Reviews

Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

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?

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Song For This Book: Harder Better Faster Stronger by Daft Punk
Why? Basically the theme song for this book, as far as I can tell.

4/5

This book has been on my radar for so long, and I kept putting it off and not picking it up. But I’ve been trying to read more adult fantasy and science fiction, and since I’m in love with the cover of this book, I figured that this would be a good place to start. It sounded like it might be a little heavy on the science part, but at least it was not set in space.

I was actually surprised how much I ended up enjoying this book. It takes a little while for you to get used to the format it’s written in, but it’s super intriguing and fast paced, and it’s actually not as science-y as one would think from the description. Or it is, but it’s written in such a way that those of us without scientific backgrounds easily understand what’s going on.

The Good Points of Sleeping Giants:

The pacing of this book is absolutely brilliant. With most of the book revolving around getting parts of the robot from various locations and figuring out what the deal with the robot is in the first place, it has a lot of potential to just get dull really quick. But the author keeps it moving along quickly, and keeps you so hooked into the story that you’ll fly through this one.

It took a while to get used to the format of this book and how it’s written in interviews and log entries. But by about 50 pages in, I loved it. I’m so curious who the guy doing the interviews is.

On a similar note, the writing is fantastic. It’s not a literary sort of writing, but the author manages to communicate nuanced and complex personalities through nothing more than interviews and log entries, which is a talent all of it’s own.

The concept behind this book is so simple and so brilliant at the same time. It’s not one of those super complex science fiction stories where there are lots of little details to understand and complicated world development. It’s the complete opposite: aliens left Earth a robot. It gets more detailed as you go, but I love that the author took such a simple idea and made it work so well.

The Downsides of Sleeping Giants:

Despite the fact that we get a lot of personality through the interviews, it does mean that know very little about the characters beyond basics, and it didn’t seem like the developed at all as the story progressed. Which is fine, because the plot is so fascinating. But I would really like to know more about the characters and their motivations, because I didn’t really care about any of them.

Despite the fast pace, not a lot happened on the robot front. That’s what the whole book is supposed to be about, so I wanted more robot progress. She’s the only character I actually cared about and she doesn’t even get really far.

All in all, I did really enjoy Sleeping Giants, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book. I’ve read in a lot of reviews that people found this similar to The Martian, but I didn’t see that at all, since one is plot based and about robots, and the other is character based and about survival. But maybe that’s just me. If you love science fiction, robots, absentee aliens, and different writing styles in books, you should definitely give Sleeping Giants a go!

Find Sleeping Giants on Book Depository

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14 thoughts on “Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

  1. This song choice to spot on. 😉 I won this book and an author autographed book plate thanks to http://www.leighgendarium.com/, a book blog that focuses on indie publishing. The owner of the blog actually recommends that you read the book along with the audio book, which is what I did 🙂 I highly suggest this strategy as well to anyone because the audio book is absolutely phenomenal! It adds a whole ‘nother level to your reading experience. Also, the Leighgendarium has a written interview featuring Sylvain Neuvel, as well as an interview via his 30 Minute Author Interviews Podcast– both are pretty interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Please do! The audio book is truly one of a kind. Yeah, I have yet to get the second book. I’m actually nervous about reading it, I’ve heard it’s not quite as good as the first..

        Liked by 1 person

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