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mini review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel
Pub. Date: April 26, 2016
Source: e-ARC via netgalley (Thank you, Del Rey!)
Summary: 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-shaped 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—the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown. 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 relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
Genre: Sci-Fi, Epistolary

October saw the publication of the wickedly popular Illuminae (which I sadly was NOT a fan of), a guns-blazing space opera told through a series of IMs, e-mails, and surveillance footage. I couldn’t help but compare Sleeping Giants to Illuminae, though I’m pleased to say Giants is much more my cup of tea!

Seventeen years ago Rose received a new bicycle and promptly fell through a hole in the earth…and landed in a giant’s hand. Nearly two decades later, Rose is a physicist and leader of a super elite team sent to uncover the secrets of the hand and hopefully uncover the rest of the body parts. For if there’s a hand, surely there must be an arm, a leg, a torso. What her team doesn’t realize is that they’re walking a very fine line between world peace and total destruction.

I really don’t have a whole lot to say about this one other than I LOVED it! Because of the format – logs, camera footage, interview transcriptions, etc – Sleeping Giants was an extremely quick read and its premise (HELLO, gigantic robots anyone?!) kept me glued to the page. Also, it’s set in Deadwood. Yes, that Deadwood:

It’s a small town built during the gold rush. It was a rowdy place, like in the movies. The last brothels were closed when I was a kid. Our claim to fame, besides a short-lived TV show on HBO, is that the murder of Wild Bill Hickok happened in Deadwood.

As someone who’s not a huge fan of epistolary novels (most likely caused by a pretty awful experience with Dracula) I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying this one so much. Not just enjoying it, but completely loving it to the point where I have no problem whatsoever recommending it AND I’ll be eagerly awaiting the sequel (yes, this is a series!) 2014’s The Supernatural Enhancements also wormed its way into my heart, so perhaps my distaste for the genre solely rests on Dracula? Either way, Sleeping Giants was hugely (ha!) entertaining and smart and had such an intriguing concept that I’m positive it will become a hit.

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5 thoughts on “mini review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

  1. I just wrote my review of this one. I loved it too but I found I really struggled putting that love into words. I just hope everyone reads it and loves it too!

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