[Book Review #67] Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel


A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton,World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.

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?

Book Specifications:

Author: Sylvain Neuvel

Format: Hardcover

Part of a Series: Yes. Themis Files #1.

Release Date: April 26, 2016

Publisher: Del Rey Spectra

No. of Pages: 320 pages

Price: Copy provided by Penguin Random House International. Huge thanks again to PRH for sending me a copy to review!

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller, Mystery, Aliens, Speculative Fiction

Book Review:


Penguin Random House International sent me a copy of this book, and that did not, in any way, sway my opinions on this book. 

When I received this in the mail, I had no idea as to what the book is about. All I know based on the cover is that it would (probably) fall under the Science Fiction genre. And as promised on my New Year’s Resolution post, I intend on reading more books that fall under genres that I’m not fully comfortable with. And so, of course, I had to give this book a chance.

Upon reading and skimming the first few chapters, I instantly saw the similarities this book have with Illuminae. Told through interviews, activity logs, and mission reports, Sleeping Giants was able to capture the interesting writing style of that of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s masterpiece. I have to admit that at first, I was afraid that this book would be a complete rip-off. I couldn’t help but compare it with Illuminae, and I was glad to have found that it still made it’s own individual impact on me as a reader.

As for the negative part, as I’ve mentioned plenty of times before, I’m not the biggest fan of stories that move slower than expected. With Sleeping Giants, it was just that. The beginning of the story was interesting enough to make a reader actually want to finish the novel in a day. But as the story went on, there were just too much detail that felt a little unnecessary. Good thing the author really came through in the end.

One thing that hooked me up on this book was it’s interesting premise. It’s definitely one that I have never read before. At first, you would wonder what the point of the premise is, but as the story goes on, it gives you ideas that are more than enough to supply your imagination and creativity with fuel to visualize just how great the entire book was written. As I’ve mentioned above, there were scenes and chapters that felt unnecessary which slowed down my reading pace but it was all backed up by good revelations towards the ending of the book.

“Sleeping Giant is reminiscent of the things one would go through just to see that their plans be put into action for what they feel like is the greater good. It’s about the lengths people go through just to prove a point, or even a statement. The book has its ups and downs, but it is a book worth reading.”


Characters – 3.75

Plot – 4.00

Writing Style – 4.50

Pacing – 3.50

Ending – 4.00

TOTAL – 3.95 / 4 Stars

Quotable Quotes:

“Am I ready to accept all that may come out of this if it works? It might give us a cure for everything. It might also have the power to kill millions. Do I want that on my conscience? I wish I knew where this journey will take us, but I don’t. All I know is that this is bigger than me, my self-doubt, or any crisis of conscience.”

“If you fall in love with someone, there’s a good chance the person won’t love you back. Hatred, though, is usually mutual. If you despise someone, it’s pretty much a given they’re also not your biggest fan.”

About the Author:

Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India, and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator, though he wishes he were an astronaut. He likes to tinker, dabbles in robotics and is somewhat obsessed with Halloween. He absolutely loves toys; his girlfriend would have him believe that he has too many, so he writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course).

Twitter || Goodreads || Website


2 thoughts on “[Book Review #67] Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

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