Waking Giants (Themis Files #2) by Sylain Neuvel
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This science fiction series really gripped my attention earlier this month when I fell in love with the first book in the Themis Files series, Sleeping Giants. I sometimes can be a bit lax in immediately continuing with a series, sometimes leaving it for months or years, but in this case I literally could not stop myself from immediately requesting the next book from my library.
So following on 9 years after the first novel we are back following the characters we were all gripped by in Sleeping Giants. The EDC has been continuing its investigations into where the giant robot appeared from and just who left it buried on earth. Their investigations have proven limited and instead Themis is displayed around the world as an attraction, designed to demonstrate the highest weapon we now have on earth but that we all share together.
The story-line of this second novel is much more high stakes than novel one when an even bigger robot suddenly appears in a London park. It stands there for days doing nothing and the world goes into panic, everyone wants to know where it came from, why 9 years later has it suddenly appeared and why is it just standing there. Mass panic ensues and everyone has a different approach for what to do next. Perhaps unwisely the display of military might we decide to show is the wrong move and we are left with over a million dead as it wipes out much of London. It's up to the team at the EDC to try and fight might with might by sending in Themis but how will they fare against a newer, more high tech robot piloted by the people who actually built Themis and know properly what it is for.
Things continue to spiral when a year later 13 more robots appear in the biggest, most densely populated cities on earth. With the warning shot in London having being fired and us now knowing how deadly the robots can be the human race is suddenly faced with potential extinction and we have to find some way to ensure our survival against a smarter, more resilient and deadlier race.
I love the format these books are told in. The interviews, press coverage, meetings in restaurants are all wonderfully engaging and because of the format it makes it a really quick read and you find yourself slipping through the pages almost without realising it. I am really not a science fiction fan, these are one of a handful of books I have read in the genre and I find the format makes it easier to digest the story and to not become too bogged down in the scientific bits.
Neuvel also does a wonderful job of relating his stories back to real life scenarios that we are familiar with. Real world news events that he links in to raise moral and ethical questions along the way and they are hugely impactful when they are used. He is an intelligent and well informed writer on his subject matter and I learned quite a bit in this book about subjects that I otherwise wouldn't have read up on such as genetics and DNA.
Another triumphant book in the series. Book 3, Only Human was released a month or so ago and it is now on my TBR shelf having acquired a copy from my local library so it will definitely not be too long before I conclude this wonderful series. I can't wait.