Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

4 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book prior to publication.  This is my objective, fair and honest review.  Science fiction is admittedly not one of my top 10 favorites as far as genres go.  But something about this book made me want to take a chance and see if I could lose myself in the story and keep an open mind about what could be possible.  Even if SciFi isn’t your favorite genre, I think this book could have a much broader appeal and will appeal to anyone who ever asks themselves the question, “are we really alone or are there other beings out there…somewhere?”.

The book opens with a young girl named Rose, riding her new bike through her home in Deadwood, South Dakota when she falls through the ground.  When she comes to, she’s in the bottom of a square-shaped hole, lying on some metallic object.  She can’t see it, but the fireman who looks down the hole sees it for what it is…a giant, metal hand.

Seventeen years later, Rose is now a highly trained physicist who has been put in charge of a research team dedicated to discover the mystery of the hand and the cryptic panels that were discovered with the hand at the bottom of the hole.  With the assistance of a nameless interrogator, she brings together a top-secret team to find out what the hand does and where it came from and is there more?  What language are the panels speaking?  How does it work?  Where did it come from and what does it mean to mankind?  Will this bring peace or an all-out war?

I think one of the most interesting aspects of this book is how it was told.  It’s told through a series of interrogations, journals, log files and other footage recorded throughout the research of the mysterious item.  The team comes together and through these files you get to know each player and how they fit into the team.  The only person you never truly figure out is the interrogator, the person behind the scenes pulling all the strings.  Through these files you get a portrait of who they are, what they stand for and what this can mean for all of us in the long run.

The story started a little slowly, but once I got started, I did find it very hard to put down.  I read every chance I had and finished the book in near record time.  I definitely think any fan of Science Fiction will blaze through this book.  I found myself wishing that it didn’t end.  And I think that’s the only real reason I couldn’t give that fifth star.  I didn’t like the ending!  There were a lot of loose strings that never fully came together.  I don’t know if this is setting up a sequel, but I wish that there had been more closure on several things.  I’m not asking for a happy ending, but I would have liked to have had more closure.  But I can’t really fault the author too much, it’s still a fantastic story and one that I’m happy to have read and will be even happier to recommend.

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