Book Reviews Reviews

Review: Sleeping Giants

Review: Sleeping GiantsSleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #1
on 26 April 2016
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: Ebook
ISBN: 9780718181697
Source: Purchased
 
 •  •  •  

17 years ago, a young girl named Rose fell through the ground in the Black Hills and found herself in an underground chamber filled with gleaming symbols, lying in the palm of a giant metal hand. Now a physicist, Rose leads a research team struggling to determine the hand's origins. When another giant limb is discovered, she quickly devises a method for unearthing the hidden pieces, convinced there is an entire body out there waiting to be found.

Halfway around the globe, Kara watches helplessly as her helicopter shuts down over a pistachio field in Turkey. That'll leave a mark, but she's about to crash her way into what might be the greatest endeavor in human history.

This is a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts. Written as a series of interview transcripts, journal entries and mission logs, The Themis Files tells the tale of a handful of people whose lives are inexorably linked by the discovery of an alien device and the commotion that follows.

I don’t remember when I first heard about this book, but I was recently reminded of this book’s existence through someone’s booktube video, where it was compared to Illuminae, a book I loved to bits. Then, I saw part two – Waking Gods – on NetGalley and decided I was going to get that and buy a copy of the first book. Honestly, I wish I hadn’t bothered.

Sleeping Giants tells us the story of Rose Franklin, who one day goes for a ride on her bicycle and ends up finding a giant robot hand. Years later she’s the head of a team trying to find and assemble other parts of this gigantic robot all over the world. She and her team members are being interviewed by a mysterious man. This book consists of most of the interview files, some journal entries and some newspaper articles.

Oh my god, this book was boring. And when I mean boring it really was boring. I loved the ‘unique’ format, as I loved Illuminae and Gemina. I love reading books written like journals or books written like one big interview, but somehow it just did not work for this book. It made me feel like I was reading a textbook for school or something. And not for a subject I would love. At some point, two characters were talking about maths, and honestly, my eyes were swimming, I skimmed most of that part.

Due to the format, I had no connection with any of the characters at all. There was no real excitement in the story, I had no desire to read on all the way to the end, though I did because I was hoping for the story to pick up later on. When something thrilling finally happened, I still did not feel anything View Spoiler » and when I was nearly 200 pages in, I started skimming more and more of the book.

I had read a review, where the reviewer said there was going to be a plot twist/cliffhanger at the end, and I had totally seen that coming from miles ahead, so that wasn’t really a reason for me to pick up the second book. I will still do that, as I got a review copy from NetGalley, but I am 100% sure I will not enjoy it as much as I hoped I would.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked the format enough, but I had hoped for a little more variation. The interviews were formatted in such a way that I sometimes had no idea who was talking. The author could have done it better by adding abbreviations in front of each part so we would know who was talking at that point. I guess I was just too used to the amazing format of Illuminae, that the prospect of having a book similar to it made me very excited.

In the end, Sleeping Giants was just not really my cup of tea. I will pick up the next book, Waking Gods but honestly I am not that thrilled about it anymore. I have some small expectations View Spoiler » but other than that I am going into that book with caution.

My opinion in one gif