An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a literary thriller fueled by a quest for truth - and a fight for control of earthshaking 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 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?
"This stellar debut novel...masterfully blends together elements of sci-fi, political thriller and apocalyptic fiction...." (Kirkus Reviews)
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- Jim "The Impatient"
Outstanding cast performance
Overall, a fast-paced and exciting SF opener. The book started out feeling solid, but not special (large and ancient artifact found in South Dakota that defies current scientific knowledge; assemblage of a team to decipher its meaning and find other artifacts). But as the chapters slid by, all told via interviews, journal entries and reports, characters started to be more fully sketched, individuals showed menace and ruthless focus, and a larger mystery appeared. This middle section was masterful, with Neuvel revealing enough to keep the story moving, but with large enough gaps to make you wonder how far characters would go and why the artifacts exist. This showing with little telling made the book tense and particularly fascinating. Toward the end of the book this breaks down a bit, with a number of details being explicitly lay out, and in that straightforward narrative some of the magic and suspense is lost. Still entertaining and I will continue the series, but a bit more left to the imagination (and a bit less laid out by conveniently interviewed strangers with too many answers) might have better served the narrative.
- S. Yates