I recently finished Waking Gods, which is book 2 in the Themis Files series by Sylvain Neuvel, and it was one of the best science fiction books I’ve read in a while! I liked Sleeping Giants, but the sequel made the series something more and complex than was first imagined in Sleeping Giants. Much like what happened in Gemina, the sequel following Illuminae, the story grew into something so large and mind blowing!
First I want to talk about Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff as I feel as though this is the more widely known of the two. We follow Kady and Ezra as they flee to awaiting space ships to take them to safety as their entire planet was attacked. Many people died and the attack was unprovoked. Or so they thought. While aboard these ships there is a strange sickness that kills many, and then the ships artificial intelligence, which is in place to protect them, starts going haywire and causes problems. I read this one with little to no expectations. I assumed that I wouldn’t enjoy it all that much (for whatever reason) and now it’s one of my all time favourite series!
Next we have Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. Shortly after finishing Illuminae I was in the mood to read sci-fi, so I went looking for more. I stumbled across Sleeping Giants in the news actually. The author is from Canada and it showed up on a list of new releases. It was perfect timing! This is an adult novel that follows the discovery of a giant hand buried in the earth. The very girl that fell into a hole and found the hand later on becomes the head of the science team that researches the piece. Soon they wonder if this isn’t the only piece that’s out there. This turns into a large team of people looking for parts to this alien robot and what they find is staggering. I was thinking it and a few other people mentioned it as well – it felt like an adult version of Illuminae!
HERE’S WHAT THE TWO BOOKS HAVE IN COMMON:
- Unique format – Illuminae is told through a series of messages, surveillance, emails, diagrams and more. Sleeping Giants is told much in the same way just not as visual. There are interviews lead by an unidentified man, diary entries, transcriptions, and news
- Political intrigue – both books are heavy on political intrigue. There are government and corporate influences that are pushing down to make decisions, complicate the mess, make uninformed choices, and causing the problem to begin with. The politics are slightly different, but they have a large part to the story as a whole.
- Bad ass females – In both books there are characters that that are very strong, determined, brilliant, snarky, and no nonsense. Part of the reason these books were so good was the memorable women! These characters (and also the dialogue) was very realistic.
I feel a little bad that the comparisons were quite small with this one but I can honestly say that the format and atmosphere are really what make these books similar. They have a lot of action, are super fast paced, and both have unique formats that enhance the story as a whole. The world building is fantastic but done in a way that I’ve never really seen done before. As almost everything is written from the perspective of a character, we get a first person and intimate look at the world and situations. If you loved Illumine, then I bet you’ll love Sleeping Giants!
Until next time, happy reading!