Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel (Book Review)

Publisher: Michael Joseph
Page Count
: 320

At the beginning of 2017 I read Sleeping Giants, the first installment in the Themis Files series, so it is only fitting that I sort of closed the year with its sequel Waking Gods. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the series is a kind of darker and more adult version of Illuminae (set on Earth but still dealing with space stuff). I will never tire of the format being in protocols, journal entries and interviews.

Honestly, I remember how it took me a while to get into Sleeping Giants at first, with the writing having felt very clinical and detached, but I didn’t have that issue at all with Waking Gods. In the contrary, even after all this time, I could jump right back in and quickly remembered where we left off and I guess the ten year time jump helped with that as well. Everything happens a lot faster, though, and I think that is due to a whole new rush of information. Just like the humans in the book don’t know how to handle it all, the readers themselves get swept up in the stress and panic a bit. There are definitely some decisions made that I didn’t agree with and consequences that I would have had no clue how to react to.

While this sequel is still very dark and won’t let you get too attached to anyone, it felt like it was a tiny bit less disturbing than the previous book. The new cast additions were nice and didn’t take away from the focus on people we already were familiar with. I felt like we didn’t spend as much time with certain characters as we used to, which made events that I cannot describe in detail due to spoilers less impacting. In general, it seemed like the author attempted to give everyone their time to shine and didn’t go as much in depth as we used to before.

Nonetheless, I still very much enjoyed this book! I like the science behind it and often wonder if parts of it are true (aside from the aliens, there’s obviously no huge alien robot terrorizing us). The story still manages to surprise with its twists and turns and always leaves on a note that keeps you craving more. I can only recommend this series!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! I am just so excited for what is to come next!

Have you read the Themis Files? Would you be interested?

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Book Review)

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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 …

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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?

5stars

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