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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"This stellar debut novel...masterfully blends together elements of sci-fi, political thriller and apocalyptic fiction...." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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BLUES BROTHERS

VAST NETWORKS OF INFORMATION NO ONE IS AWARE OF
I am giving this five stars, mostly for it's entertainment value. It is not the best I have listened to lately, but it kept my attention. It is a little hard to describe, as the mood of the book changed. It started out with a cool concept and seemed to take itself pretty serious. By the end it seemed a bit frivolous or maybe a satire on the subject, edging on Rocky and Bullwinkle I am not a fan of whole books done through interviews and the action being something remembered instead of live, but I still liked this and the core story. I also thought that there was great character development. I also liked the full cast and they certainly made the listening better than reading.

85 of 102 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Audiobook, Unique writing style

Any additional comments?

Sleeping Giants was an amazing audiobook. The whole book is written as a case file, so it’s interviews and journal entries performed by a full cast audio (Audible version). It took about an hour for me to understand what exactly was happening in the story, but then I was hooked. Pieces of a giant metal robot have been found on Earth, and they’re suspected to be the remains of aliens on Earth thousands (or maybe millions) of years ago. The main players in the story are the lead scientist, a mathematician, and a couple of military pilots. And the un-named interviewer. It’s so interesting!

I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but this book was amazing. It was more focused on how humans would act in the face of the known existence of aliens instead of being a sci-fi alien story. I like to call this type of science fiction “near science fiction,” meaning that it could happen right now today. It’s not focused on a futuristic world or space travel. It’s similar to The Martian or Dark Matter where it takes present day society and then introduces a sci-fi element to it.

My favorite character in this book was Kara, one of the pilots. She’s spunky and disrespectful of authority. She does what she wants and she mouths off. The actress who played her was perfect. She reminded me of Julia Styles in all of her mid-90s movies (think 10 Things I Hate About You). I got a kick out of listening to her, and I was routing for her the whole way.

I read this book back in March right before the sequel was released, so it was perfect timing. I didn’t have to wait long to learn what happened next. Even still, there isn’t a huge cliffhanger at the end, so if you don’t get to the sequel right away, it’s not too terrible. Mostly, I just wanted more of the characters once I finished this book, and I was happy that I got that right away.

Blog: Opinionated Book Lover

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Pretty good.

Reminds me a bit of Crichton's work with the manner of injecting scientific explanations into the story. Also feels a bit like a novelization of xcom games and Gundam robot shows. Voice work is pretty good, though one voice was somewhat irksome.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding cast performance

Any additional comments?

Overall, a fast-paced and exciting SF opener. The book started out feeling solid, but not special (large and ancient artifact found in South Dakota that defies current scientific knowledge; assemblage of a team to decipher its meaning and find other artifacts). But as the chapters slid by, all told via interviews, journal entries and reports, characters started to be more fully sketched, individuals showed menace and ruthless focus, and a larger mystery appeared. This middle section was masterful, with Neuvel revealing enough to keep the story moving, but with large enough gaps to make you wonder how far characters would go and why the artifacts exist. This showing with little telling made the book tense and particularly fascinating. Toward the end of the book this breaks down a bit, with a number of details being explicitly lay out, and in that straightforward narrative some of the magic and suspense is lost. Still entertaining and I will continue the series, but a bit more left to the imagination (and a bit less laid out by conveniently interviewed strangers with too many answers) might have better served the narrative.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Interesting concept, but falls at the first hurdle

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.

16 of 23 people found this review helpful

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The multicast made it for me

"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."

15 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Such a shallow story

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.

37 of 55 people found this review helpful

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The entire book felt like the beginning of a book.

It was engaging but not edge of your seat by any means. Leaves you hanging.

19 of 29 people found this review helpful

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odd, even offer ending.

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.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Interesting but not fabulous

The style of the book is awesome. It's written as a variety of interviews and transcribed records and requires you to piece the story together from a multitude of different viewpoints. It reminded me a lot of the Illuminae Files, which I loved. That being said, the constant use of an unnamed essentially all powerful CIA character is a really annoying plot device that seriously grated on my nerves. Basically, it's a good book. It's entertaining and the voices are really well done. But it could have been a great book if the author had taken it in other directions. I liked it, but I didn't love it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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