Themis Files: Book One
Written by Sylvain Neuvel
Science Fiction, Adult, Thriller
Published April 26, 2016 by Del Ray
ARC obtained through Netgalley
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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-shaped 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—the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown. 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 relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
The day a young girl falls through a hole in South Dakota is the day the world changes forever. Years later, that same girl who first fell into the mysterious giant hand is back. She is now the lead physicist on a project dedicated to recovering and reassembling the pieces of what is believed to be a metal giant.
An unknown figure invested in the project is behind the screen, questioning the main characters as the story is told in interview segments. Following the projects lead participants: Rose, Kara, Vincent and Ryan is an exciting ride as together they slowly reassemble an ancient old artifact. However, they may be in over their heads as what they soon discover is that this is not a man made machine.
Sleeping Giants is quite honestly something I've never read before. I went into it knowing relatively nothing. You see, I've been going through a phase where the idea of extraterrestrial existence is not only intriguing but exciting. So when I saw this beauty on Netgalley I was quick to request it. I'm happy that I did, for it's one of my favorites this year. The novel is told in a unique interview/files format between a mysterious figure and those involved with recovering the Giants pieces. This worked better than I originally thought it would as it makes you feel like you're in on this highly classified job.
The story flowed really quickly, I think part of that is due to how it's written. Neuvel made sure the interviews were to the point - there's no beating around the bush here which is something I really appreciated. However, it also was a page turner because of how thrilling it was. As a reader, just like the characters, you're both so obsessed with finding out what exactly it is that they've stumbled upon and what this obscurely large artifact is doing buried across the globe.
"I'm just saying, these things are buried in the dirt. The reason for that might be slightly less romantic than what we're all hoping for..."
As for the characters, they too were a treat. All involved with the reassemblage of the Giant were dedicated to their mission while also remaining unique in their own way. They each had their motives and their own voice. The interviewer had to be my absolute favorite. He's an asshole, but is someone I found to be cheeky and appealing. I'm happy that that the Themis files will be a series as I need to find out who the hell he is.
In the beginning I kept envisioning something similar to Transformers - you know when the man falls through the ice and discovers the robot in the Arctic? And BOOM they all come to life and start wrecking havoc? No, nothing to that magnitude, but let me assure you it's still very exciting. The entire time I was transfixed, waiting for the next big discovery. Sylvain Neuvel certainly has a knack for capturing and holding his audiences attention. I have a feeling that this series will become something HUGE. It has the qualities a book needs to have to be made into a big budget movie or even a television series.
I realize I'm being very vague.. but as I'm writing this review, I realize I can't say much partially because this book is about the discovery and it just wouldn't be the same if I emphasized more on what happens during the course of the plot. Sleeping Giants doesn't come out for nearly half a year, although I hope when it does you'll all pick it up - or rush to Netgalley and request a copy ASAP!
Sleeping Giants was an absolute thrill ride that leaves the reader wanting more. You'll be flipping through the pages with a frantic need to know EVERYTHING. Sylvain has created something believable and brilliant here. The story was unpredictable, and even more important - something exciting. It makes you wonder what hides beneath our home planets soil, and just maybe - we're not alone, maybe we never have been. Sure to be a hit amongst all who enjoy exploring the unknown.
KYnndra is currently reading The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon, binge watching The X-Files and pondering the possibility of aliens.