cover image Sleeping Giants

Sleeping Giants

Sylvain Neuvel. Del Rey, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-101-88669-4

This fascinating first novel is told mostly through conversations between an unnamed interviewer and the book’s other characters, along with newspaper articles, government memos, and various characters’ journal entries. When Dr. Rose Franklin was a little girl, she made a startling discovery in the woods near her home: the gigantic hand of a robot that appeared to be of alien manufacture. Now that she has grown up and become a prominent scientist, she has, perhaps by coincidence, been put in charge of secretly recovering other parts of the robot, which have apparently been hidden around the world for thousands of years, and returning the behemoth to working order. When the robot’s human pilots accidentally blow a hole in Denver, Colo., thus revealing the machine’s existence, other nations demand access and tensions mount. Neuvel develops several interesting characters, particularly Franklin and cranky pilot Kara Resnik. Even the anonymous interviewer, by turns enigmatic and supportive, holds the reader’s attention. Behind them looms the gigantic, inhuman figure of the robot. There are hints that it was placed on Earth to protect humankind, but from what? Far from being a clone of the Transformers, this intriguing tale is entirely worthy of an adult audience. (May)