Book: Sleeping Giants (Themis Files 1) by Sylvain Neuvel
Release Date: April 1st 2016
Tags: Adult / Sci-Fi / Robots / Aliens
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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-shaped 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 – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.
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 relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
Sleeping Giants was released last year and became an overnight sensation. At least that is how it felt to me. The two different covers certainly were stunning and the idea of a young girl finding a giant metal hand sounded extremely appealing to me. The added positive reviews made me want to read this book.
What you have to know about this book though is that the story is told through interviews and journals. Mostly interviews though. That makes this an interesting read. But unlike Illuminae there are no illustrations throughout the book. It is all text. What made this interesting is that all the interviews are being conducted by an unknown man who is pulling the strings behind the scenes. He seems to have a large amount of influence, and though they meet him in person, they have no idea of his name or his true purpose. Throughout the book we get to know our main characters through the interviews he conducts with them and a few journal entries. However as we get to know those he interviews, we also get to know him little by little. There is interaction in the interviews. He is another main character and you could almost say he is the overall narrator of this book. He steers things in the directions he wants and he filters what we learn. It makes for an interesting dynamic. Not only are the answers in the interview important but also the person that is asking the questions.
When it comes to the plot I was entirely drawn in to it. This is sci-fi that I would love to watch. Discovering something like the giant hand and all that comes with that (I’m trying not to give that away) is something that pushes my imagination. I didn’t need illustrations in a book like this because I could picture it all in my head. The plot takes place over quite a few years. Sometimes there are a few gaps of months. This book only really shows the big events so to speak. I did lose a bit of interest nearing the ending of the book as it became a bit more political there and I felt that the ending was a bit deflated after everything that he had gotten. There just wasn’t that much with our giant hand at that portion but conflict in politics and between characters. However the epilogue and the second books title (Waking Gods) does promise excitement in the next book. I did guess what happened in the epilogue but it still leaves so many questions that I am fine with that.
The characters this book follows are all flawed in their own way and that was great to read. I do feel a bit more detachment from them then what I maybe would have had had it been written like a normal story. Now we are mostly just looking in from above. We aren’t truly in anyone’s head except for a few journal entries. I did strongly dislike how romance was used to create conflict between characters. I don’t think the book needed it and I wish authors would stop using it as an easy conflict thing. There are so many other things to create conflict through between characters. Be creative!