Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

IMG_4487“I came to realize that good and evil were out of my reach, that time was the only thing I had any control over. I could buy time, create intervals. I could not truly make the world a better place, but I could make part of it a better place for a short while.”

Waking Gods is the second novel in the Themis Files series, and a follow-up to the popular, Sleeping Giants. Rose Franklin discovered a giant metal hand when she was a child, and dedicated her scientific career to uncovering the mystery of what she found that day. With answers, come even more questions. Now, the world is under a massive invasion and the question of why it is happening must be solved in order to discover a solution.

Sleeping Giants was a big surprise for me, and a novel I thoroughly enjoyed. However, I wasn’t sure what to expect from its follow-up, or how it could maintain the qualities that made Sleeping Giants such a page-turning read. The great thing is that it absolutely does. Waking Gods has all the intrigue, profound questions, and sarcastic humour of its predecessor that had me completely swept up in the story and eager to see what would come next. The characters we came to know are back, and we get to see what their lives are like now, as a new threat takes hold. It is told in the same format, through interviews and journal entries, which is done very well and moves the story forward at a great pace. Waking Gods is a truly great sequel and a novel that does not disappoint.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

IMG_1759“There I was, this tiny little thing at the bottom of the hole, lying on my back in the palm of a giant metal hand.”

Little Rose is riding her new bicycle when she falls into a large square hole. The hole itself is strange, with complex carvings that emit a green glow, however the strangest thing about it is viewed by the firemen who come to Rose’s rescue.  What they see is a young girl lying in a giant metal hand. Almost two decades later, there are no answers to explain this discovery and one of the people at the center of the current investigation is Rose herself who has gone on to become a physicist and to lead the secret team that is uncovering the mystery and putting the puzzle pieces together.  Whatever the answers are, it is obvious that the team is on the verge of something historic with unknown repercussions.

Told through mostly an interview format, Sleeping Giants is a page-turning novel that looks at our place in not only our world but the universe, and the meaning behind a discovery that has the potential to be used for peace and destruction.  Initially I was unsure how the interview format would work throughout an entire novel, however I found it was done very well and the story had my full attention from the start. The author does an excellent job of using a no-name, anonymous figure to administer the questions and take us through the timeline of events, while also being an active participant in what is happening.  While the format works, I would have liked more log entries from individual characters, along with newspaper clips showing the outside view and take on certain events that occur throughout.

I would recommend Sleeping Giants to fans of science-fiction and feel it is best enjoyed by going into it with limited preconceptions. It is a story that looks at the big picture and provides an excellent foundation for what is sure to be an intriguing series. Oh that ending!