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Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel


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?

My thoughts

Sleeping Giants was definitely one of the weirdest reading experiences I’ve ever had and it was fantastic. I was instantly drawn to this book by its concept and design and I’m glad that all my expectations weren’t just met, but exceeded.

Probably the most exceptional aspect of Sleeping Giants is that it is told in the form of interviews. This makes a huge difference in getting to know the characters. It might seem like you can’t get as close to the characters when you don’t see them during the event but in retelling during an interview. To me, it didn’t make much of a difference though, and instead I felt like this format gave the whole story another layer of mystery. It’s also great that this helps the story focus on exciting and interesting events and doesn’t need any time fillers, so that the story never dragged because of uneventful parts.

What really made me love this book though was the story itself. It felt both wonderfully scary and most of all, realistic to me. It was interesting how the story progressed after the finding, to see how obsessed people became over this and it was sick how far they were willing to go. For me, it had a huge shock factor because I could definitely see that this is what it would be like if it happened for real. I was completely hooked by the thrill of this story, having no idea were it was headed. I just couldn’t put it down because the more I got to know about the origins if this metal giant, the more I needed to keep reading, the more fascinated I was.

On top of that, Sleeping Giants reminded me of one of my all-time favorite movies, Pacific Rim, and then ended with a mind-blowing cliffhanger that makes the wait until book two unbearable. I can only imagine how amazing the sequel is going to be.

Sleeping Giants combines a exceptional story with a unique narrative style. With this book, Sylvain Neuvel makes a mind-blowing entry into the literary world, one that makes me wish this happened sooner, so that I would have more books to read right now. I’m looking forward to read more books in this series.

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  • This book sounds interesting, it’s told in interviews? Really unique! Might check this out one day. Lovely review :)

  • Hallo Crini,
    Wieder einmal eine Rezension von Dir, die mich sehr, sehr neugierig macht. Ich hoffe, Dir ist klar, dass Du für einen nicht unerheblichen Teil meines SuBs verantwortlich bist. Drowning Eyes habe ich übrigens auch noch lesebereit auf dem Kindle.

    Danke für Den Einblick… Ich füge es gleich meiner to-read Liste hinzu *grins*

    Liebe Grüße,

  • I think I over-hyped this book for myself, so I didn’t love it as much as I expected, but it was still really good. I prefer both Illuminae and Pacific Rim, though. (I need to re-watch Pacific Rim soon!) I agree that it was scarily realistic, because I can definitely see that happening in real life. And the ending! I’m definitely excited for the sequel. Also, the hardcover with the black pages is SO BEAUTIFUL. *___* I really want to see a finished copy, because the formatting was the one downside to the ARC.

  • why it this book not yet on my tbr? must add it now! I really like the sound of a scary and realistic read. I love scifi stories like that! And told in interviews? sounds really unique! Great review! I’d LOVE to get my hands on this soon!


    I’m a sucker when there’s mixed media in a book, and weird reads are always the best kind I find. Plus, the whole iron arm makes me think of the Iron Giant (lol), so I’m intrigued!

    • Oooh, I never thought of the Iron Giant (in my head it was only PACIFIC RIM, PACIFIC RIM!!!) but that definitely fits too!

  • This sounds amazing! Will definitely add to my TBR pile! Wonderful review! :)

  • I’m still a bit sad that I only *liked* it and not *loved* it because the premise combined with the narrative style sounded so amazing but somehow I felt that both the story and the narration couldn’t live up to my (admittedly very high) expectations. Maybe it was bad luck for the book that I had read “Illuminae” only weeks before I started this one and while I loved Illuminae’s dossier style to pieces I was a bit disappointed that “Sleeping Giants” mostly consisted of interviews and I had definitely hoped for a bit more creativity.

    Nonetheless I can’t wait for my printed copy to arrive because the book looks absolutely stunning and I’m glad I only learned about the black edges of the UK edition after I had already ordered the US one because I know this would have been a tough decision for me :D

    And I’m definitely excited for the sequel because I think there’s still so much more potential in this setting than the first book made use of so far…

Apr 11, 2016