Sleeping GiantseBook - 2016
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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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