Sylvain Neuvel “Waking Gods” (Del Rey, 2017)
I think that it’s important to note up front that I have not read Sleeping Giants, the first book in the series. I think that my reactions would potentially be very different if I had.
Waking Gods is set some time after the events in the first book. There’s no real catch up here, at least that I can see. Right off the bat, another giant robot shows up. And things get real.
Neuvel chooses to tell the story through interview transcripts, news reports and other mediated texts. It’s an interesting choice, but it has a couple of effects. First, in a story with a lot of action, the action feels more remote than in a story told more traditionally. Second, it eliminates the internal lives of characters. We only know them through their words and actions.
I never really felt like I caught up in this novel. I went into it knowing that I hadn’t read the first one, but 99% of the time I can enjoy the novel without any problem. This was the exception. And the fact that stylistic choices were made seemed to make it more difficult for me to really immerse myself in this book.
Thanks to Netgalley and Del Rey for the review copy.