Book Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

I was smart enough to know it was wrong, but not brave enough to stop them

I haven’t hear much about the Themis Files, but it looked a lot like The Illuminae Files and this got me interested. I really liked the story and the way Sleeping Giants is written.

Book Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel


Title & Author: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Genre: Science-Fiction, Mystery
Release Date: April 26 2016
Series: Themis Files
Publisher: Del Rey


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?

I give Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel four out of five hearts because I do think it is an original story and well written, but it feels a little bit like Sylvain used The Illuminae Files as an idea for the visual outline of Sleeping Giants.

The story is told through interviews, journal entries, call logs and other kinds over conversations. I really enjoy reading different kinds over stories like this and The Illuminae Files. Both books look very similar, but Seeping Giants is a lot more simple in the visual aspects. My mind kept going to Kaufman’s and Kristoff’s novels. It didn’t take away from the fun, but it did feel like Sylvain used them to figure out the way he wanted to write his novel.

Sleeping Giants story feels reminiscing of animated movie The Iron Giant (which I loved) and that pulled me to it. I think the story is complex than The Iron Giant, but does take a lot of the elements of it. I enjoyed it very much. But I also liked all the science stuff Sylvain has tried to put in. The story wasn’t exactly fast paced, but it was also really cool.

The story is pretty dark and feels very fridged. There is not really a main character. You could see the interviewer as the main character, because he is the combining factor between everything else.

Rose is a woman formed by the experience from her past, she turned to science to figure out what happened back then and eventually gets put on the research on the giant hand she feel on when she was eleven.

The nameless, faceless interviewer is interesting because the reader doesn’t get to know who he works for, but he does things that seem like he has a lot of influence.

Kara, Ryan and Vincent are Rose’s coworkers. Between Ryan and Vincent is a rivalry going, which goes too far at one point. Kara is kickass woman that doesn’t take bullshit and does whatever she wants. They are very well developed, but could get more time in the lime light.

Overall I loved Sleeping Giant by Sylvain Neuvel, only the small comparisons with The Illuminae Files
that I kept seeing made me hesitant to give it an extra heart. But it is a great read. If you like science-fiction, I would tell you to read it. If you don’t love science-fiction you should still consider reading Sleeping Giants. It is well written with great world building and good characters.

Let me know what you thought of this book!
If you have any requests for which book I should talk about next, please let me know in the comments down below.

For now, let books enrich your life!


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