Review: Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

Waking Gods (Themis Files #2)
by Sylvain Neuvel

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Source: ARC from Netgalley

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.

My Review:

4 of 5 Stars

I was hesitant going into this book, the second in what I believe will be a trilogy. I had really enjoyed the first book but I hadn’t loved it. My biggest issue with the first book is that I hadn’t connected with any specific character. I’m accustomed to having some sort of main character to bond with and follow on a journey. The Themis Files series is much more devoted to the plot than character and is told in a completely different format. Instead of chapters, the entire book is portrayed through interview logs, diaries, and other documentation. It’s a big adjustment compared to what I’m used to reading and with this second book I almost gave up at the beginning. I’m super glad I didn’t, I actually ended up enjoying this book far more than the first.

In the first book, I didn’t really connect with any specific character and I didn’t in this one either. That said, I felt close to them in a way that I didn’t anticipate or even realize until things began happening. I thought I was fairly distant from each individual but in one scene, in particular, I found myself actually crying. I’m still kind of in shock over how things happened days after finishing the book. The many twists this book takes had my feelings all over the place and left me in a bit of a book hangover. My only warning with this book is that the ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, one that I didn’t see coming at all. Most of the situations that go on throughout this second book of the series do get resolved and wrapped up. The final chapter, however, deals a solid blow leaving a lot of clues as to where the next book will take us.

I’ve spoken to a few people about this series who’ve been reluctant to read Waking Gods after having lukewarm feelings about the first book. I totally get that because, in some ways, I had the same reservations. After having read it, however, I highly recommend giving it a try as I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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