Published by Del Rey on April 4th 2017
Source: Publisher, Netgalley
Genres: Science Fiction, Fiction
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When an alien vessel materialises in London, does it mean peace or war? Waking Gods is the gripping sequel to the ground-breaking thriller Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. What's going on? Turn on the television. What channel? Any channel. An unknown vessel, not of this world, materializes in London. A colossal figure towering over the city, it makes no move. Is this a peaceful first contact or the prelude to an invasion? Every child has nightmares. But the only thing scarier than little Eva Reyes' dreams - apocalyptic visions of death and destruction - is the habit they have of coming true... Scientist Dr Rose Franklin has no memory of the last few years. The strangers she works with say she died, and was brought back to life. The question is not just how ... but why? Kara Resnik and Vincent Couture fell in love during war, and have found peace since. They are the thin line of defence against what is coming. But they do not know they have been living a lie. And a man who claims to have the answers has his own agenda. There are things he cannot say - and others he won't. All pieces of an epic puzzle. One we have been trying to solve since the dawn of time... *** Praise for Sylvain Neuvel: 'This year's The Martian. Captivating ... So good and so eerie' Buzzfeed 'Bursts at the seams with big ideas ... this book is a sheer blast from start to finish. I haven't had this much fun reading in ages' Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter and Wayward Pines 'This stellar debut novel masterfully blends together elements of sci-fi, political thriller and apocalyptic fiction ... so much more than the sum of its parts. A page-turner of the highest order' Kirkus Reviews 'As high-concept as it is, Sleeping Giants is a thriller through and through. One of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory' NPR 'Reminiscent of The Martian and World War Z, Sleeping Giants is a luminous conspiracy yarn that shoots for (and lands among) the stars' Pierce Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising
Waking Gods is the 2nd book in the Themis Files series. Check out my review for Sleeping Giants here.
After reading and loving the first book, I was super excited about Waking Gods – giant alien robots on Earth is already hard enough to believe, but this sequel gives us not one, not two, but 13 other giant robots at one time.
The stakes are a lot higher in Waking Gods, because of the threat of the other robots on Earth, who wipe out whole cities during the course of the book. However, instead of feeling the threat, the urgency and the actions resulting from this, I felt like there was a lot of talk and no action. The book feels disjointed as the focus was on interviews between the unnamed narrator and the other characters, rather than on the threats upfront.
I started out thinking I could remove the bad from the world one piece at a time until there was none left. The world, unfortunately, does not work that way.
Waking Gods employs the same annoying narrative technique as the first book – we’re only told things in retrospect through character interviews and reports, instead of experiencing them first hand. As a result, I felt an immediate disconnect from the characters and what was happening around them. It’s even more annoying here, due to the monumental events that happen, making it hard to really picture what is going on.
The first book balanced incredulous belief with politics and explored morality of humans and powerplay, but I found Waking Gods to be quite info-dumpy at times. It goes into genetics, morality, science and theory a lot more, and at times I found my eyes glazed over because I didn’t really know what it was trying to tell me.
I came to realize that good and evil were out of my reach, that time was the only thing I had any control over. I could buy time, create intervals. I could not truly make the world a better place, but I could make part of it a better place for a short while.”
There were a lot of twists and turns, especially towards the end with the occurrence of unexpected deaths. Even then, I was still disconnected with what was going on because of how crazy and haphazard everything felt. I wish we got more answers out of Waking Gods, instead of some crazy ass theories and scientific explanations which did not make sense.
While I enjoyed Waking Gods, I felt a lot of frustration at the book because of the sheer craziness of the events that were happening, and the way the twists were handled in the book. I felt disconnected with many of the characters that I loved from the first book. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel though and the conclusion the series.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I received a review copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I haven't read the first book yet, but I do have it so I hopefully will still want to read this one after trying the first. It sounds well written and like it was a good story — but that it had a bit too much craziness going on. And too much can get that feeling of disconnect. A bit of a shame because it sounds like it would have been epic otherwise.
It is a pretty crazy story with a cool concept! Yeah, the interview style was fun to read but it doesn't help with character connection.
I really want to start this series, especially as Jaz keeps raving about it! It seems like a mix between Illuminae + District 9, which I'm totally down for! Sorry to hear that the sequel was a little disappointing though 🙁
Yessss, that's actually a great way to describe it lol. I know Jaz loves the first and second books tho lol!
Darn, that's too bad you felt a lot of disconnect with the sequel. Sounded like a lot of stuff went down in this but kinda just filler stuff. Hopefully the next book makes up for it! Great review, Jeann!
Yeah, there was a LOT happening but we kind of didn't see it all going down though. Thank you Cyn!
I was a little frustrated with the first book and I have a feeling I will be with this one too lol, judging from this and other reviews I've seen. I may still tackle it though, the whole premise is just too cool! I just wish it was more compelling in the execution. Sigh. Great review!
Fair enough, at least you know what you'll get going in! Thanks Greg!
I do agree with you, Jeann. "Disconnected" is the exact word I used in my review, I just felt the action was so off stage that it was hard to care about what was going on. However, I still enjoyed it, and I am dying to know what's coming next!
Yeah, I just felt like we were missing the point of what was really going on, which was frustrating!
Awesome review Jeann!