Title: Waking Gods (2017)
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Series: The Themis Files #2 (Series Tracker)
My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
Last year, Sleeping Giants made my Best of 2016 list and I’m fairly confident Waking Gods has secured a spot on the 2017 list. While Sleeping Giants dealt with the discovery, assembly, and control of Themis, the buried robot relic of unknown origin — book #2 shows how a newly emboldened Earth deals with a threat far beyond what they are prepared to handle. Author Sylvain Neuvel takes the overall story in a bold direction that sees our returning protagonists confronted with a dozen new giant alien robots with unclear aims. Waking Gods is larger in scale, yet more personal in nature.
I love the continued use of interviews with shadowy characters who know much more than they are letting on. By slowly feeding crumbs of intel to the protagonists (and to us, by extension), they’re able to guide them into finding solutions for seemingly unsolvable problems; this serves to drive the narrative forward in a compelling way.
The epistolary format combines with Neuvel’s sharp writing to make for an infinitely readable sci-fi adventure that twists and turns its way to a big cliffhanger ending. I’m excited to see where the series goes from here.
★★★★¼ out of 5