Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel (2016)
Fiction | Sci-Fi
“17 years ago: A girl in South Dakota falls through the earth, then wakes up dozens of feet below ground on the palm of what seems to be a giant metal hand. Today: She is a top-level physicist leading a team of people to understand exactly what that hand is, where it came from, and what it portends for humanity. A swift and spellbinding tale told almost exclusively through transcriptions of interviews conducted by a mysterious and unnamed character, this is a unique debut that describes a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts.” -Goodreads
Sleeping Giants expected Publication Date: April 26, 2016
pooled ink Review:
Classic sci-fi. That’s precisely what this is. Scientists, aliens, soldiers, robots, mystery, covert operations, and scientific missions fill the space between the virtual ebook covers. Upon reading this book all I could think was “never mind the book where the heck is the movie??” Actually this thought isn’t crazy as it’s primetime for sci-fi (not that it’s ever really gone out of vogue in the box office) consider Interstellar, The Martian, Maze Runner, Gravity, and the rest of the steady stream of sci-fi films released each year.
Book-wise I felt that some of the sentences were uncomfortably choppy and staccato (sometimes it was intentional or part of a character’s style of speech but other times it just felt odd). Also personally I felt that some of the character development was lacking and/or rushed. Not all, just some. Or perhaps I should rephrase my meaning: the character development is a lot more of a need-to-know basis. Sometimes it’s annoying but mostly it fits this genre and particularly this book. I mean, you can’t be spilling everyone’s back-stories and secrets, not even to the reader.
Story-wise I think that Neuvel wrote some pretty good stuff. It’s definitely creative and well thought out with an attention to details.
Written almost entirely in an interview format (and some private journal entries) and navigated largely by a mysterious narrator you are swept inside the mystery, politics, adrenaline, and calamities pushing forward with each turn of the page all the while wondering in the back of your mind who this narrator/interviewer could possibly be. But every time your mind spirals back to this question action strikes and whisks away your attention onto more pressing matters. There is no shortage of plot twists, intrigue, personal agendas, scientific adventure, or pawns in this book that’s for sure (just wait ‘til the end! Dun dun dunnnn).
Look, in my own humble Netflix-addicted opinion I’d be far more interested in watching a movie as opposed to reading a book for Sleeping Giants but the book was still pretty good plus I was reading an un-edited copy so it’ll be even better when it’s published in 2016. Any sci-fi buff would be sure to love it (in fact I’d even advise you keep a napkin nearby to catch your drool if you are one of those people).
Intense, inventive, and impressive Sleeping Giants is sure to turn heads, invigorate minds, and feed that little bubble inside us that likes to wonder ‘what if?’
A fast-paced read but for whatever reason, it just didn’t ignite any passion in me. So while I think it’s a solid good book and an alluring beginning to a series it’s not quite 5-stars in my eyes…I give it a 3.81/5 star rating but hey go ahead and grab a copy for yourself when it’s released because for you it just might be a 5-point-billion star rating.
P.S. Awesome cover art.
Purchase here: Sleeping Giants
Similar recommended reads: The Calling by James Frey
Meet Sylvain Neuvel!
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 an astronaut. He likes to tinker, dabbles in robotics and is somewhat obsessed with Halloween. He absolutely loves toys; his girlfriend would have him believe that he has too many, so he writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course).