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review 2017-05-02 16:06
"Sleeping Giants" by Slyvain Neuvel
Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel

"Sleeping Giants" got a lot of press when it came out. It was proclaimed as original and engaging Science Fiction and so I immediately downloaded a copy of the audiobook. It then sat in my TBR pile until I realised the sequel has been published and I still hadn't read the first book.

I bumped it to the top of the pile when my next long drive came up and was astonished by how good it was.

The story is told in the form of direct speech or reports/correspondence by the main characters. In the audiobook version, each characters lines are given by a different narrator. When two of the main characters are talking to each other, it felt like listening to a clever radio play.

The plot is original and the way it is revealed is intriguing. The female characters in particular have strong voices that make you either admire or despise them. There's lots of wit and sume surprising twists and turns. These given maximum effect by the practice of jumping over major events unexpectedly and then disclosing them through interrogation. The actors did a great job, including the inherently unlikable "nameless man".

I listened to the first four hours or so, completely taken up by the story and this narrative form. By the time I was on the sixth hour of this eight hour book,  I'd been reminded of why the novel superseded the play. My imagination began to rebel against and all-dialogue diet and I found myself longing for descriptions and an authorial voice to give this tale more texture.

I enjoyed the book and I've bought the sequel. It will make a great movie, partly because it is already almost a movie script. As a novel it isn't as satisfactory as I'd like it to be. As a play, it evokes some powerful images of places and events and features some very believable dialog but it is a little too long

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text 2017-04-19 23:29
Reading progress update: I've read 15%. and "Sleeping Giants" is outstanding
Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel

This has been on my TBR pile so long, the sequel has been published.


I started it today on a long drive and I'm astonished by how good it is.


So far, the book has been either dialogue or first person reportage in the form of reports.This work particularly well in the audiobook version, where there is a different narrator for each character, giving this the feel of an inventive and intriguing radio play.


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review 2016-10-19 17:16
A little bit War of the Worlds meets Transformers meets…something…completely and totally unique.
Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel

Book Title:  Sleeping Giants

Author:  Sylvain Neuvel

Narration:  Andy Secombe, Eric Meyers, Laurel Lefkow, Charlie Anson, Liza Ross, William Hope, Christopher Ragland, Katharine Mangold & Adna Sablyich

Series:  Themis Files #1

Genre:  Science Fiction

Source:  Audiobook (Library via Overdrive)



✾Goodreads Synopsis✾




I learned a new word in this book, even if I can't really pronounce it…AnthropomorphicAnthropomorphic is defined as the act of giving the characteristics of humans to other things.



⇝Ratings Breakdown⇜


Plot:  4.7/5

Characters:  4/5

The Feels:  5/5

Addictiveness:  5+/5

Theme:  5/5

Flow:  5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Narration:  5+/5

Ending:  4.5/5  Cliffhanger:  Yes, that shit was crazy…


Will I continue this series?  A resounding yes…




4.8/5 STARS


⇝My Thoughts⇜


This was phenomenal, I just couldn't stop listening to it.  I listened to most of it in one day.  It has a full cast of narrators and I have to say…wow!  Every person has their own voice…awesome-sauce!!!

This is written in an interesting way, sort of similar to The Illuminae Files format, but not as crazy.  It's all done in a series of interviews given by a man who remains nameless throughout the entire book.  He is…ugh…annoying, but essential to the story. 

This book is not without it's flaws, but honestly I loved it anyway.  Character development suffers with it's unique format but it doesn't lack in sarcasm or intensity.  I was also lost as to what might be going on towards the end, or what they were alluding to.  There is a guy (who I pictured to look like George Carlin, because he sounded like him) who tells weird-ass stories, try to listen to them, because…I think…they have more meaning then they appear to. 

⇝Sex Factor⇜ Yes, but not explicit.


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review 2016-08-26 19:02
Book 66/100: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel

Around the Year Reading Challenge Item #26: A Book Everyone is Talking About

I usually don't explicitly review audiobook performances even though I listen to tons of audiobooks -- if something stands out, I'll mention it, but I focus my reviews on the things I would have noticed regardless of the medium.

I'm making an exception this time because this audiobook is *so damn good.* This is one of the rare cases where I'm honestly not sure I would have liked the book as much as I did if I read it the old-fashioned way.

The book is set up as a collection of "files" -- interviews, transcripts, diary entries, etc. -- surrounding research on a giant, ancient robot whose pieces are scattered throughout the world. I usually like this "self-aware" storytelling style, wherein the characters are aware that they are writing, being recorded, etc., as they tell their story. What this means in the audio version, however, is that each character is played by a different reader. And the readers, with their accents, quirks of inflection, rate of speaking, etc., all feel like real people, making this somewhat fantastical book ALSO feel as if maybe it *could* really happen. It's a totally immersive experience -- the kind that leaves you walking around in your normal life with your brain still living somewhere back in "book world." It's been a long time since I read a book that seeped so deeply into my subconscious, and that I wanted to sink into as much as I did this one. Perhaps I would have had the same experience if I had read it -- the book could not have done as well as it did if it were only audiobook listeners who liked it -- but I still think audio is definitely the way to go on this one.

So, why only four stars with all that gushing? One nitpicky thing is that this book does what a lot of "documentary," "epistolary," or "diary" books do -- there are places where it strains credibility that the characters would actually go into such detail when talking/writing about certain things, and you know the only reason the author did it is because he wants to reader to have that information, and his chosen medium has constrained the way that it can be delivered. There was only one place in here that I really noticed this, but it was big enough to jar me out of the story for a little bit.

Also, this isn't the type of sci-fi that I generally go for. I'm not a big fan of "giant robot" stories, and this one has a lot of military overtones, which is something else that is a turn-off for me in science fiction. And I kept feeling like there should be a bigger reveal at some point, like we were perhaps building up to something that never actually happened (although the epilogue was pretty cool.) So, I think it was not the story itself that captivated me, but rather its execution. This isn't the best story out there, but its execution is brilliant. And its audio adaptation is even brilliant-er.

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review 2016-08-11 07:41
Sleeping Giants
Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel

"It dares us to question everything we know about ourselves...about everything"


'Sleeping Giants' gave off the feeling of 'The Iron Giant' meets 'Pacific Rim' with a little bit of political and historical context into what may actually happen, were the world to discover that there were, in fact, pieces of a giant robot buried in various places around the world. The book follows five(ish) main characters each that have different parts to play in an increasingly elaborate plan that spans over different continents creating different political issues spawning from previously established tensions.


What I personally found interesting about one of the various topics addressed in the book, is how ready people in positions of power seem to be to sacrifice other people for what they deem to be the greater good. They deny the fact that they are willing to place people in dangerous situations, especially situations that would call for the harm of mass amount of people, yet when they are faced with the opportunities to collect pieces of their global puzzle for national gain, then they are willing to authorise or look the other way if they believe that the action was necessary in order to make things happen. The book itself is presented in a way that you do not get overly attached to the main characters, and instead follow the book for the ideas and storyline presented while accepting the characters that are presented to us as a part of a larger story.


The format of the story, based off of my personal reading history can only be compared to the structure of 'Illuminae' (by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff), as the majority of what we read is told by a nameless CIA agent with the occasional journal entry from on of the various main characters, or news article. By presenting the story in such a way we are able to witness many parts of the world being explored at any one time. I do, however, wish that the amount of time that had passed within entries had been addressed in the headers at the beginning of each chapter as well as part of the way through so that we, as readers, could develop a better understanding of the full timeline by the end of the book, rather than having to pay extra attention in the middle of a chapter to figure out how much time has passed since we last heard from certain characters.


All in all, I look forward to the sequels.

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