An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a literary thriller fueled by a quest for truth - and a fight for control of earthshaking 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 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?
©2016 Sylvain Neuvel (P)2016 Random House Audio
"This stellar debut novel...masterfully blends together elements of sci-fi, political thriller and apocalyptic fiction...." (Kirkus Reviews)
I'm a bit surprised at the extremely negative reviews. It seems there is a trend on this site that something is either a masterpiece or utterly terrible. I know I have been guilty of this myself in the past, but I really think we need to readjust our caliber system here folks.
To me, a three star book is average. It's entertaining, moves along, and isn't a waste of time. That describes this book perfectly.
It's a fun concept, delivered in an engaging way. Sure, there are some inconsistencies, but oh well. Yes, the unnamed man gets a bit tiresome towards the end. Yes, there are lots of "what!?" plot devices. But it's not meant to be Pulitzer material, or even Hugo award. It's entertainment and it's quite a bit better than a lot of the movies I've seen recently.
The cast was fantastic. The story clipped along and drew me in. I listened on a cross country drive (along with about four other books), but it made the hours melt away.
If you're looking for something engaging and entertaining with a "gee, isn't that cool" factor, this might be the book for you. If you're going to incessantly compare it to everything else you've ever read and complain about basic plot inconsistencies, I guess listen to the other reviewers. I for one am happy to have spent a credit on this listen.
The premise is awesome, so awesome that I pre ordered the book and waited eagerly for it to be available.
It's super short and the story seems so rushed, sub plots that should have been expanded were left behind to accelerate a much larger plot that was pretty weak. I was expecting a start to a great new science fiction universe or at least a thrilling science fiction narrative similar to contact or the Martian. What I got was a rejected script for an episode of stargate sg1.
The characters were fine, they could have been great, the story jumped around a lot and I barley got to know them, which is a shame.
Worst of all the ending was so unfulfilling, and the attempt at a cliffhanger ending was foiled by the lack of character development. I just did not know enough about them to care about what was happening.
Super disappointed by this book, more so by the fact that it could have been one of the all time great scifi books.
On a better note, the cast reading the book was great, I usually don't like ensemble casts, this book might get me to look further into them.
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The concept is certainly interesting, but the story fails to engage.
The most interesting character is the nameless man controlling things, but this doesn't quite work as he is too "nameless", and his position within the overall story is not well defined. Given that, I do like the way his dialogue is written; eschewing language contractions gave his speech a strange, formal air that appeals to me.
The other characters tend to be sketched too lightly to really engage with, with the result that they sometimes come off as whiney more that anything else.
I guess they may develop in subsequent books (the cliffhanger is a bit heavy-handed for my liking), and, if so, then the author needs to work on this.
Finally, an important plot point about two thirds of the way through the book was so ridiculous as to annoy me for the remainder.
As others have said, this both feels too long for the story presented, and not long enough as the characters need more development.
It was engaging but not edge of your seat by any means. Leaves you hanging.
story odd, but narrator excellent. just when I decided who he really was. a twist in the storyline changed that. happened twice. interesting for the right audience.
1 Star -- Terrible 2 Stars -- Bad 3 Stars -- Mediocre 4 Stars -- Great to the right person. 5 Stars -- Superb, you must pick this up.
Normally when I question a book's overall rating on a site, it is because the ratings are very high and I thought the book was crud. This is only the second time I can think of where I think the rating is suspiciously skewed low.
The way I see it, as long as you don't have an issue with the format of the novel, it's a pretty great book to pass the time with. This book is exactly what it says in the series name, a series of files - in most cases interviews with people that are central or at least related to the events of the story. This isn't a character-driven book, and I think that is where people are confused. This is a tale of the key events that I suspect lead to a major happening. One major happening for sure happens in this book, but I am sure it is just a prelude of what is to come.
Don't get me wrong, if you quit before the epilogue (even after the epilogue it is debatable) you will have a satisfying, completely contained story of the sleeping giants. This story is one of suspense and mystery. It is hard to know what to believe and what to expect, and I love that feeling.
So if you are fine with a series of interviews telling you a story (think World War Z) and want a mysterious suspense book that isn't too deep, I recommend this one to you.
So yeah, ignore others' ratings on this one.
As an Audible Editor I listen for a living! British classics, YA novels, speculative fiction, and anything quirky, fascinating, or heart-wrenching.
"Sometimes the perfect multicast can really make a book, as is the case with Neuvel's debut. The voices here forged in me a fierce sense of loyalty for the characters I came to care about, and utter hatred for one that was truly evil (who I don't think I would have hated nearly enough if it was the voice in my own head narrating) - and you will loathe her - she is the absolute worst. The unnamed central narrator evolved from someone who was initially off-putting to someone I was desperate to hear speak; he became a reassuring fatherly presence. Overall, the production quality elevated this one from a simple story (which I really shouldn't call "simple" since Sleeping Giants is a geo-political mystery/thriller epistolary novel with alien technology) to an immersive experience that made it feel, above all else, very personal. I was in the trenches with these guys. I can't wait for the next in the series."
Full chorus of voice actors give this super twisty story a vivid rendering. It's has a ton of sarcasm and witty repartee. If your sick of being able to predict the ending by the third chapter this is the book for you.
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