By: Sylvain Neuvel
# of pages: 320
Series: Themis Files (#1)
A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.
Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.
But some can never stop searching for answers.
Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
My opinion: Sleeping Giants is a sci-fi novel told in the form of interviews and journal entries. The plot is a neat concept and while I can see that the format may bother some people, I enjoyed it and thought it worked well with the story.
The interviews and journal entries center around a few main people, including Dr. Rose Franklin, who is heading a government department in charge of finding out more about the mysterious structure she inadvertently discovered when she was a child. The structure is in the shape of a hand and was found in a pit lined by panels lit up by strange glowing symbols.
Years later Dr. Franklin works with military recruits Kara and Ryan, as well as a linguist named Vincent to discover exactly what the hand is and what it does. We get to know the characters on a fairly personal level, but not as much as we would if this were written in a traditional novel format. We do slowly discover what the discovery of the hand means for the world. “Slow” is a pretty good description of the book. I liked the format and the concept just fine, but I wish more had happened. There were a few times the story seemed to jump around too much, but I think it was supposed to feel that way since it was written in pieces of interview transcripts and journal entries.
I am eager to check out the next book, Waking Gods! I wish the series was already finished, but hopefully I won’t have to wait too long for the third book to be published.
Why I gave this book 4/5 stars: Neat concept and unique format, but a little too slow at times.