Sleeping GiantseBook - 2016
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.
From the critics
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When one thinks of the genre science fiction, one’s mind may jump towards space, the future, flying cars or galaxies far, far away. Sleeping Giants is definitely science fiction, yet it contains few of these traditional sci-fi elements, and those it does contain are almost tangential to the story. There may be humanoid aliens, but we don’t meet them. There may be a weapon of mass destruction, but it may not have been intended for such a purpose. There may be government and military conspiracies to hide the truth, but the truth is outed… and there definitely is a shadowy person pulling strings in many directions.
Resemblance to The X-Files in the above description is purely intentional. What we have here is a sci-fi political thriller, set in the here and now but with ties to ancient history, told in interviews, excerpts, episodes and military reports – a style that keeps the pace clipping along, allowing periods of time to pass (and certain US elections to be held) without being bogged down.
A young girl falls down a large hole and when found appears to be sitting in the palm of an enormous had, glowing with aquamarine veins. She grows up to be a physicist and is recruited with a team of pilots, linguists and other personnel to unravel the secrets of the hand, and other body parts discovered around the globe. The questions she and her team unearth are the big ones – are we alone in the universe? Who can humanity really trust with the secrets of the universe? When does the quest for scientific progress outweigh the need for human care?
It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel, and Neuvel leaves a truly tantalizing thread at the end that will leave readers drooling for a sequel. Then again, speculation is fascinating too, in case a sequel never comes. ~RG
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