by Sylvain Neuvel
Themis Files, Book 1
Published by Del Rey in April 2016
A compulsively readable novel, Sleeping Giants will leave you with more questions than answers. And maybe that’s a good thing.
The story begins when a child falls down a hole. When she’s finally found, she is unharmed, resting in the palm of a giant mechanical hand. Years later, the girl has become the lead scientist working on a top secret project to unlock the secrets of the hand and its mysterious origins, but as additional pieces are recovered from around the world, more questions arise.
Skillfully told through transcripts of interviews between a nameless interviewer and the team working to discover more about the device, Sleeping Giants sets you on a high speed race for more information. The Q&A format of the chapters makes for easily digestible reading, but when you stop and think about it, the amount of detail given about each character and the events taking place is kind of amazing. Though there aren’t traditional descriptive paragraphs, each character has such a unique voice that I didn’t have any problems picturing them or understanding their motivations.
Aside from the format, the plot is pretty crazy too– it’s a scientific mystery mixed with political thriller. The world Neuvel has created is so realistic that it really isn’t hard to imagine that this is all really happening right now. As always, I don’t want to get into what happens, because I think this is one book where the less you know, the better.
I will say that I enjoyed this book more when it was about the science of discovery, and less about international politics and war, but I’m intrigued enough that I will almost certainly pick up the sequel when it’s available.