'Waking Gods' - Book Review

Waking Gods
by Sylvain Neuvel
2017, 322 pages

At the beginning of the year, I read Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel: it was excellent. This is the sequel. Of course, in the current SF and Fantasy style, this is a trilogy - the story doesn't end here. Sleeping Giants was set in the very near future, and saw a group of people locating and assembling a giant Mecha left behind by an alien race. (I could have said "robot," but most fans of SF will understand that "Mecha" require human pilots, something not implicit in the term "robot.")

Like the previous book, this one is also entirely in the form of interviews and reports. And once again, it works surprisingly well. This time, an implicit threat from the first book becomes real: Earth is visited by several more of these Mecha, and they aren't being controlled by us. They make no attempt to communicate, and our sources of information are ... extremely limited. For those who've read the first book, you will have realized the implications for humanity aren't good. I hadn't bothered to think about that, so I was surprised - I shouldn't have been.

This isn't as good as the first book, but it's still very good. Part of the problem is that the narrative of the first book centres around one person. In the second book, that narrative centre is abruptly moved to another person. The logic of the move is sound, but it's still disruptive to the reading experience. I truly don't know if I'll seek out the third (and I hope final) book or not.