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Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

BOTTOM LINE: A sequel that just may be better than the first book! I don’t know how in the world I am going to be able to wait for the next one in the series!

Genre: Science Fiction
Publication Date: 4 April 2017
Source: Publisher

Synopsis from the Publisher:

“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 Thoughts: Even though my review may not show it, I loved Sleeping Giants. It is one of the rare novels last year that made it to my permanent to-keep bookshelf. The story was creative, engaging, mysterious, and suspenseful. Giant robots, kick-ass women pilots, even cooler female scientists, an unknown super-spy, national intrigue, patriotism, human greed, human achievement – it pretty much has it all. Knowing it was a series only made it better because it meant there was more robot awesomeness to come. Normally, such high expectations do not bode well for the second book in a series. Thankfully, Waking Gods more than lives up to those expectations. In fact, it pretty much blows them out of the water.

Waking Gods starts out ten years after the events of the first novel. A second, larger robot suddenly appears in central London, and suddenly everything Rose and the EDC don’t know and could not figure out during the ten-year interval comes back to haunt them. While Sleeping Giants was all about man’s greediness, Waking Gods explores mankind’s penchant for violence – violence as a first reaction to a threat, violence as power grabs, violence as a form of revenge. It is not until the situation becomes truly bleak where violence gives way to more thoughtful actions. Once again, it is an insightful look at society at its weakest and the very real consequences that result.

Suffice it to say, Waking Gods is just as good as, if not better than, Sleeping Giants. It has action and adventure, soul-searching, drama, loss, love, and most importantly, humor. In fact, I don’t remember the first novel being quite as sarcastic as this one is, but I like it! Told in the same format as the first one, through transcripts of interviews, news reports, scientific testing, doctor’s notes, and the like, the format allows you to be an impartial observer and also an intimate participant of the events. Because it is the second novel in a series, to discuss the story in any greater detail would be to spoil all of the fun and ruin the suspense, but what follows after that initial robot appearance is a frenetic, intense, and dark story that keeps you on the edge of your seat from open to close.

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