Sleeping Giants is a fantastic start to a wonderful science fiction duology that blends together scenes from the Arrival and the Iron Giant. Fans of both will enjoy this unconventionally presented novel and have little to fear as the second part is already released.
Dr. Rose Franklin was the one who first discovered the giant metal hand when she was a child. Waking up in the bottom of a gigantic hole with glowing walls, Dr. Rose Franklin’s life is forever changed. Seventeen years later, life brings her back to the metal hand and back to wondering exactly what happened to her. Except this time it’s her job. As the time progresses the mystery of the hand slowly unravels uncovering more questions than answers.
What will strike you first about Sleeping Giants is its unusual format: comprising of interview transcripts, articles, and journal logs. It is unconventional, but surprisingly refreshing. While it may take a little time getting used to a lack of detail, regarding people’s appearances, it is startling the amount of detail you can perceive from transcripts alone. This book speaks to the power of dialogue and the way personality manifests itself in our speaking mannerisms. In this way, Neuvel does a fantastic job of differentiating the characters and making them speak for themselves.
It always surprises me when you read books about the end of the world, or mars, or anything else ‘otherworldly’, how the problems of our humanity follow us. We can be stranded on Mars, in a post-apocalyptic zombie chase across America, and still our jealousies, love, and envy will strike us in the back. Sleeping Giants is no different. No matter that the fate of our world may be in our hands, there are still human problems of ego, love, and guilt. Because of this, it gives the characters a very human feel to their actions. There is a surprising depth and emotional turmoil presented in these transcripts. Neuvel brings life to the words in a way that is truly admirable.
And it will keep you on your toes. Whether it be the discovery of a new development, or a personal relationship change, you are left wondering, especially at the end. Additionally the bold narrator figure, whom we fail to truly meet, is a constant enigma and we are left even more in the dark than the figures surrounding him. The plot and surprising characterization are by far my favorite aspect.
I can offer you one piece of advice: if this seems like your thing, buy both…now. You will be needing the second in your life and the wait can seem unbearable. My sequel is already on the way to me and even though I have an extremely hectic reading schedule, I will be squeezing it in.
What would you do if you found a giant, perhaps alien, hand?
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