2016 Spotlight: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. A YAY book!


Publication Date: 21st April 2016 from Penguin (Michael Joseph) UK and Del Rey (US)

Source: Netgalley (UK)

A girl named Rose is riding her bike home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped 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 – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.

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 relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

Ha! Sleeping Giants is quite simply brilliant.

Scoring a 10 on my chocolate scale, which means it is right at the top when it comes to addictive quality, Sleeping Giants is a dream of a novel involving weird artifacts, a cast of extraordinary characters and a tendency to make me snort tea out through my nose during the more humerous asides.

This is science fiction/fantasy at its best, a rollercoaster reading ride which once started is impossible to put down – I read it in one huge gulp of a sitting, sometimes on the edge of my seat, laughing out loud more than once, at the end I felt like I’d just watched a masterful performance at the theatre and a distinct urge to get up and applaud came over me.

Talking more practically, the construction is superb – using a series of interviews conducted by an unknown shadowy figure (who by the end of the novel I adored with a fiery passion) we meet a team of people assigned to discover the truth behind a giant metallic hand that emerged from the earth some years before. One of the scientists is Rose, there at the beginning, now fully responsible for the project, the more she discovers the more gripped you will be. The cast is a group dynamic, brilliantly drawn, held together by our interviewer, and seriously the eye Sylvain Neuvel has for character study is truly superb and gosh can this author weave one heck of a tale.

I was truly blown away by this one. Like The Martian it had it all – an ingrained and ironic sense of humour, enough edge of the seat moments to keep the adrenalin pumping, a clever and highly imaginative central plot and some nerdtastic science elements that managed to never get repetitive or dull. The ending was SO perfectly placed I simply cannot wait to see what happens next.

Ace. I do like an ace book. This one was about as ace as it is possible to get with this type of story and quite possibly the most fun you’ll have with a book this year.

Highly Recommended.

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As an early reader I received this brilliant memento and I’d like to say no no, Thank YOU. Made my reading day Mr Neuvel. Good books are made this.


Happy Reading Folks!


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