Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel


Today’s review is of one of my most anticipated books for 2017 – Waking Gods! Waking Gods is the second book in Sylvain Neuvel’s Themis Files series. I loved the first book in the series, Sleeping Giants (review here) and found it to be a fascinating book that left me keen to find out more so I was very excited about book two. I will try and keep this review vague to avoid spoilers but will be briefly recapping some events from the first book…

‘I know many of you are afraid. I know you want answers. Let me be blunt: I don’t have the answers you’re looking for. Not today. I also have a confession to make… I’m afraid too.’

In Sleeping Giants we meet a scientist named Rose Franklin who as a child made a remarkable discovery. On a bike ride she falls into a hole and finds herself in the palm of a giant robotic hand, the first of many giant body parts found throughout the world. Rose grows up to be a scientist determined to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding this discovery, and the events of the novel focus on the subsequent search and how this impacts humanity. On finishing this book last year I was left intrigued and wanting to find out more and in Waking Gods we pick up events almost a decade after Sleeping Giants. A lot has happened in that time, and we see how things turned out for some of the characters over the years along with society’s perception of the whole Themis situation. But as there are still questions left unanswered, and secrets still to be unearthed, the characters are faced with a much bigger problem. A new figure emerges, a colossal figure towering over the city of London, and no one knows what its intentions are. Before long there are more of them throughout the world, and it transpires that the world may be in danger, from a threat beyond anybody’s comprehension.

As with the first book in the series Waking Gods is told in an epistolary format. It is told through a series of journal entries and interview transcripts, amongst other documents, which help to piece together the action packed events as they unfold. I really like this format and found it lends itself well to this story. This is a science fiction story which I am sometimes a little apprehensive of if there is a lot of jargon and things I may not understand. In this case I find the science and technological aspects much more accessible, and it is written in such a way that we are given just enough information, without being bogged down with too much description. As the novel progresses we learn more and more about the characters and the threat that looms over the world, but I also like how there was plenty still to discover. Each of the entries has a file number, but some of these numbers are missing which hints at lost documents and the idea of more mysteries still to be solved.

I also enjoyed learning more about the characters we met in Sleeping Giants, and for me I was particularly interested to find out more about the unnamed interviewer who played such a crucial part in the first book. And whilst there are still questions to be asked about this character there were some interesting things revealed about his back-story which was unexpected. And then there are new additions most notably that of Eva, a girl who has nightmares about the frightening events that are surrounding the planet, a girl with a remarkable vision…

Waking Gods was an enjoyable and fascinating science fiction novel that kept my interest throughout with its action packed plot and excellent characters. And as for the ending, I am now desperate to read the next one to find out where this series will go next!

4 thoughts on “Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

  1. I had written these off not normally being comfortable with Science Fiction but your review has made me rethink this as it does sound borderline fantasy, I think I need to pick up a copy of Sleeping Giants and give it a go.

    Liked by 1 person

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