cool is that the voice-actors were actually acting, so when someone in the book “screams,” the actor is screaming. When the character is climbing stairs, the actor is acting a little out of breath. It was just so much fun!
- The characters themselves were also great. Neuvel managed to pack in a lot of character development through interviews and diary entries. I cared about the characters a lot. When I read Illuminae, which is formatted similarly (through interviews, e-mail exchanges, diary entries, etc), I had a harder time connecting to the characters. So bravo to Neuvel for making them seem real!
- Once the mystery of what the giant creature was and what it was capable of was gone, the story lost some of its sparkle for me. It was still fun to read, but I didn’t have that need-to-know fervor that I did in the beginning. Who knows? Maybe there’s still more to discover in the sequels, which brings me to my second point…
- I complain about it all the time: I wish books could stand alone (to some degree) when they’re a part of a series. Let’s take Harry Potter. Yes, all the books have an overarching plot line; however, each book by itself has a story that begins and resolves, and I LOVE THAT. This book definitely leaves you on somewhat of a cliffhanger.
I would definitely encourage anyone to read this who enjoys sci-fi. I would highly recommend the audiobook as well! It was awesome.
What do you think about the book? Does finding giant pieces of some mysterious robot-type thing sound like your jam? Do you like series and books like this that leave you with questions unanswered?