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Sleeping Giants

(Themis Files #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  83,422 ratings  ·  11,670 reviews
A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near 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 b
Hardcover, First Edition, 320 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Del Rey
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  83,422 ratings  ·  11,670 reviews

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Emily May
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, sci-fi
You have to understand that this flies in the face of everything we know about American civilizations.

Sleeping Giants is being compared to the bestseller and now successful Matt Damon film - The Martian - which is misleading, if not entirely inaccurate.

The two books' stories, narrative styles, characters and overall tones are actually very different. Almost all the details about this book do not resemble The Martian at all. However, they do share a key similarity.

For me, The Martian is not
Rick Riordan
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This sci-fi novel got a lot of buzz when it came out, and I see why. The basic story: pieces of a gigantic metal robot, thousands of years old, are discovered scattered around the earth, buried deep in the earth or under the sea. Where did they come from? What are they for? A team is assembled in top secrecy to rebuild the robot and figure out how it works. The story is told in a series of interviews -- reports submitted by an anonymous interviewer who is pulling most of the strings behind the p ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sleeping Giants was such a delightful reading experience. Truly worthy of all the SCIFI stars.

When Rose Franklin is 11-years old, she falls into a giant hole whilst out riding her new bike.

After she is found and rescued, it is discovered that she is actually laying atop an enormous metal hand. Less than 8-hours later, the U.S. Military arrives to take over the scene.

Years late, adult Rose, now works at the University of Chicago.

As part of her position there, the opportunity arises for her to s
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Update 2/17/18:

Boy, I keep re-reading this stuff and I never seem to have any problems doing so. I'm still having fun and it's still popcorn fun!


So why did I re-read? I just got the pre-release of book three, Only Human. It's CALLING TO ME! :)

Update 12/10/16:

Just re-read and what can I say? I still love it. Didn't really miss anything from the first time, but that certainly doesn't matter when I'm just having fun. :)

Robots! ROBOTS!!!! *squeeeeeeeeeeeeee*

And now that I've go
Faye, la Patata
In my humble opinion, this book was 320 pages of info dump. The Martian style except somehow more... overwhelming.

Please don't get me wrong, I am not new to this kind of format. Like World War Z and Illuminae (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff), the story of Sleeping Giants is told in the form of interviews conducted by a mysterious, nameless person who seems to have a lots and lots and lots of power as well as in the form of oral diary entries. I loved it when it was used in WWZ and Illuminae becau
High Lady of The Night Court
This book is a work of art.

Even though it was written in interviews, journal entries, articles and transcripts, the details were never once left out and there was not a single moment when a certain interview felt detached from the rest of the book, which is extraordinary. All the files merged together very well and once you finish reading a chapter, the part of the story revealed in that chapter adds to everything you already know and forms a steady timeline of events which is amazing.

It was p
Always Pouting
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really dumb so I didn't realize I had the first book in the series already and I read the second one but I still really enjoyed the first one even though I read it afterwards. I knew what was going to happen but I still felt excited while reading and it kept my attention. Also I love Kara and now I'm even more depressed about the second one. I didn't like this one as much as the second though for some reason even though the plot line was cool, I guess it just wasn't enough character developm ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Man, I loved this SF novel! The sequel, Waking Gods, was published at the beginning of April 2017, and the last book in this series is being published this spring.

Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

I first read Sleeping Giants six months ago and was immediately sucked into its world. I stayed up far too late reading it, finishing it the next day when I really should have been working. History repeats itself: When it came time to write this review, I thought I would take a quick gla
Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sleeping Giants is an interesting read for anyone who loves Sci-Fi and mecha or giant robot in their story.

This first book in 'Themis Files' Sci-Fi series by Sylvain Neuvel and it began with an 11 years old kid, Rose Franklin falling down through a rabbit hole (not really but still, a hole). After she was saved, turns out that the place she fell upon was on a giant metal hand. The story then fast forward to 17 years later with Rose now leading a top secret team to unravel the origin, mystery and
Caz (littlebookowl)
Listened to this on audio, and it does not disappoint!

Great cast of narrators, intriguing story, I was hooked.
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Nov 23, 2019 added it
Shelves: dnf
After months of not touching this book, I think I have to call it a DNF.

I started reading this in January when I reached the 18 % mark and I was unable to move ever since. I adored the idea of the book and I read so many reviews for this book, I was just so excited about it... But I did not enjoy reading it. And since I last closed the book, I did not feel like I need to read more to find out what this book is about. I did not think about it at all.

So, eleven months later, I'm here accepting I'
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I love the idea of this giant metal alien hand thing that has been found and they don't have a clue what is going on!

When Rose Franklin was riding her bike on her 11th birthday she saw something . . . when she gets off her bike to investigate, she falls down in a crater in the a giant metal hand. Well that would freak me clean out.

Cut to 17 years later and Dr. Rose Franklin is now a physicist working on the giant hand. (among other things)

The story is told through interviews from a silent pers


This book was all plot and no characterisation whatsoever but damn enjoyable nonetheless.
Charlotte May
3.5 ⭐️

This was definitely different! Set out as a series of interviews and diary entries rather than the usual prose, this book set itself apart from the start.
It took a while to get used to this writing style, and while I'm not sure the style is for me, it didn't deter me entirely from enjoying the story.

A young girl stumbles upon a giant hand, which swiftly becomes an obsession for the US Government and other leading countries. Where did it come from? What is it for? As the quest begins to unc
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
I’m on BookTube now! =)

”I wish I knew where this journey will take us, but I don’t. All I know is that this is bigger than me, my self-doubt, or any crisis of conscience. I now truly realize how profoundly insignificant I am compared to all this. Why does that make me feel so much better?”

So a while back I read the “Illuminae Files” series and recommended it to my brother-in-law who in return recommended me “Sleeping Giants”. He said if I liked “Illuminae” I’d love this and that it’s similar whe
Ahmed  Ejaz
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: full-lengths, 2017
I don't like Transformers. So that's for sure I don't like robot giants. From the synopsis, I didn't want to pick up this one. BUT the last paragraph made me to pick up this book at the very instant. Guess why? Because there is written a name of the book which I love more than any other book in the Sci-Fi genre up until now. Of course, The Martian! I can't refuse to read a book which has a touch of The Martian.

Sleeping Giants is an amazing debut of Sylvain Neuvel. Loved the idea. Loved the wr
Iryna *Book and Sword*
5/5 stars

You know what's great?
Picking up a book that you had decent expectations for and having that book blow your mind by exceeding those expectations tenfold.

Also, beautiful minimalistic covers are also pretty darn great.

It took me about two chapters to get into this. After prologue I was maybe intrigued. After chapter one I was definitely intrigued, but due to the format I didn't think that I'd relate or feel any feelings towards the characters. Somewhere in the middle of chapter two I wa
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Found this one because of the Goodreads Choice awards last in 2016. Not sure I would have come across it if it wasn’t for that. It is a pretty decent sci-fi/political intrigue story. Very unique – I cannot say I have read anything else quite like it. Definitely the first book in a series – while it does have a bit of a “stand-alone” climax, I find it very difficult to say that this book would stand on its own.

The format is interviews and diary entries. I am not sure if this sort of thing is for
Mar 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
If you only read one science fiction book this year, read this one. You'll dig it.

On the other hand, if you read lots of science fiction books this year, this one probably doesn't need to be one of them.
Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author used a unique, new way of telling a Sci-Fi story with mostly or even just dialogues that are so witty, dense, coordinated, interlinked and exciting that the story passes perfectly smooth. I, as a great friend of extreme infodump, can´t say how it is possible to transport all the technical elements in an, for Sci-Fi, such unusual way. Even if one isn't so interested in Sci-Fi, simply the great characterization is worth reading it.

An old question is what one person or humankind would do
Trina (Between Chapters)
This was so intriguing! It's dossier style, a collection of interviews and journals from people who have found unexplained objects around the world and find themselves wrapped up in a secret project. I've heard this compared to Illuminae because of the style, and yes, I think fans of Illuminae would enjoy this, but it isn't as much of a production.

I listened to the audiobook and that format fits the interview style VERY well since the book is mostly dialogue. Highly recommend it.

The only thing I
Paul Bryant
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-novels-aaargh
- Would you like to clarify your former statement concerning Big Dumb Objects?

- Oh, I see that this review is going to be in the style of Sleeping Giants itself, which is, a series of interviews between an unnamed insufferable smug know-it-all who seems to have more clout than the President of the United and a series of cardboard cutouts.

- Cutouts? Rather supercilious of you, I would have said, never mind me.

- Well, how about : the Ripley ripoff – she’s from Alien The Movie you know – and the su
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

"This will change the way we think of the world, the way we see ourselves. This will reshape this planet, and we have an opportunity to help steer that change. How many lives is that worth to you?"

4.5 stars. Some books are just so quotable, you know?

... Well, Sleeping Giants isn't one of them.

It frustrates me to realize that even though I laughed so hard through my read (I even giggled! The infamy!!), I just can't show you. I mean, I could, but you'd probably think I have a terrible se
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Bonus star 🌟 : The cast of narrators have done a fabulous job. Also,the epilogue had a nice little surprise!😮😀

One of those books where the blurb is much more interesting than the actual book.Great concept ….so much potential…Aah what could have been!

Story begins with the discovery of a giant metal hand. It’s clear pretty soon, that the technologies used are far superior to anything known to us at present. Not only that, tests show that this hand was buried thousands of years ago. Are we not alo
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alright, if you’re going to read this one, I highly recommend the audiobook. I started listening to it on a whim because I had a long run to knock out and needed a good distraction. This writing style isn’t for everyone (the whole book is comprised of interviews and journal entries rather than paragraphs and whatnot). The audiobook has several different narrators so it feels more like a fiction podcast rather than someone reading a book to you.

Anyway, the story started really strong for me. A g
Katie Colson
Apr 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing

I am not usually a fan of sci-fi but when it slaps it SLAPS.

This is a phenomenal audiobook. I highly recommend. If you need something to get you out of a slump, or something to put between physical reads, I would implore you to read this book and it's sequel.

The 'interviewer' is my favorite character. I loved him and his grey look on science and humanity. Let me relay to you a quote he said that left me utterly shook...

"It doesn't matter. You train your s
Aug 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, worst, aliens, sff
I was so sure I'd like this. It has aliens! Giant robots! A documentary format! I ... did not at all like this, to the point where I'm giving up halfway through.

Really, though, I should have given up at 14%, where the book has one of the worst "I see this was written by a dude" moments I've encountered in any book this year. A military dude, talking with a shady figure whose name he does not know, who has power over his life, decides to lapse into a very sexual description of his superior office
jaime ⭐️
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
book 4 out of 100

Sleeping Giants had me at the prologue. It tells the story of a 10 year old girl who rides her bike into the forest one evening and falls into a crater that is the home of a giant metal hand. Cut to twenty years later and that same girl is now 31 and the leader of a research project that is determined to find the matching body parts to this hand that are hidden all over the world.

This book was an interesting read for me. I’m not the hugest science fiction fan so I felt that a
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Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India, and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator, though he wishes he were a ...more

Other books in the series

Themis Files (3 books)
  • Waking Gods (Themis Files, #2)
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