SYNOPSIS: 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 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.
SERIES: Themis Files #2
GENRE: Science Fiction
RATING: ★★★★★ / All the stars in the galaxy and beyond!
REVIEW: First, a huge thank you to the peeps at Penguin Random House (Del Rey) for sending me an advance copy of this book (I might have done a bit of begging and pleading via email...it wasn't pretty...I imagine they said yes just to make the crazy lady go away). I actually dove right into it back in February (it's currently April in case you come across this review later and you're curious) but I somehow forgot to right the review. It's awful of me but life happens. Still, I haven't lost the reading experience to time, such is the amazing strength and impact of this book.
Okay, so I'm assuming that if you're reading this review then you've read the first book SLEEPING GIANTS and are, either, anxiously waiting to dive into this sequel because the last cliffhanger left you a little crazy, or you're curious as to whether you should continue the series...OR you're reading this 'cause you're my mom and being supportive (this last one is less likely...hi mom!). So here's where I convince you to read WAKING GODS because it's amazing:
The author, Sylvain Neuvel, dives right in on this one, he doesn't leave us hanging from the last book's cliffhanger long. Actually, there's a half-page prologue at the very beginning, which is a fantastic teaser of what's to come in the book. It's like a little puzzle piece that we have to wait and slot in later... Everything that I loved about the first book is back and turned up to an 11 (little Spinal Tap reference for ya). The story is quicker, though not shorter, and there's more action, which also results in some seriously tough decisions and brutal moments. Really. It gets merciless...and I loved every word.
There's a significant time jump from book one to book two and it was the best decision possible! It allowed for so much more development in the characters and world without being bogged down in needless exposition. The time jump took the story to another level that you wouldn't expect until a third or fourth book (told you this book was moving quick). Neuvel is breaking literary walls and thrilling the reader along the way. His style of writing, with the progression of files, gives you nothing more or less than what is perfectly necessary to suck you in and keep you reading at a break-neck pace. It's brilliant.
There are definitely surprises within these pages that had me muttering to myself, little exclamations of shock and awe. I will also admit that it took me way too long to piece part of the story together, that little prologue teaser I was talking about. But in my defense I read this book two nights in a row, past 2am, and I was really focused on Vincent's story at the time! I couldn't put the book down and I was getting loopy tired (we've all been there, right?!). My point is that along with new surprises, we also get some of the answers that have been plaguing us readers since book one. And the answers are awesome.
I'm not going to lie, WAKING GODS ends on one hell of a cliffhanger. Just like the first book, it's a short and sweet cliffhanger but it's also a swift kick to the brain. It's a sweet kind of pain and I can't freaking wait until the next book. Please, oh please, join me in the agony of waiting! Because I can't recommend this series enough. It's fresh and fast and everything I have been looking for in Science Fiction and I really hope you enjoy it as much I did.