Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel

Book Details

Book Title: Sleeping Giants

Author: Sylvain Neuvel

: Del Rey 2016

Source: Library (I do NOT own this covert art, it is from Goodreads)

Page Count: 305

Format: Hardback

Genre: Science Fiction

Buy? Read? Avoid?: Read

Audience: Lovers of pure Science Fiction with a dash of politics.

Summed up in one word: Discovery

Author Bio: Sylvain Neuvel has a PhD in Linguistics from the University Of Chicago. He is a part time robotics enthusiast and a life long science fiction fan.

First Impression: I had no idea what to expect here, I was just mesmerised by the front cover and next thing I know this book is in my to read pile. Sleeping Giants is great science fiction, it has a solid story with decent science to back it all up with. The quality slips when we get to the political side to this tale but the author manages to make this book stand out by pulling off the interview style format really well and creating some awesome story moments. 


An eleven year old Rose Franklyn makes a discovery that changes our perspective of alien existence and alien technology forever. This discovery is a hand. A giant hand. Made of rare materials, covered in unknown dialect and found in the middle of nowhere. With little information to go on the military swoop in and quarantine the discovery for research. After thorough research and testing, the government find no clues as to the origin of the hand, how it got to earth or its true purpose....the case goes cold.

Years down the line, the same Rose Franklin who made the discovery, finds herself in charge of the research of the alien hand. With a fresh, young team, Rose makes many discoveries, puts the pieces of this mystery back together again and uncovers the truth behind this alien technology. In a series of interviews with the team, field reports and diary entries, a mysterious interviewer from an unknown agency documents all the events surrounding this discovery and goes to the end of the earth to find out what this technology means for the population of earth.


Story: Sleeping Giants is a solid, 'this could happen' scenario. I found myself engrossed in this story and every discovery added a new layer to this scientific tale of alien or ancient life. The story is told from an interviewers perspective, between this we have diary entries, field reports, experiment logs and other formats as well. The plot has action, science, love, mystery and evil threaded through it and it makes for a explosive read.

Characters: In this book we only spend time with the characters from the perspective of this mysterious interviewer. He is sinister, stoic and cares about little other than the truth of this discovery. The reader is told what is happening through questions and answers, each character has different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to discussing their side of events with the unknown man. This makes for a strange read, full of passion, concern, disbelief and violence. Each member brings something to the table and each has their own strong personality.

Themes: Main themes include science, truth, violence, war, love, discovery, pain and recovery.

Writing style: In terms of writing style, this author has gone for a fresh approach that he managed to pull of really well. The interview format could have failed and been unappealing to the readers, but the use of an harsh, faceless, government type makes you wonder, makes you feel for the characters and makes you want to know what he knows. The actually wording of this novel is pretty easy going, the science does not get to heavy and the story flows nicely from start to finish.

Likes: The science. The excitement of discovery. The passion of all the characters. The interview format.

Dislikes: Not knowing more about the interviewer. A little too similar like Pacific Rim in parts. The political parts that are included to add a sense of scale and ownership do drag on and get in the way occasionally.

Rating: Sleeping Giants is a strong piece of science-fiction. It is incredibly enjoyable and its easily to get lost for a few hours within its pages. The interview format works really well in my opinion, with the likeable characters, the discoveries and the action parts as well this is some quality material. I believe this is going to turn into a trilogy, I certainly hope so anyway.


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