Book Review: Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel


Waking Gods is the sequel to Sylvain Neuvel’s debut novel, Sleeping Giants, which I reviewed previously. In Sleeping Giants, a giant alien robot, Themis, is discovered buried in pieces all over the world. Predictably, the governments of the world and one shadowy conspiracy-type person cause a lot of trouble trying to use Themis to their own ends. Now, in Waking Gods, the aliens have noticed Themis, and everything just got much, much worse.

All in all, this is a pretty good book, though not as good as the first installment. If you read Sleeping Giants, though, I would definitely recommend it.

My rating: 4 out of 5.

I had the same problem with Waking Gods as I did with Sleeping Giants: namely, that I disagreed with the direction Mr. Neuvel took the story. This isn’t as big a criticism as it sounds because both books were very entertaining. However, where Sleeping Giants resolves these plot threads so brilliantly at the end that I took back all of my criticisms of the book, the final resolution of Waking Gods, while equally complete, feels uncomfortable and unsatisfying to me.

I don’t really want to give away the ending because I still think this is a very good book and worth reading, especially after reading the first one. It’s just that the plot twists were weirder and less believable this time around, and I had a problem with the aliens at the end that left a sour taste in my mouth. But even with that, it’s not remotely enough to turn me off the series. Book 3, Only Human, ships in May, and I am still excited to read it, so I hope you’ll check it out.

About Alex R. Howe

I'm a full-time astrophysicist and a part-time science fiction writer.
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