Welcome back. How have you been? I am well, thank you for asking.
Now that we have dispensed with the pleasantries, let’s get right to it.
Today, a review. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (I would rate the author’s name as a 10/10).
I picked this gem up at a book sale and it was the best $5 I’ve spent in quite awhile (Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew is a close second – so smooth). There is much to love in this book. Where to begin…with a synopsis of course!
Sleeping Giants is the first of the “Themis Files” trilogy (a trilogy I intend to finish). On Earth, there is a giant robot which was dismembered and buried underground in different locations all over the planet. This happened long ago by forces unknown. Sleeping Giants chronicles the discovery of the first robotic body part (a giant hand!), the systematic, global search for the remaining parts, and the process of learning to pilot the robot. As the story goes on, we also get a glimpse at its mysterious origins.
What immediately jumps out is the narrative style of this book. It was written as a series of files, i.e., recorded conversations, scientific journal entries and personal diaries. Primarily, you are reading question and answer interviews. The questioner is always the same person; an unseen, nondescript, clandestine, quasi-governmental figure who is shrouded in mystery (so many adjectives!). His character lends a dry humor to the story. He initially presents as a callous and unemotional figure, but as the story progresses, his character has more and more dimension.
Given the narrative style, much of the story is told through dialogue. It continuously impressed me that the author was able to interject description and setting through the dialogue. The only time it felt contrived was during the climactic action sequence (it required a character to constantly describe his actions through his own dialogue). Nevertheless, the style did not slow or dull the story. Actually, that’s an understatement. If anything, it quickened the pace of the story.
This book was a quick, exciting read. Part adventure, part science fiction, all robotic fun. It was 336 pages, but in actuality, it read much faster due to all of the white space on the pages from the question-answer format.
I certainly intend on reading the remaining books. Why not? They are inexpensive on Amazon in Kindle format and can be read in a day. Well, it can be read in a day if you don’t have adult responsibilities getting in the way (I hate doing the dishes).
Overall, I would rate this book an 9.1/10. It is smart, swift and fills the reader with awe from time to time. I am looking forward to reading (and reviewing!) the other two books in the trilogy. I have left a link below for you to check this one out. Highly recommend!
Well, that’s all. I look forward to typing at you more in the future. When these thoughts start piling up in my head, that’s when I put Pen to Keyboard.
[cue outro music – Paranoid Android]