Tea & Book Chat: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Themis Files #1)

Personal Thoughts:  As you may remember from my Dark Matter review, I’ve been focusing on reading more adult books this year, particularly sci-fi and fantasy.  After binge-watching the first season in The Expanse series, I had a craving for more sci-fi and I didn’t yet want to fill it with Leviathan Wakes (although that is the next adult sci-fi book atop my TBR).  I landed on Sleeping Giants because 1) that cover! 2) that cover without the dust jacket! and 3) Penguin was kind enough to send me the second book in the series, Waking Gods, which is being released on April 4th so I thought this would be a good time to catch up! And FYI because I know you’re curious, Waking Gods also has a beautiful cover with an sans dust jacket.  (But question! If you know whether this series is a duology, trilogy or series, please let me know! I only see two books listed on goodreads but early reviewers seem to be saying that the second book ends on a cliffhanger).

Plot Summary:  It’s almost difficult to summarize the plot of Sleeping Giants because it’s such a strange story.  It begins with a prologue about a young girl at her birthday party who wants nothing more than to sneak off and use her new bike.  Once she does so, she bikes into the woods, only to crash and land in a really strange room atop a giant metallic hand.  Seventeen years later, the mystery of the giant hand is no closer to being solved and the young girl grows up to be a physicist who takes over as the leader in learning the origins of the hand.

Critique:  Sleeping Giants is told through a series of case files, each one documenting an interview between a nameless and mysterious interviewer and various members of the hand team, government officials and a couple of other people of interest.  The intrigue is real in this book as the team lead by Rose Franklin, works to decode the otherworldly symbols and learn more about the origins and metal used in crafting the giant hand with an unlimited amount of government funding and an incredibly tangled web of countries vying for control of such an anomaly.  While the air of mystery surrounding literally everything (the narrator, the hand, why the team chosen is qualified) kept me interested from start to finish, I did feel that it was a bit challenging to connect with the characters since we really only get a limited view of their psyche through the answers to the questions they’re asked (with the exception of a handful of journal entries, all of which the characters know are being monitored so there’s not much free thinking going on there either).  I totally understand that this is a “bigger picture” kind of story and the characters are mostly replaceable with the exception of the narrator but it was still missing any kind of human connection that I could get behind.  When the story ended, I left feeling almost as clueless as I had at it’s beginning which is why I am eager to start Waking Gods but also nervous that it won’t answer all of my burning questions!

Do I Recommend?:  If you like adult sci-fi, then I do! I think Sleeping Giants is definitely worth a read and it will keep your mind reeling with questions and thinking on a global and solar system wide level.  But if you prefer character driven tales, I would steer clear.

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Kristin

3 Responses to “Tea & Book Chat: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Themis Files #1)”

  1. Cassie says:

    Super excited to see where book two takes us!
    Cassie recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: ‘The Dazzling Heights’ by Katharine McGeeMy Profile

  2. I have been thinking about picking these up, but I’m not sure :/ Sci-fi isn’t typically my thing, but at the same time, I have LOVED some books like this. The plot sounds a little weird to me, and that’s kind of ok. But … I just don’t know … It makes me nervous :P
    Michelle @ FaerieFits recently posted…Important Things to Know About Parallel Worlds and How they Work [Elements of Fantasy]My Profile

  3. Sara S says:

    I don’t want to give much away, but Waking Gods definitely answers a lot of questions, but then makes you ask even more questions! It’s frustrating in the best way haha! And it just brings everything up a notch! So much more happens in this book than the first! And that ending! FYI major cliffhanger!
    ~Sara
    Sara S recently posted…Pocket Book Reviews {March 2017}My Profile

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