Sleeping Giants (Themis Files Series #1)

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files Series #1)

by Sylvain Neuvel

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Overview

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files Series #1) by Sylvain Neuvel

A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton, World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.

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?

Praise for Sleeping Giants

“As high-concept as it is, Sleeping Giants is a thriller through and through. . . . One of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory, [and] a smart demonstration of how science fiction can honor its traditions and reverse-engineer them at the same time.”—NPR

“Neuvel weaves a complex tapestry with ancient machinery buried in the Earth, shadow governments, and geopolitical conflicts. But the most surprising thing about the book may just be how compelling the central characters are in the midst of these larger-than-life concepts. . . . I can’t stop thinking about it.”Chicago Review of Books

“A remarkable debut . . . Reminiscent of Max Brooks’s World War Z, the story’s format effectively builds suspense.”Library Journal (debut of the month)

“This stellar debut novel . . . masterfully blends together elements of sci-fi, political thriller and apocalyptic fiction. . . . A page-turner of the highest order.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Don’t miss any of The Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel:
SLEEPING GIANTS | WAKING GODS | ONLY HUMAN

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101886717
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/24/2017
Series: Themis Files Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 28,519
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.19(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Sylvain Neuvel is a linguist and translator based in Montreal. He is at work on an R2-D2 replica and his next novel.


From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

PART ONE
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Sleeping Giants"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Sylvain Neuvel.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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Sleeping Giants 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey for giving me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review! I am such a sci-fi geek so when I read the synopsis, I knew I had to have this book. Told from interviews, articles and journal entries, it was reminiscent of World War Z because of the style in which it was written. I sort of had an X-Files "Cigarette Man" vibe from the nameless interviewer and the deeper I got into the story, the faster I turned the pages wanting to know who he was; what was the giant; WHY was the giant there...? I had to know!!! This one kept me up until the wee hours because I couldn't put it down. I loved the science, the mystery of the giant, the government conspiracy, ALL of it! I had so many favorite characters, Rose the physicist, the pilots, and especially the unnamed interviewer! I haven't had a book appeal this much to me since reading The Martian as an ARC. And I had to read that last chapter twice; it seriously blew my mind. Best new book I've read this year!! And I can't believe I'll have to wait who knows how long for the next book as this one doesn't even release until April 2016. I will most definitely be reading this one again and have also purchased a hardcopy for my personal library!! Well done, Mr. Nuevel!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a rare book that makes you think while it entertains. There's politics, mystery, military intrigue, sci-fi and a surprising amount of humor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable book. The mystery and awe of the discovery kept the pages turning. The only reason I took a star away was due to the seemingly forced ending. It felt as if the author was required to turn it into a cliff hanger.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful story and immaculate writing style.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Sci fi reading has been Neal Stephenson novels, the lives of Tao series, and the nexus series. I really liked this book. In contrast to Neal Stephenson books the characters display more real human emotion and dialog. And in contrast to the lives of Tao series, the author doesn't spend have the book talking about martial arts and combat. This is more of an intensely interesting psychological story complete with conspiracy, mystery, and science. The delivery of the story is through a series of interviews and journal entries, which makes it more interesting because there is no omniscient narrator and for the most part the reader only knows what the story's characters know.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read and will definitely get the next one when it is released in 2017. Love story seemed a little forced.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great story - laced with real science and thrilling events. Voracious readers will appreciate the unusual format of the writing. It actually could be a standalone novel with an ambiguous happy ending but it's actually part of a series! I can't wait for the next to come out in April.
GHEckel More than 1 year ago
Unconventional. The word sums up Sylvain Neuvel (high school drop out with a PhD who has traveled the world) and the style with which he’s written Sleeping Giants—unconventional and brilliant. The entire novel is a series of transcribed interviews, recorded transmissions, and debriefings with a shadowy, upper echelon spook who remains nameless. The style lends a verisimilitude to the story in a very unique, if mysterious and eerie way. Like any good courtroom drama or Capitol Hill investigation where we only hear testimony and are left to guess at what everyone is thinking, the interrogator is trying to uncover a truth and we, as readers, keep reading to discover the same. We’re drawn into the story by filling in the character descriptions, place descriptions, and characters’ thoughts that the author leaves out. Parts of a metal, alien giant are unearthed around the world and assembled in a clandestine, government laboratory. The concept is so simple and, at the same time, so unique that we can’t help but search for answers to our questions, “What does it do?” “Why is it here?” “Where did it come from?” “What will people do with it?” “Why now?” But thrumming in the background throughout this novel are the implications of this momentous discovery: we are not alone, what might come down from above, and the balance of power in the world has just shifted with the ownership of this quantum leap in technology, which sows the seeds of WW3. All of this starting with a little girl falling into a square hole with a giant, metal hand glowing purple. Don’t miss this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OBNOXIOUS FORMAT - I'm an avid reader and will put up with much for a great story, but the way this book was presented as a series of "interview files" was just plain lazy storytelling. I pushed myself through 50 pages hoping it would change and finally just put it down. What a disappointment, this was an interesting premise that held much promise but ended up being a waste of time and money. I rarely am moved to leave a review but hope to spare the next reader the frustration of this book as there are many other good reads out there.
TheLiteraryPhoenix less than 1 minute ago
I loved this book! This novel is told through interviews and journal entries, and it was super immersive, which I didn't expect when I started listening to it. Plus, the cast was awesome in this audiobook! I've listened to a couple full case narrations, but this one blew them all away and definitely comes in the top three - possible *the* top - audiobook recording I've every listened to. Brava to the cast! I thought I would lose interest in Sleeping Giants when they found all Themis' pieces, but the story kept me wrapped up. Sylvain Neuvel is really good at making the reader attached to the characters, so by the time the search was over, I was invested in Kara's future and wellbeing. There's a lot to still know and it definitely feels like a book intended for a trilogy. I'm hooked, though, so I'll be reading more.
Sean_From_OHIO 3 months ago
Sleeping Giants is science fiction/political thriller that is essentially just a drama about how a handful of humans respond to an entirely inhuman set of events. The book was written mostly in an interview style that I thought I would dislike but then loved. There are obvious mysteries of the how and why these mega events are happening but the book deals with how the main characters deal. Readers will try to figure out some of the mysteries before learning they as important as what's coming. Overall, I really enjoyed the book. My only complaint is that is was short especially considering there are two more books of this series. Super interesting read!
Anonymous 12 months ago
Author can spin a yarn, but doesn't know basic grammar or that a "bat" mitzvah is for a girl. Writing style not impressive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
Sleeping Giants was an amazing audiobook. The whole book is written as a case file, so it’s interviews and journal entries performed by a full cast audio (Audible version). It took about an hour for me to understand what exactly was happening in the story, but then I was hooked. Pieces of a giant metal robot have been found on Earth, and they’re suspected to be the remains of aliens on Earth thousands (or maybe millions) of years ago. The main players in the story are the lead scientist, a mathematician, and a couple of military pilots. And the un-named interviewer. It’s so interesting! I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but this book was amazing. It was more focused on how humans would act in the face of the known existence of aliens instead of being a sci-fi alien story. I like to call this type of science fiction “near science fiction,” meaning that it could happen right now today. It’s not focused on a futuristic world or space travel. It’s similar to The Martian or Dark Matter where it takes present day society and then introduces a sci-fi element to it. My favorite character in this book was Kara, one of the pilots. She’s spunky and disrespectful of authority. She does what she wants and she mouths off. The actress who played her was perfect. She reminded me of Julia Styles in all of her mid-90s movies (think 10 Things I Hate About You). I got a kick out of listening to her, and I was routing for her the whole way. I read this book back in March right before the sequel was released, so it was perfect timing. I didn’t have to wait long to learn what happened next. Even still, there isn’t a huge cliffhanger at the end, so if you don’t get to the sequel right away, it’s not too terrible. Mostly, I just wanted more of the characters once I finished this book, and I was happy that I got that right away. http://opinionatedbooklover.com/review-sleeping-giants-by-sylvain-neuvel/
WriteReason More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book, and found it very easy to follow. The style, in my opinion, was fitting. Journals and files seem to go right along with the story line. The story was compelling, and drew the reader into its pages. Will be looking forward to the next champter in this tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sit back and enjoy the ride. One of the good ones!
19269684 More than 1 year ago
Great SciFi Tale But... I remember when I got this book- actually books. They sent me two and I was thrilled to embark on such an adventure. You know me, I read a synopsis and suddenly I'm hooked before opening the cover! I have the ARC's, so I wasn't blessed with this amazing cover that puts me in mind of Prometheus... Sleeping Giants, by Sylvian Neuvel, is written in a style that's been used by novels like Illuminae and World War Z. There's not always a person telling the story, but documents and reports that let you know what's taking place. A particular artifact was discovered; a piece of something very large and inexplainable. So large in fact, it sets off a series of events and not all for the better. Planetary Federation type events- it's world changing! And that's what was so cool about the story. The situations of the story put placed humans into intergalactic progression. What lost me was the way it was put together. I didn't like the colorless characters ( i.e. the mystery man in black). The science fiction portions of the story are amazing though! From what I understand, Neuvel is a linguistic morphologist or something, so he has the knowledge to put this together, but when it came to conversations and interaction, it didn't carry too well. A+ for the science but B- or a C on the synergy. I just didn't feel it. *For full review: http://bit.ly/SleepGiantsNovel **Book published by Random House Publishing.
Raptor_K9 More than 1 year ago
This was a dreadful book. It is written as a series of interview transcripts that can be difficult at times to keep track of which character is speaking. It had an extremely unsatisfying ending that left way too many story elements unresolved. Books like this are upsetting in the fact that I could have been reading something better.
Jalmfar3 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the ,military journal-style format of this book. I've seen that style used well and badly. It worked here. The themes of mythology-come-to-life and massive underground secret laboratory are familiar, but Neuvel makes them seem fresh. Some of the romantic story feels a little forced, but not so much as to make it annoying. I had fun seeing what was around the corner. It took me back to stories like The Andromeda Strain and Fantastic Voyage with a little bit of TV and movies like U.F.O., Pacific Rim, Men in Black and Stargate mixed in. It even managed to drop in some Chariots of the Gods vibe without being insulting. Who says giant government conspiracies can't be fun?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well done although the dialoge from multiple sources gets confusing at times and trying at other times. Silly idea but makes some good themes none the less.... JC
BookGod923 More than 1 year ago
I received an advance reader copy of Sleeping Giants on the 12th and started reading it that night to see how it was. I finished it last night. Needless to say I could not put this book down. Sylvain Neuvel has created a compulsive novel that I was sad to see end. But, what an ending! I am very glad there will be more, but really sad to have to wait two years for the next book. The story is told through a series of interviews, journal entries and the various other official reports. The majority of the book are the interviews with a very enigmatic Interviewer whose identity we are never told and whose motivation and authority we can only guess at. But he is quite fascinating and it appears quite powerful. The book begins with an 11 year old girl in South Dakota, riding her new bike into the woods after her birthday party. She sees a strange turquoise glow below her in the trees and investigates. She ends up falling and the next thing she knows she is laying on her back looking up the hill at her father and firemen who are trying to get to her from the hole she is in. She is rescued but all of her questions about what happened are dismissed by her parents. It seems no one wants to talk about it. Until one day when she is visited by one of the firemen who rescued her. He had taken some pictures of the accident and thought she would like to see them. She sees a picture of herself lying on her back in the hole, on the palm of a giant metal hand. You can see now why I kept reading. 17 years later, the girl is now Dr. Rose Franklin and is put in charge of just what the hand is and why it was there by our Interviewer. Suffice it to say that there is more than one hand buried on the earth, and it will be up to Rose and her team to find the rest of the body parts that make up a very large metal person. This book is to good to spoil and I think that this may be enough to convince you that this would be well worth your time. I can see this being a huge besteller and the start of a new phenomenom like Hunger Games or Harry Potter. Or it should be.
Rosemary-Standeven More than 1 year ago
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I really loved this book. It was written in an unusual format – a series of interviews of all the main protagonists, carried out by a mysterious man, who is never named, and seems to have enormous wealth and influence over the governments and military of a number of countries. The story races along at a much greater pace than you would expect from one that is only told through formal interviews. But then the interviewer is not what/who you might expect, and we never find out his motivation or origin. The story revolves around the discovery of a giant metallic hand, that is far older than should be possible for a metal object on Earth. The only possible conclusion has to be that it was planted on Earth thousands of years ago by an unbelievably advanced alien race. The search then begins for the rest of the giant. A huge – and initially very secretive – scientific project comes into being to try assemble the giant, to ascertain who built it, and why, and more importantly of what use can it be to (selected) humans. This opens up an international can of worms. If one country has access to all that the giant may have to offer – where does that leave the rest of the world? What is the morally right decision? Is there one? Or do we just race headlong into World War III? And when should the public be made aware of alien life on Earth? Apart from the politics, the book also has a discussion about the responsibility of individual scientists (accompanied by the inevitable spectre of Openheimer) and about what drives scientists to do what they do, despite the risk of personal and societal jeopardy. The book is a thrilling tale of scientific discovery. As a math student I was overjoyed to see the huge part that maths played in cracking the giant’s code. Very few fiction books take time to talk about arithmetic in base eight – it made my day! The story also has a complex interplay between the main characters. None of them are easy to get on with, and they must overcome their individual personality quirks and physical weaknesses to become the team that is needed. Of course, very little goes smoothly. You cannot read this book without having to think really deeply about many issues. It poses more questions than it answers, and probably the most extraordinary is What happens at the End?
LezGibson More than 1 year ago
First, take note of how the story is presented to you. Admittedly, the closest thing I've read to something like this is "The Martian," which told the story mostly through journal entries or logs. This is told by way of interviews conducted by a mysterious, seemingly powerful man who is pulling a lot of strings. The way things develop leave you wondering about this character's intent; good or evil? With that said, this story works extremely well being told in this interview format. I can still see the story in my head like a movie even though all the drama has occurred between interviews and is being spoken of in the past tense. I don't want to spoil any details so all-in-all, this is an excellent read and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book. It is obvious that this is only the beginning of what should hopefully be an epic and engaging story.
theaterofthemind More than 1 year ago
I won a print copy of Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel in a Goodreads giveaway. This is the first time I have read a book presented in this particular format; interviews and journal entries. I can see how this would be a detriment to many stories, but it works well for me here. I liked Sleeping Giants, although to be fair, it did not turn out to be the kind of story I expected. I expected the story to focus on the Giants, but it is more of a political intrigue story. This was not a deal breaker for me as I enjoy political conspiracy theory type books, but I was expecting a sci-fi/aliens story. So I wound up feeling a little misled. Sleeping Giants is the first book in the Themis Files series, so perhaps we'll get more true sci-fi in future installments. The characters were well realized in my view. The creepy man pulling all the strings was sufficiently evil and dispassionate. The main female character has a serious attitude problem, especially for a military person. Perhaps a little more on her back story would have made her more sympathetic, but that's really quibbling when you get down to it. The rest of the supporting cast is well done, and not cliche. It does have a cliffhanger ending, but at least not obnoxiously so. I can live with it (big of me isn't it?). So, we have the beginnings of an ancient alien story (where's Giorgio Tsoukalos when we need him?), a secretive and sinister manipulator of people and countries, a hint at romance, a little bit of sex, and several scientific interventions to contend with. All in all, I think Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel is worthy of your time, as long as you understand what it's true genre is. By extension, the Themis Files will be worth following as well. Enjoy! Mike
KarenfromDothan More than 1 year ago
A young child sneaks away from home to ride her new bike. Hearing a noise and seeing a turquoise light, she abandons her bike to investigate. The next thing you know, she’s lying atop a giant metal hand at the bottom of a hole. Twenty years later she has a doctorate in Physics and has been chosen to head a secret government program to find and reassemble all the parts of a gigantic alien robot beginning with the giant hand from her childhood. Sylvain Neuvel’s debut novel, Sleeping Giants, is a genuine page turner. It’s a sci-fi novel told in a series of interviews, journal entries and logs. I thought the characters were somewhat one-dimensional, but I think the format doesn’t allow them to be much more developed. It reminded me of that old saw, ‘With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.’ There are a number of unresolved questions at the conclusion of the book paving the way for a sequel. With an intriguing plot, it’s a suspenseful thriller that captivates the reader. I loved it!