Book Review: Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

Waking GodsBook Two of The Themis FilesBy Sylvain Neuvel.png

—Please. We are in the midst of a pivotal moment in our history, one that could signal a new era of discovery, or put an end to us all.

Picking up from the massive cliff hanger in Book One of The Themis Files, Waking Gods soars to new heights in its exploration of human nature and the possibility of alien life. Piloting Themis becomes routine but his use is anything but. The scientists and the government regularly clash over the treatment of Themis and his pilots- the government unable to resist the powerful possibilities and the scientists unable to forget the overarching implications. When a second robot appears in London, bigger, more urgent questions arise.

We assume we were supposed to find Themis, but say it wasn’t the case. Say they came here to get it back, destroy it, whatever. More to the point, there’s nothing you can put in front of that robot that would pose any serious threat to it, except maybe us. Do we really want to make first contact with an alien species by sending the only thing we have— which isn’t even ours— that it could see as a menace?

When the first attack concludes it becomes clear those who left Themis want something more. As more robots like Themis appear all over the world and more attacks occur, a pattern begins to emerge.

I am, however, absolutely convinced that their survival was not coincidental. These people were chosen, somehow, whether they are aware of it or not.

Brandishing weapons and the use of brute force have come up short in the fight to survive. Threatened with extermination, Rose and her crew must come together to save the world- if it isn’t already too late.

—It is all about Rose, is it not?—Yes. That’s why I said it.—She fell on the hand when she was a child. She somehow ended up in charge of studying it. Now we are waiting for a war that we cannot win, and our best hope for survival lies with her.—Like you said, you’re really good at stating the obvious, but is there a point to all this?—Of course. Did you ever wonder why they chose to bring her back?

In the same style as Sleeping Giants, Neuvel exercises his impressive creative muscles to deliver a face-paced, enigmatic and intriguing adventure. Don’t expect all the answers just yet- Waking Gods sets itself up perfectly for book three and the ending will leave you hanging in mid-air.

—They believe there is a purpose to life, and that no one should interfere with that purpose— that things should be the way they should be.

Read voraciously.

Thoughts? Intrigued? Buy the book here:

A review copy of this title was provided by Random House Publishing via Netgalley.


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