Thursday, September 15, 2016

Book Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

"Sleeping Giants" by Sylvain Neuvel
First published in 2016
Book 1 in the Themis Files series
304 pages
My rating: 4 out of 5

The Short Of It:

Totally not what I expected, but I enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the second installment in the series.

The Long Of It:
For some reason I had it in mind that "Sleeping Giants" would be long and complicated and heavy on the science fiction (aliens, in this case), but it really wasn't any of those things.

Told entirely in interviews conducted by a nameless (but powerful!) showrunner, as well as mission reports and journal entries, it's an incredibly easy and fast-paced read, and though it's 300 pages there's so much spacing that in actuality it's probably more like 2/3 of that. And the aliens themselves are really not in play at all -- though I imagine that'll come in future books.

"Sleeping Giants" is instead about the discovery of an ancient alien contraption left on Earth -- a giant metal female form, separated into pieces and buried deep underground across the planet 5,000 years ago -- and the process of uncovering its mysteries, which involves a somewhat volatile conglomeration of scientific, military and government powers.

The main characters are a physicist, two military helicopter pilots, a geneticist and a linguist -- not to mention the mysterious unidentified man keeping track of them all, definitely the most interesting character of the bunch. In addition to unearthing and learning how to work the extraterrestrial metal giant, the novel deals with relationships and personality conflicts, ethics and conspiracies. What is seen as an amazing discovery by some is seen as an amazing -- and very dangerous -- weapon by others.

The plot kept me engaged and the writing was decent, though not anything to write home about. "Sleeping Giants" was a quick and easy read that left me wanting more, and I'll definitely be picking up the second book when it comes out next year.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know how I missed the fact that this book is written entirely in interviews. I am such a sucker for these kinds of formats (would you call them epistolary? maybe dossier-style?).


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