Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Book Review)


Publisher: Michael Joseph
Page Count
: 320

I wanted to read this book for very shallow reasons. I once saw the cover, matted black with silver stars sprinkled on it, and I could never ever forget it afterwards. Heck, I barely knew what it was about, but I knew I needed it for my collection. So, I was all the happier when my (majorly awesome) cousin gave it to me as a present for Christmas. It was my first read of the year and I am so glad I started 2017 off with this.

Many times now I have heard this book being compared to the Illuminae files and it’s not too far fetched of a comparison. Both are SciFi books and are told in an unusual but very effective format. Whereas the Illuminae files are very artistic, the Themis Files (which is what the series is called) have more of military order to them. Told in interviews, reports and journal entries, you are able to get the picture, but never get too close to the subjects. At least that’s what I thought at first, but by the end by heart was beating with fear of the fate of everyone involved in the project, even the people that are inherently mysterious because you don’t even know their name. This particular style of storytelling works really well for me, because I love to analyze and interpret dialogue a lot. If there’s ever too much description in a book, I’ll most certainly get bored.

I don’t want to get into the plot too much, seen as this is probably a book you best not know too much about before you read it. There’s so much mystery in this story and it’s good that way. The characters don’t know what they are doing, you don’t know what’s happening, this is something new in the world! Ultimately it comes down to this being a story about humanity. What do we do with a discovery like this? Will we use it for “good” or for “evil”? What lengths are willing to go to for scientific discovery? How do we handle the certain knowledge that we are not alone out there? These are all questions posed, but only partially answered, because the story is far from being done by the end of the book. It definitely went down some twisted and dark paths, so I hope you are up for that if you decided to read the book as well. I, for one, am extremely intrigued and glad that the sequel will be coming out later this year. Until then, I am just going to wonder what I actually read …

Bildergebnis für watson salute gif

Also, final side note, I hear this has a really good audio book, even though I haven’t listened to it myself. It supposedly has different voice actors for all the characters and quite a couple of people have noted on that. As I said, I cannot speak from my own experience, but it might be worth trying out if you are a fan of audio books.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Sort of like an adult, less artistic and more straight forward Illuminae files and I love it?


Have you heard of the book? Are you as excited for the sequel as I am? 

23 thoughts on “Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Book Review)

  1. I’ve seen this book around for soooooooo long. It’s been in my TBR for a little tooooo long as well. Your comparison to Illuminae got me even more intrigued by the book. I do have to mention that the cover I saw for this book had me captivated as well (turquoise diamond-shape in the middle with turquoise highlights on the side or something like that). Great review!

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like I should have phrased that Illuminae comparison differently … it’s similar in format and genre but THAT’S IT! It’s way more adult and dark and less funny. The other cover is amazing! When you lift the dust jacket, it reveals what the turquoise highlights really are.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel like I am in the minority when it comes to this book. I am curious to know where this would go since it’s a series but I thought that the narrative style took away some aspects that I thought were vital to the story. This would look visually good though, if this were to be adapted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I generally like reading scripts and interview-style stories, they work really well for me, which is probably why I enjoyed this so much. I am sure there could have been more to enhance the story, but I am quite alright with the way it was. I get where you are coming from though.


  3. I like the comparison to Illuminae, I should read both in a month to see how it goes 🙂 Great review! I’ll remember not to dig into the book before I have the chance to read it, going blind is the way to go!


  4. Ohh now that’s interesting, and, erm, I love that cover haha I’d want it for my shelves as well haha. I’m curious to read more in the sci-fi genre since I surprisingly fell in love with Illuminae, and now that I managed to read and go a bit crazy over that one, I think I could enjoy reading a book with a different formatting like that maybe? I guess I’ll have to try 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marie, don’t get me wrong, but I am not sure I would recommend that book to you. You thought Gemina was dark, right? Well, this is even more twisted and dark? I wrote that but somehow everyone just read “Illuminae” and thinks it will be the same xD

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t really read those sort of twisted and dark books either, I think it was Red Rising that walked be me over the edge to that. I did NOT expect to love that book, but still one of my favourite series in the world.

        Liked by 1 person

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