Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Review: Sleeping Giants

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Themis Files #1
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Source: ALA Midwinter
Date Read: 4/18/16 to 4/22/16
320 pages
Rating: 1/2


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 received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I've been drawn to this book since last year, because who DOESN'T want to read about the makings of this mysterious stone giant? Doesn't it remind you of that movie, The Iron Giant? Well it did for me, and I really loved that movie, so of course I had to pick this up at one point or another.


The prologue introduces us to a young girl who discovers the an enormous stone hand, illuminated by glowing carvings. Fast forward to the future, and this girl, Rose, is now a well known physicist. By luck, she's been asked to lead the project on researching the hand, and also finding the rest of the pieces. And putting it together, and seeing how it works, or whether it works for that matter.

Sleeping Giants is told through interviews, a couple of journal entries, and recorded phone conversations between the mysterious interviewer, and a number of other characters. Although I loved how everything came together, and we got to know more about the events that were taking place, I felt that I would have liked it better as prose? There were a countless number of times where I felt left in the dark, and I wouldn't find out what happened until it was reported or the interviewer asked about it. This led to a weird pacing, as there were many time jumps between certain events.

Like I mentioned before, there were many characters. Although there were the main four, a couple more were introduced to put everything in perspective. But I just couldn't wrap my mind around all these characters.

But other than that, the plot completely pulled me into the story. Where the heck did this giant come from? How is it so powerful? What sort of technology is it? And more importantly, what the heck happened at the end there? I'm going to need that second book, because I need all my answers.

Overall, I enjoyed Sleeping Giants, even though it doesn't live up to other adult science fiction novels I have read in the past. It definitely satisfied my "Iron Giant" feels.