Book Review – Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1)

July 8, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Book Review – Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1)Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #2
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Date Published: April 26th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction, Technological, Thrillers
Format: eBook
Pages: 288
Rating: five-stars
Description: 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?   Praise for Sleeping Giants “Reminiscent of The Martian and World War Z, Sleeping Giants is a luminous conspiracy yarn that shoots for (and lands among) the stars.”—Pierce Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising  “As high-concept as it is, Sleeping Giants is a thriller through and through. . . . " "Not only is Sleeping Giants one of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory, it’s a smart demonstration of how science fiction can honor its traditions and reverse-engineer them at the same time.”—NPR   
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Lynnpic Lynn’s Review:

If you are looking for a traditional “review” of Sleeping Giants, go here. Instead, I’m going to gush about loving this book. And love it I did. Heck, I even tweeted about it!

Here are some of the reasons I loved Sleeping Giants:

The premise is brilliant. Sleeping Giants starts with the discovery of a giant metallic hand, or really, the metallic hand of a giant statue. The readers follow along with the characters as we figure out how the statue parts ended up on earth. And who put them there. To say the technology of the statue is advanced is an understatement. Even more so when you consider the statue was buried thousands of years ago. I really appreciate that Mr. Neuvel developed a plot where the alien technology is already here on earth, just waiting for humans to reach sufficient advancements to actually detect and begin to understand the technology when it is discovered.  

 So to answer your question, no, I don’t believe humans built these things. You an draw whatever conclusion you want from that. (Dr. Rose Franklin, lead physicist)

The format drew me in right away. The novel is written in a mostly interview format. With an unidentified interviewer speaking with the other characters. We never learn who the interviewer is. But I think we do learn more about the characters this way. The interviewer is asking the same questions that I, as a reader, what answered. The interview is also 10 steps ahead of EVERYONE else, putting plans in action before anyone else.

-I am increasingly uncomfortable with the direction in which this conversation is heading. (the Interviewer)        

-Just tell me! Am I being unreasonable? (Kara Resnik)        

-A modicum of communication would seem like a sensible requisite. (the Interviewer)

How can you NOT be drawn to that kind of banter! (Or is that just me with my partiality for dry sarcasm?)

I love the subtle hints/shout outs to other Sci-Fi. The team brings in a linguist who, like Dr. Daniel Jackson from Stargate SG-1, is brilliant. But not necessarily respected in his field. And like in Armada, the characters trust that society has been exposed to enough aliens in film, tv, and books that this news will not be a shock. 

“People have seen too many alien movies to be completely shocked by their existence. You expose someone to something long enough and they become desensitized.”

“Hollywood does your dirty work for you.” (the Interviewer)

WTH plot twists abound. The plot drives forward with twists and turns that I was not anticipating. Accidents. Deaths. Betrayals. After hitting a plot twist, I’d keep reading just to figure out how the story would move forward. Even the cliff-hanger at the end was a WTH moment. (Yes, What the Heck. I’m not really a curse-word user!) (Any quotes here would be spoilers!) 

I’d also like to point out that despite the description, Sleeping Giants has only two things in common with The Martian. 1) It’s science fiction. 2) It’s a debut novel. That’s it. I just wanted to forewarn you, dear reader. Some blurbs are just not helpful!

Yes, I loved Sleeping Giants. Yes, I think you should read it. And yes, the next ten months til the second book in the Themis series is released will be VERY LONG. 

Sleeping Giants (The Themis Files)
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Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Overall: 5

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