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
“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
“As high-concept as it is, Sleeping Giants is a thriller through and through. . . . Not only is Sleeping Giants one of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory, it’s 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
“First-time novelist Sylvain Neuvel does a bold, splashy cannonball off the high dive with Sleeping Giants. It bursts at the seams with big ideas and the questions they spawn—How much human life is worth sacrificing in the pursuit of scientific progress? Can humanity be trusted with weapons of ultimate destruction? And the biggest: Are we alone? But all that really matters is that 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 the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy
“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)
“[A] fascinating first novel . . . This intriguing tale is entirely worthy of an adult audience.”—Publishers Weekly
From the Hardcover edition.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
When Rose Franklin falls through a hole in the earth and into a giant hand, she sets in motion a decades-long quest to assemble a mysterious metal being. Canadian author Sylvain Neuvel’s cinematic debut is a pageturner, whisking us around a world that grows increasingly unstable with each newly unearthed robot part. The plot revolves around several key characters, including grownup Rose (now a physicist spearheading the project), a pilot learning to control the machine, and a French-Canadian linguist deciphering its glyphs. Neuvel’s choice to tell the story through interviews and journal entries collected by a cloak-and-dagger figure ups the suspense and leaves us wondering what comes next in the Themis Files series.
This fascinating first novel is told mostly through conversations between an unnamed interviewer and the book's other characters, along with newspaper articles, government memos, and various characters' journal entries. When Dr. Rose Franklin was a little girl, she made a startling discovery in the woods near her home: the gigantic hand of a robot that appeared to be of alien manufacture. Now that she has grown up and become a prominent scientist, she has, perhaps by coincidence, been put in charge of secretly recovering other parts of the robot, which have apparently been hidden around the world for thousands of years, and returning the behemoth to working order. When the robot's human pilots accidentally blow a hole in Denver, Colo., thus revealing the machine's existence, other nations demand access and tensions mount. Neuvel develops several interesting characters, particularly Franklin and cranky pilot Kara Resnik. Even the anonymous interviewer, by turns enigmatic and supportive, holds the reader's attention. Behind them looms the gigantic, inhuman figure of the robot. There are hints that it was placed on Earth to protect humankind, but from what? Far from being a clone of the Transformers, this intriguing tale is entirely worthy of an adult audience.
This book is a fun read, but that’s about it. Characters, while wonderfully unique, are shallow—1.5 dimensional. The story reads rather like a trailer to a Marvel Universe movie; it’s big and bold, but doesn’t test the reader at all. There aren’t any reasons to think about the book when not reading it. If you just want a quick, fun read, read this. If you’re a Heinlein, Asimov, or Herbert fan, you may want to look elsewhere.
One of the very few books in recent memory that I could not stop reading until I was done. Very different writing style too, and I can’t wait for the sequel(s).