Review #58 // Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) – Sylvain Neuvel

A decade after the events in Sleeping Giantsa giant robot similar to Themis appears in London, causing world-wide panic. After defeating the first robot at great cost, dozens more appear, signaling the beginning of the end.

Why this book?: I mostly enjoyed Sleeping Giants, even though I was a little disappointed, but I was still curious enough to read Waking Gods when I saw that my wish had been granted on NetGalley!

I would like to thank Del Rey for allowing me to have an ARC via NetGalley.

Unnecessary and forceful

Just as in Sleeping Giants, the beginning is extremely intriguing, drawing you into the story with the first sentence. It introduces an unknown character, and that was a little fun, until this unknown character comes back into the story and you realize that you know basically nothing about her and she has no character. She’s supposed to be 10 years old, but talks like Rose, and is having prophetic dreams. That’s all there is to know about her, which got fairly boring fairly fast. Later into the story, her character got more and more cliche, and I just really couldn’t stand her.

And again, just as in Sleeping Giants, the relationships are basically shoved down your throat. It’s really forced, although not as bad as the love triangle in the first book. That comes back into this story as well, which was completely unnecessary. This is hard to say, but also accurate: this whole book felt unnecessary. The formatting becomes redundant half way through the book, and when that happened it just got infinitesimally more boring. It’s one thing to have a novel told entirely through files and recordings . . . but when the last half of the book is just dialogue because of a “plot twist”, I can barely stand it. Even more when more than two characters are speaking.

Same thing as the first

Maybe not exactly the same, but fairly close. Starts with some new revelation (Themis for book 1, “new character” in this one), and then there’s a bunch of science jargon, and then some Twist!! (Vincent’s accident in book 1, the “plot twist” I mentioned before), then there’s the “climax” and the cliche and abrupt ending.

I thought a lot of it was either repetitive or unnecessary. I enjoy most of the characters, although some of them can be annoying. I don’t like how certain creepy characters were brought back from the first one, because with the new character, I was hoping it would move on.

Neuvel also tried to hook in the shock value with the middle twist, but it was frankly just a horrible choice. It slowed the book down, mainly because I was no longer interested after killing off the only characters that I liked.

Final Rating: ★★☆☆☆


I seriously don’t know why Del Rey granted my wish. I rated Sleeping Giants three stars, and was fairly critical. Maybe they wanted a critical view of Waking Gods, but more likely it was just a random choice. This whole book was a disappointment. I was critical from the beginning, but then it just went downhill from there, and I was just finishing the book to finish it.

Would I Recommend?

If you liked Sleeping Giants, you might like this one. It was disappointing and cliche, and I seriously disliked the ending. The Bookavid’s review, found here, says that this series would be good for transitional readers that don’t read that much sci-fi. So, since I read too much sci-fi, I would say that lovers of SF/F should skip this one.

Additional Information:

Published: April 4th, 2017

Publisher: Del Rey

Page Count: 320

Genre: Science Fiction

Synopsis: via Goodreads

In the gripping sequel to Sleeping Giants, which was hailed by Pierce Brown as “a luminous conspiracy yarn . . . reminiscent of The Martian and World War Z,” Sylvain Neuvel’s innovative series about human-alien contact takes another giant step forward.

As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she’s dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers—and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer now than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.

Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars.

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