Sunday, April 17, 2016

Book Review: Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel

An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a literary thriller fueled by a quest for truth—and a fight for control of earthshaking 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 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?


I started reading this book at the end of August 2015. I can't even describe how excited I was to get my hands on this book. And when I started it, I really thought that Sleeping Giants was going to be THE science fiction novel that would really get me into this genre. But after reading this book on and off for eight months, I've got to call it. I just can't read one more page. Reading a book shouldn't feel like a chore but this one definitely did.

The format is interesting ... it's a grouping of system logs, interviews, journal entries, news articles. Apparently, there are other books that use this same format, but I've never read one. And honestly, I thought that I would have a hard time reading a book that was formulated like this but it flowed really well. I was completely entranced with the whole idea. At first. Then the further that I got into the book, I felt more and more disconnected from the story. You're getting to know the characters throughout the entire thing because you're reading their thoughts and feelings in the journal entries but after a while, it just wasn't enough. I really didn't have any connections with any of the characters after about a quarter of the way through the book. I mean, the characters were witty and memorable but just because you remember something doesn't mean you have any ties to it.

This book is intelligently written. It honestly reads as if it actually happened and you're just picking up these documents and reading them. But at the same time, I kept getting the feeling that I knew the story from somewhere. There were quite a few times that the story would remind me of a TV show or movie that was out ... mainly The Whispers and Pacific Rim. Authors draw from other works all of the time but usually, I can't pinpoint what they are so quickly and vividly. But this time I could. And then I couldn't get those two shows out of my head as I read Sleeping Giants.

This genre just isn't for me. I've tried repeatedly to get into it and I just can't. This book was just not what I thought that it was at first. I just loved Sleeping Giants so very much when I first started. My husband was very tired of hearing about this book. And then my interest tapered off so quickly that it was staggering. I wish that it had not ended up that way because I thought that the beginning was pretty badass.

If you love reading sci-fi, you'll probably love this book. I'm not totally sure it's for people who don't enjoy reading this genre ... it's very detailed and may not keep your attention ... which may have been the issue for me. All I know is that I tried repeatedly for a lot longer than I usually give books. If I put it down twice, I'm just done but I kept hoping that things would change. It just wasn't meant to be this time.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: April 26, 2016

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