Sleeping Giants

Sleeping Giants

Book - 2016
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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?

Praise for Sleeping Giants

"As high-concept as it is, Sleeping Giants is a thriller through and through. . . . One of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory, [and] a smart demonstration of how science fiction can honor its traditions and reverse-engineer them at the same time." --NPR

"Neuvel weaves a complex tapestry with ancient machinery buried in the Earth, shadow governments, and geopolitical conflicts. But the most surprising thing about the book may just be how compelling the central characters are in the midst of these larger-than-life concepts. . . . I can't stop thinking about it." -- Chicago Review of Books

"A remarkable debut . . . Reminiscent of Max Brooks's World War Z , the story's format effectively builds suspense." -- Library Journal (debut of the month)

"This stellar debut novel . . . masterfully blends together elements of sci-fi, political thriller and apocalyptic fiction. . . . A page-turner of the highest order." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Don't miss any of The Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel:
Publisher: New York : Del Rey, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781101886717
Branch Call Number: NEUV
Characteristics: 304 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

SCL_Justin Aug 18, 2017

I wanted to like Sleeping Giants (by Sylvain Neuvel). It’s about discovering parts of a giant robot that have been buried on earth for 3000 years and putting them together to see what happens. It’s told in the form of a series of reports, mostly interviews with the principals.

At first that fo... Read More »

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Feb 11, 2019

This is the type of sci-fi that I enjoy. It could absolutely happen. For me, the premise set up in the first few pages was completely unique. A girl falls in a hole & is found resting in a giant cupped hand. Fascinating.
I enjoyed the style of the story unfolding in a series of interviews with an unknown entity. This worked well for me until the story got near the climax. It felt strained for that small percentage of the novel.
Also by the end, I was frustrated not knowing who the all powerful interviewer is. Just seemed very convenient for him to be able to get done everything that needed doing. Almost mythologically convenient.

Sep 04, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. The science was, I thought, well thought out. The plot gripping. The characters enjoyable. And the writing style (written in the form of official reports) for chapters interesting. A good read. No complaints.

JCLDylanR Aug 16, 2018

"Sleeping Giants" is just your average love story; you know, the timeless tale of love between pilots.. pilots of a giant robot from outer space, of course!!

Sci-fi awesomeness pieced together from interviews, reports, & other accounts. Sort of the literary version of a found footage film. I just finished "Sleeping Giants" two days ago, & am already halfway through book two ("Waking Gods") of the trilogy. While there are more than a few "because.. plot!'-twists in the series to this point, it's still made for some VERY fun reading!

ArapahoeLaura Jun 26, 2018

Told in log files behind an exploratory expedition of mysterious body parts found all over the world. Definitely check out the audio version, it's fantastic!

RobertELPL Jun 19, 2018

The first in a trilogy (all three are out now), "Sleeping Giants" is written in a series of interviews, news reports/articles and briefings. Similar to Daniel Wilson's "Robopocalypse." I think this style made for a quicker read and I enjoyed the concept of a giant robot being discovered by the human race and seeing them figure out why and what to do with it. I'm looking forward to finishing the series.

Apr 14, 2018

Decent concept, flawed execution. The characters aren't terribly distinct. What's worse, some of the sections are supposed to be official reports, sometimes military reports, but they're still written in fairly casual language. Lack of verisimilitude. I'm not interested enough to find out how it ends, abandoned at ~50%.

LPL_EliH Mar 02, 2018

Giant robots are hard to turn down, and Neuvel does just enough to put his own spin on them. "Page turner" doesn't even begin to do Sleeping Giants justice, as the blur of exposition and action zips by in the interview/secret document format of the narrative. The first book sets up the rest of the series well, with promises of an epic showdown to come; it's also a decent standalone read, with a good balance of answers and mystery at the end.

Dec 22, 2017

I enjoyed the unique format of the book - the majority of the narrative is told in interviews and journals, and was very taken by the central mystery. It definitely reads like it's about to be made into a movie (but hopefully not by Michael Bay as the commenter below me stated lol).

Sep 26, 2017

mixed feelings. Probably would make a better Michael Bay film than a book. The amount of boring exposition is countless.

profdavis Sep 06, 2017

A group of scientists and military types race to uncover the pieces of a giant alien robot buried on Earth thousands of years in the past. The novel is reminiscent of The Martian in the sense that it is almost entirely dialogue driven, and the plot is propelled by various successes and setbacks in the project. The story is told in the form of short interviews between the main characters and a mysterious shadowy figure who is the mastermind behind the project.
If you enjoyed The Martian you will likely enjoy this as well. It is science fiction as thriller, not exactly literary.

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Apr 13, 2017

“Family has a way of bringing out the worst in people. Every people.”

Apr 13, 2017

“It would make things easier for both of us, especially for you, if we could forgo the part of this conversation where you take me for a complete idiot...”


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SPL_Robyn May 28, 2016

When one thinks of the genre science fiction, one’s mind may jump towards space, the future, flying cars or galaxies far, far away. Sleeping Giants is definitely science fiction, yet it contains few of these traditional sci-fi elements, and those it does contain are almost tangential to the story. There may be humanoid aliens, but we don’t meet them. There may be a weapon of mass destruction, but it may not have been intended for such a purpose. There may be government and military conspiracies to hide the truth, but the truth is outed… and there definitely is a shadowy person pulling strings in many directions.

Resemblance to The X-Files in the above description is purely intentional. What we have here is a sci-fi political thriller, set in the here and now but with ties to ancient history, told in interviews, excerpts, episodes and military reports – a style that keeps the pace clipping along, allowing periods of time to pass (and certain US elections to be held) without being bogged down.

A young girl falls down a large hole and when found appears to be sitting in the palm of an enormous had, glowing with aquamarine veins. She grows up to be a physicist and is recruited with a team of pilots, linguists and other personnel to unravel the secrets of the hand, and other body parts discovered around the globe. The questions she and her team unearth are the big ones – are we alone in the universe? Who can humanity really trust with the secrets of the universe? When does the quest for scientific progress outweigh the need for human care?

It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel, and Neuvel leaves a truly tantalizing thread at the end that will leave readers drooling for a sequel. Then again, speculation is fascinating too, in case a sequel never comes. ~RG

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