Review: Sleeping Giants – Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants Sylvain NeuvelSeries: Themis Files 1

My version: Hardback
Genre: Science Fiction
Michael Joseph
First published: 2016
Bought, signed (272/500)

From the cover:

Deadwood, USA. A girl sneaks out just before dark to ride her new bike. Suddenly, the ground disappears beneath her. Waking 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 Rd. 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 civilisation on the continent.

An object whose origins and purpose are perhaps the greatest mystery humanity has ever faced. Solving the secret of where it came from – and how many more parts may be out there – could change life as we know it.

But what if we were meant to find it? And what happens when this vast, global puzzle is complete?”

“Deadwood, USA.” Oh dear…

“Brilliant scientist” oh dear…

“Greatest mystery humanity has ever faced.” No, that would be cancer? Oh dear!

Well, what a let down.

Sleeping Giants Sylvain Neuvel 4I was aware of a little hype surrounding this series (so much so that I got the series unseen), before I tried reading the first one. But then…well, for those of us who have read Rendezvous With Rama and seen Stargate (the film, not the dreadful series and spinoffs), or even read Greg Bear’s ‘Eon’ there’s really nothing new here. He’s no doubt got praise (I haven’t read any other reviews) for the ‘Files’ and ‘Interview’ set-up of the book, but that just makes it all feel ‘thin’ and a one trick pony of a book, stretched beyond breaking point. First few ‘interview’ chapters, I’m thinking, “ok, I’ll go with this,” then the next, “ok, surely going to get down to writing prose soon…there was at least some in the first chapter, Prologue, whatever it was” then another and I’m flicking through the rest of the book and knowing “Oh, dear lord…I’m in for a struggle here.”

Then it’s so blinkered Americo-centric – and he’s a bloody Canadian, you’d think they would be a little less geographically myopic – that I’m finding I really don’t care that they broke the guys legs so he could walk the other way, to help steer the thing. I’m more thinking “where is all the bloody money coming from?” Even the potential Nuclear War angle well, see G. Bear esq. again – it’s there, then it’s gone.

The ‘But what if we were meant to find it?’ does at least to have the potential to be interesting in the next book, but this one isn’t.

You can buy Sleeping Giants from

Also check out the Speesh Reads Pinterest Board for Sleeping Giants. Pictures!

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