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4.0 out of 5 starsFun Read - Worth the Buy
Reviewed in Canada on August 22, 2020
I bought this off a whim while looking for something a little different from my typical genres. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by it! It was paced well, the report-style format was not cumbersome, as I kind of expected it to be. It actually added to the feel of it, and maintained the suspense and mystery well throughout, while steadily feeding my curiosity. The characters, although not TOO deep, are still likeable and have interesting dynamics between them. There isn’t too much uniqueness to the grander story, and it’s even a little predictable in some spots, but there are still some fun surprises. It is definitely a fun, quick read. I’ve already ordered the next two books in the series. Now I really NEED to know who the h*ll the nameless man and Mr. Burns are! Oh, and I like the semi-subtle shout-outs to Canada too. ;)
As told via interviews and log entries, the story is 99% dialogue and 100% fun to read. I thought the format (interviews) Neuvel chose to write this story in might be a bit harder to read but it wasn't. It was just as smooth as any other story I have read. I only took a star off because it is NOT a stand-alone. If you read this, you will have to commit to read Waking Gods (and I have no idea if the series continues after that). Otherwise you are only going to get part of the story. Based on what I have read so far, I can see this being a five-star series.
Deep in the Earth, aliens have left a surprise for us. Robot parts have been scattered around the globe. Only when it's been detected that we, on a technological level, have advanced sufficiently do they rise to the surface ready to be assembled. Of course this leads to a fair amount of problems because we may be smart but nations don't always play well with others.
Neuvel did an amazing job with the "interviewer". He's orchestrating everything but even by the end we have no idea who he is, and neither do the characters. I'd read Waking Gods just to find out more about him. He's mysterious, intelligent, has contacts around the globe and able to manipulate governments into doing what he wants. Yet, he still feels like a real person. He cares about the people he's brought together to do all the work with the robot. These people consist of a physicist, two pilots and a linguist. It's a small group but when something this big happens you want to keep it under wraps as much as possible.
Waking Gods should be coming out this April but I have my fingers crossed that I can get my hands on a copy beforehand. How can people be expected to wait that long? I consider it cruel and unusual punishment.
4.0 out of 5 starsA gripping read and a novel approach to several SF tropes
Reviewed in Canada on August 27, 2018
Loved the epistolary format in the form of letters, interviewers, reports. Loved the mysteriously omniscient narrator(s) - the unnamed interviewer and Mr. Burns) playing 4D chess. Loved the twist ending, which I had avoided learning about from spoilers. Giant robots are fun for some, but I do prefer some 'hard science' along the lines of the Martian or Artemis. Read it in 2018, so I can binge read books 2 and 3. Would find it very frustrating to have to stop after being left hanging at the end of volume 1.
2.0 out of 5 starsThere's much better sci-fi out there
Reviewed in Canada on August 24, 2018
There is so much better quality, and original, science fiction out there that I couldn't recommend this to anyone. It's getting a lot of praise for its interview format, but the dialogue is laughable at times. It may have been intentional, but it reads like the script from a 90s action film. If the format interests you, check out World War Z, and if you want an interesting first contact book, Solaris is great.
It was so fantastic. I listened to the audio book via audible and the voice acting was fantastic the story is fantastic I recommend everyone read this series. Loved the pacing and how the story built up over time can't wait to read/listen to the next one!
5.0 out of 5 starsI am just speechless at how amazing this book was and I am so so excited ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 19, 2017
Asdfghshshsbsjs! I am just speechless at how amazing this book was and I am so so excited to start reading the second book! For me, Sleeping Giants is like a hidden gem. I didn't really know what to expect going into it. All I knew was that the cover was pretty and it was about a scientist who discovers something strange. It sounded pretty good to me!
Deadwood, USA. A girl sneaks out just before dark to ride her new bike. Suddenly the ground disappears beneath her. Walking up at the bottom of a deep pit, she sees an emergency rescue team above her. The people looking down see something far stranger...
That girl grows up to be Dr Rose Franklyn, a brilliant scientist and the leading world expert on what she discovered. An enormous, ornate hand made of an exceptionally rare metal, which predates all human civilization on the continent. But what if we were meant to find? And what happens when this vast, global puzzle is complete...?
Sleeping Giants is told in the form of recordings; these include recordings of interviews between an unknown person and our main characters, recordings of our characters personal journal entries and recordings of experiment logs. I found this form of writing an amazing way to read this type of book as it added another element to the story. The book is this kind of science fiction and fantasy book and because the whole book is based around an experiment, I thought it was clever that the book included recordings: because this is what would happen during any experiment or investigation.
You can see that the format of the book is told through recordings I also loved plot. Sometimes the plot of 'the giant hand' slipped away whilst there was some character arc going on, but overall, the experiment was a massive part of the book - I think I would have liked to see it a bit more at the end though... It sort of... Just disappeared...
"It does not matter. You train your soldiers to kill using video games. They blow enough people up on their computer and it becomes easier for them to kill with a real weapon. Why do you think your government funds so many war and terrorism movies? Hollywood does your dirty work for you. Had 9/11 happened twenty years earlier, the country would have been in chaos, but people have seen enough bad things on their television screen to prepare them for just about anything. We do not really need to talk about government conspiracies."
- Sylvain Neuvel, Sleeping Giants
Speaking of the ending: WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH THAT EPILOGUE??!! Once I had finished reading it, I couldn't believe the words that my eyes had just looked at and I knew that I had to start reading the second book straight away. That epilogue is all a book lover could ask for and just the perfect cliffhanger to keep readers anticipating for the next book. Well done, Neuvel!
Now the characters... For me, all of the characters were absolutely amazing - apart from Ryan Mitchell. I just felt like his story arc was really random and I thought he was a really strange character. Also, Alyssa. No. Just no. I don't have any problem with the way Neuvel wrote her, I have no problem with her character arc, I just really don't like her. At all. She is just selfish, self-centred, power hungry, and just plain horrible.
Overall, the only thing - and I mean the only key point - of this book that could have been better was the character of Ryan Mitchell. But I don't think it was bad enough to make my rating go down to 4 stars as you kind of just forgot about Mitchell.
For me, this is definitely a 5 star book. I loved the extra-terrestrial element of it, I loved the politics, the format, (most) of the characters, and the plot. So, if that doesn't make you want to read this amazing book, then I don't know what else will. But I definitely recommend that you give this a go, and you if you don't like science fiction, I can guarantee that you will still enjoy this book.
This is easily the most enjoyable book I've picked up this year. Words I thought I'd not be saying due to the strange format of the novel. It's told entirely in the form of interviews and other report-style pieces and, despite that, I feel as though I am more attached to the characters in this than I have been to any other novel in lord knows how long.
Just by seeing the words 'told in the form of interviews' you'd not imagine there could be a great deal of emotion, excitement or, well, interest within these pages. There was so much. So, so much to love and enjoy within 'Sleeping Gods'.
I expected to enjoy it (having loved a podcast told via the medium of 'found footage' titled 'The White Vault') I felt as though I had a bit of experience with this medium. Still, I didn't expect to enjoy it anywhere near as much as I did.
In 'Sleeping Giants' Sylvain Neuvel gives us a cast of wonderfully different characters, each with their own motivations, personalities and flaws. He creates protagonists that are easy to get behind and relate to, just as well as he creates antagonists that are easy to hate.
Perhaps my favourite part of this novel, aside from the fact that it makes the Ancient Astronaut theory seriously cool, is the character of the interviewer. So much mystery surrounds this man and, with every interview given, you can't help but fall deeper into the pit of curiosity where he is concerned.
The skill at which the plot is woven is superb and the way in which the author brought things to a close at the end was fantastic. As I mentioned earlier, the primary plotline revolves around 'Ancient Astronaut' theory, this is the theory that advanced, space-faring beings have visited our planet in the past and, in some way, influenced our growth as a civilisation. If you've ever seen 'Ancient Aliens' or seen the gif of that guy with the overly-loud hairstyle saying 'it's aliens', then you should give this a try. Even if you hate the idea of ancient alien space travellers, this story is told in such an in-depth, enjoyable way that you won't be able to stop yourself from respecting the work put in.
The author also has a talent for throwing curve balls at you left, right and centre. Some of the things that happened left me shocked, happy, excited etc ... I don't often go beyond 'I enjoyed that' or 'that was pretty bad' where a range of emotions are concerned when reading.
I found this to be such an easy to read, easy to visualise page turner and can't wait to jump into the next in the series. I only hope I'm able to enjoy the rest of the series as much as I did 'Sleeping Giants'.
4.0 out of 5 starsAn interesting book though the format of it can be off-putting after a while
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 21, 2020
This was such an intriguing book. It starts off with a girl, Rose, who falls down a hole while out cycling her bike but then lands on what looks like a giant hand made out of some unknown material. The story then continues some 20 odd years later with Rose as an adult and lead scientist on a project to look into the hand in more detail. We also get some more POV's (kind of): Kara, a US navy pilot; Ryan, Kara's co-pilot: Vincent, a linguistics genius; and an unnamed interviewer. What makes this such a strange book is the format of it. The whole book is in the form on interview transcripts, diary entries, media reports etc. It makes it a very quick read but it has its downside in that it is difficult to form any emotional bond with the characters.
I don't want to go into more plot details for fear of spoilers but it goes into some interesting areas, including political and societal repercussions. I think the book could have been a solid 5 stars if there had been some normal prose interspersed in all the interview transcripts. The format while initially interesting, got a little annoying towards the end, I just couldn't feel for the characters. The characters themselves were a little cliche at the beginning as well but things did take a few interesting directions which was nice. The unnamed interviewer was probably my favourite, we still don't know much about him but he is very interesting.
I felt it could have been a really exceptional book with some format changes but still is very solid. I will definitely be reading the sequel at some stage.
This is the first science fiction book I've read in a while and it's really made me fall back in love with the genre. Title: Sleeping Giants Author: Sylvain Neuvel Publication Date: 26th April 2017 Page Count: 300 Pages Review: 4.5* Quote: 'I liked reading; I liked walking in the woods; I liked being alone. And I always felt a little out of place with other kids my age.' Cover: Summary Sleeping Giants is written in the form of interviews and diary entries with each character having a conversation with a mysterious and unknown man (presumed to be from the CIA). The story unfolds that as a child Dr Rose Franklin stumbled into an enormous hole in the woods which revealed glowing walls and an enormous hand. Years later when an arm is found, Dr Rose now a respected scientist is asked to work on the team of people who are assigned the task of finding the remaining body parts and putting the robot/alien/weapon together. Review I've never come across the technique of writing in this format before but I understand from other people that I've spoken to that it is a feature of World War Z regardless of whether it's been done before or not, I found to my surprise that I really enjoyed it. I loved the mystery and subterfuge offered by this mysterious man and the reactions of the other characters to it. It also allowed the reader to find things out from one character before any of the other characters knew what was happening. I must say that some of the story has gone over my head, not in a bad way just in a way that I feel I've not quite put together some of the pieces of the puzzle which will hopefully be rectified when I read the next book in the series. I also loved the dip into mythology which is one of my favourite things to read about. I really liked the characters who were all very atypical and simple characters and yet complex at the same time, apart from one (no spoilers here) nobody was unlikeable. The storyline developed really well, and there's plenty of intrigue left to keep me wanting more, on that note I'm off to read Waking Gods!
Sleeping Giants is a cracking read. A small girl falls down a hole in the ground and is discovered sitting on the palm of a giant metal hand. It's cleverly constructed - each chapter is an extract from a file about the mission to discover where it came from and how it can be used. Most of these files take the form of transcripts of interviews with a mysterious figure who is never named, and the story builds up piece by gripping piece. The characters are very realistic, the interviewer is intriguing, there's an element of political thriller and I for one can't wait to read the second instalment.