• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel

ICYMI: I've been thinking lately about robot books and specifically about this great series by Neuvel, in which a girl stumbles upon pieces of a giant robot and makes solving the mystery her life's work.

A girl named Rose in rural South Dakota falls into a hole that has intricate carvings covering the walls, and she wakes up in the palm of an enormous robot hand. Where did it come from? What do the carvings mean? What is the purpose of any of this?


Years later Rose is a world-renowned physicist working to unlock the secrets of the hand and the curious artifacts she stumbled across as a child, but the mysteries persist.


The Sleeping Giants story is shown through interviews and journal entries. The interview structure keeps the characters at somewhat of a distance from the reader, yet Neuvel allows their spoken-only participation in the book to express their growth, hopes, and fears.


The characters relate events that have already happened through the lenses of their own points of view, creating the potential for unreliable narrators, characters who are hiding important information, and many resulting twists and turns.


Neuvel explores concepts of personal responsibility, how the possibility of life beyond Earth affects everything, and how manipulation and observation--potentially by other beings in the solar system--shape behavior. Also: the ending--!

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Neuvel was reportedly inspired to write this book after his son asked him to build a toy robot and requested a full back story for the creature.


The next books in this series are Waking Gods and Only Human, and I liked them both.