Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel

Genre: Sci-Fi/Interview
Synopsis:  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. 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. 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?


Review: Hmmm. Some things I really liked about this, and others I didn't like so much, averaging out to an okay reading experience. I'd been waiting for this to come out ever since noticing it on Goodreads, because the premise sounded really interesting, and I was curious to see how the author might make this book stand out from others. Honestly, it doesn't stand out much at all. Maybe the overall combination of elements - one part World War Z, one part War of the Worlds, one part Any Japanese Anime With Mechs, is a unique combination, but overall it felt like the plot for a mediocre anime series.

There were definitely aspects of the novel I liked - despite the interview format, something which has kept me from reading World War Z for years, it was pretty easy to tear through, so the writing was obviously somewhat engaging. As well as that, there is one element of the plot which, while brought about in a very forced way, is also both grim and awesome. Maybe not so awesome for the character involved, but it was probably the most interesting aspect of the book for me.

Beyond that.... I had no interest in the global politics. I felt the explanation for the title characters was really poor and uninteresting. And the interview format, which contained virtually no other documentation beyond interviews, did nothing but frustate me by hindering my experience of the events in the book by feeding them to me second hand instead of letting me experience them for myself.

The more I think about the book, the more I feel my enjoyment stemmed from how easy it was to read, as opposed to there being anything of any great substance here. I am however intrigued enough by the ending to read the second installment when it arrives.

Rating: 2/5

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