Monday, July 4, 2016

A Decent, But Unexciting, SciFi

When I went to see Walter Mosley at Kepler's Books last month, Angela, who had recommended The Martian to me last year, suggested I try Sleeping Giants, by Sylvain Neuvel.  I had never heard of the book or the author.  And you know that I'm not a huge fan of SciFi.  I did like The Martian, but mostly because the protagonist was really funny. As far as the science part of it was concerned, it went over my head.  Here, too, I was not a big fan of the scientific explanations of things.  But unlike The Martian, this one didn't have any humor to balance the science.  It was still okay.

What is this book about, you ask?  Here's what the book flap says:

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?

I'm giving Sleeping Giants a 2.75/4.  So, obviously, I liked it somewhat.  There are definitely a few features that stand out.  To wit (really?):
1.  He combines interviews, journals, and news reports, rather than just the typical inter-character dialogue.
2.  He uses a nameless, faceless interrogator to question all of the main characters.  We never find out who this person is (this is the best part of the book).
3.  The book is very well-written.

Goodreads has a cumulative rating of 3.85/5, and Amazon is 3.9/5.  Remarkably consistent.  I'm a little bit lower than that, but still in the same ballpark.  I'm not telling you to read it or not read it.  You all decide for yourselves.

P.S.  I gave The Martian a 3/25/4 back in early 2015.

P.P.S.  Take a look at and  The 1st has a lot of dialogue, news, and info.  And the 2nd gives you free and heavily discounted ebooks.  


  1. I think I would like the way the story is told but I'm not sure the actual story is one I'd enjoy, if that makes sense.

    1. That makes perfect sense. And is exactly how I felt about it. In fact, what you said in 22 words took me several paragraphs!