Science fiction. Mystery. Mythology. These are all things I love reading about. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Sylvain Neuvel’s debut novel, Sleeping Giants has all three. I’ve actually had a copy of this book in my possession for a while now (since September, I think), and I just got around to reading it because the release date was coming up. I can’t believe I put it off for so long! On the other hand, I don’t think I would have been able to read this six months ago and not been able to talk about it until now.
When Rose Franklin takes her brand-new bike out for a spin on her eleventh birthday, she falls through a hole in the earth. When she wakes up hours later, she finds herself in a large square hole, walls glowing with turquoise light and strange carvings. The firemen who come to save her find something even stranger: a little girl sitting in the palm of a giant metal hand. Seventeen years later, Rose is a physicist leading the team tasked with figuring out what the strange object is, a mystery no one has yet been able to solve. Against all odds, the team begins to unravel the ancient mystery. They come across something with the potential to save the planet or completely annihilate it.
Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised by Sleeping Giants. The mythological element was ah-mazing. Easily my favorite part. I thought the story was interesting – enough that I had to force myself to stop reading so I could get up for work the next day. And even then, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I don’t read a ton of sci-fi, but I thought the story was very unique. I really enjoyed the blending of technology and mythology (funnily enough, I started writing a novel with those two elements after I received this ARC, but before I read it). Sleeping Giants has been called a cross between Michael Crichton, The Martian, and World War Z. But if I had to compare it to anything, it would be Illuminae, but for adults. For the most part, the book is formatted through a series of interviews with a mysterious man (seriously, his identity is a bigger mystery than the giant hand). I think the unconventional format really worked, because we are able to get the perspectives of several different characters – some only once or twice – without it being too confusing. And, amazingly, this book is still action-packed.
Sleeping Giants is the first novel in a series (trilogy?) called Themis Files. I have no idea when the next book is coming out, but, when it does, I will be all over it! I really enjoyed this one, and think it was a brilliant debut.
I debated this rating for a while, but I’m giving it 4.5 stars. Really, the only problem I had with it was that the characters share a lot of intimate details with the interviewer, a man whose name and position they don’t know. It was just a bit unbelievable that they talked so much about their personal lives, and in such a casual way to someone they don’t know (and don’t seem to particularly like or trust). But, overall, this book was amazing!
Sleeping Giants will be released by Del Rey tomorrow, April 26th. You can (and should) preorder/order a copy here.
This book was provided to me by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.