9 October 2017

What goes well with turkey: Review of Sleeping Giants, Sylvain Neuvel


Facing a second turkey dinner at 3 this afternoon, my perspective towards life is rather tilted. Dare I admit that the very last thing I wish to do is trundle off in a car for 2 hrs to eat said bird? Even more accurate do I dare admit that in fact, I will gladly sit in said car for those very 2 hrs, just so I can eat another turkey dinner. What is worse, showcasing gluttony or restraint? Like so many Canadians on this weekend, we buck up the courage, find semi-decent comfy pants and pull the dining chair up to a highly orchestrated dinner, circumnavigating familial undercurrents and  (un) necessary glasses of wine.  Yes, Thanksgiving Monday is upon me. What the hell am I going to read?

This past September has been a fury of reading activity. Having spent the summer nose deep in whodunits, I gleefully jumped into my geeky persona, reading all the sci-fi things. A friend recently asked me as a non-science fiction reader, where should she start? Enduringly difficult, I stumbled trying to dissimulate the genre into a tightly bound reference guide that she could dip her reading toes into without feeling sullied by the experience. Seriously, when she dropped Phillip K Dick as a starting point, I almost walked into a tree from dismay - of all the places to start, start current, I say, or at least with Herbert. 

Looking for a fully engaging, fast-paced science fiction story that takes place on present day Earth, try Sylvain Neuvel's Sleeping Giants. A young girl falls into a hole in the forest to wake nestled in the palm of an enormous glowing hand. Exploring the classic aliens-as-gods science fiction trope, Neuvel's The Themis Files left me anxiously waiting for May, 2018 when the final novel in the trilogy is to be released. 

The story reveals itself dramatically through interviews and press releases. The ability to literally tear through a book in a day is highly probable and somewhat satisfying. If there is ever a book to disengage from the turkey doldrums it is this. Whether I like this trilogy is debated, as there are key elements to the plot and characters that have left me unhappy. Yet, I leave my final review to the third book, gladly basking in the manic reading fury that captured my imagination. Not every book needs to be Dune, sometimes being entertained is enough.