Review: Waking Gods
I originally shared my thoughts on Waking Gods in a Weekly Reads recap after I received an early copy of the book from NetGalley, but as I no longer do weekly recaps, and both Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods are some of the best fiction I’ve ever read, I thought a new standalone review was warranted.
I loved Sleeping Giants, so much so that it was one of the rare books of 2016 that I forced into people's hands again and again, promising them one hell of an adventure, and everyone of them who read it agreed.
The style of the story, unfolding through interviews with a mysterious interviewer didn’t feel like an unusual narrative. The story unfolded so smoothly and with such a wonderfully mysterious vibe that I had to keep turning page after page.
The follow up book is every bit as good, with the added layer of depth and emotional resonance that comes with re-entering a world we've already come to know fairly well. (Such is the magic of sequels.)
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.
What makes these books so special is not only the lovably geeky and hilarious human beings that populate the story, but that there's a perfect balance of a little bit of everything: humor, factual science, fictional science, love, ethical conundrums, all tied together in documents that allow the reader to feel as though you're there with our gloriously imperfect characters who are trying to do noble things, especially in the face of terrible loss.
There is a mention of squirrel science in the book and it's hard to put a finger on why that tickled my fancy so much other than it serves as perfect example of how the pursuit of even the strangest bits of understanding our world can yield interesting returns.
There are moments of scientific exploration, military involvement, and even some fight scenes and yet everything, every moment kept my attention. I say "and yet" because even in some of my favorite books, like the Red Rising Trilogy, I have a habit of skimming battle scenes, or in the case of The Martian, skimming the science while trying not to doze off. Sorry, fighting and science.
This book left off with another cliffhanger, which for only makes me more excited to continue the journey, it's like expecting a door to be closed in your face at the end of a party, but instead it's whipped open again, inviting you to come party in another section of the building you hadn't even noticed before.
I loved it. I loved it the way a little kid loves their first ride on a roller coaster, giddy from the ride and eager to go again. This book is the perfect example of the how much fun it can be escape to a completely different version of your world.
Are you a Sleeping Giants fan? Are you currently devouring Waking Gods?