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Themis Files #2

Waking Gods

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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.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published April 4, 2017

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About the author

Sylvain Neuvel

21 books5,140 followers
Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India, and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator, though he wishes he were an astronaut. He likes to tinker, dabbles in robotics and is somewhat obsessed with Halloween. He absolutely loves toys; his girlfriend would have him believe that he has too many, so he writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course).

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,991 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,992 reviews298k followers
April 14, 2017
Wow, where should I start?

I absolutely LOVED this book. After I read Sleeping Giants on a whim last year, I ended up being sucked into its incredible premise: giant body parts are discovered in the earth that predate the human technology required to make them. A simple idea with huge implications. What does this mean for humanity? For science? Religion?

Maybe it's just me, but I get shivers at the question: if there is something on our planet that didn't occur naturally, that we didn't make, that we couldn't have made - then, who did?

To be honest, I wasn't sure Waking Gods would have as much of an effect on me. Sleeping Giants had already started to answer some questions, and with the atmosphere of mystery dwindling, I wasn't sure exactly what a sequel would offer. Well, seriously, I don't even know how to convey how exciting, fast-paced and unputdownable this book was.

Waking Gods is a heart-pounding thrill ride. I loved everything about it. From the action scenes as things get bigger and bigger and it seems humanity might really be doomed, to the scientific details which were so damn interesting! I love sci-fi books that seem (not like I'd know for sure) grounded in scientific fact. It adds an extra dose of realism; of possibility.

The style of narration also really appeals to me. The story unfolds through interview transcripts and journal entries, which works wonders for the pacing. It keeps us constantly in the moment, gives us further insight into the characters, and never gets bogged down by too much description. Plus, most of the interviews are conducted by an unnamed interviewer (yes, we do learn more about him), giving it an additional air of mystery. And he's snarky as fuck, which also helps.

Look, you probably already know by now if this book is for you or not. If you like sci-fi that opens up worlds of possibility, that makes you feel smaller than you knew was possible, that offers new, thrilling and scary answers to some of the oldest questions -- READ THIS SERIES.

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Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
302 reviews40.2k followers
January 19, 2018
Rating: 4.5 stars

This was a great sequel, and I really liked how the action is taken up a notch.

I also fell a little more in love with some of the characters in this one... interestingly I started to really connect with some that I disliked in book 1!
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,951 followers
July 5, 2017
Wow! That was pretty cray! I felt like I slipped through the worm hole! Maybe I should have re-read the first one again, but it's all good. Well, not really because of a death!

I love Rose, Kara, Vincent, and Eva. Oh and Themis =]. I feel like I am forgetting someone. Oh well.

Time travel? Cloning? Robot Aliens? The hell did I just read? There's a lot more and some things that went over my head but when you start talking science stuff, I drool a little bit.

With that being said, I think this second book was pretty amaze balls. And that ending! We're not in Kansas any more Toto!
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
551 reviews60.5k followers
June 30, 2017
I liked the book but I made the mistake of listening to the audiobook and it kinda ruined it for me.

Eva had the most annoying voice ever and every time she would whine I would want to throw my phone at the wall.
Also, Vincent accent was completely off. French and French Canadian accents are completely different.

https://youtu.be/QHsNHlxZJf4 - extract of the audiobook so you can see for yourself in my June wrap up! :)
Profile Image for Petrik.
687 reviews46k followers
June 5, 2017
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect Waking Gods to be this good but the second book in the Themis Files series by Sylvain Neuvel is truly a stunning improvement over its predecessor.

The plot began 9 years after the end of Sleeping Giants and the tension is so much more evident here. As it turns out, everything that happened in Sleeping Giants is just a setup for this book and probably the last book of the planned trilogy. In the first book, the plot spend most its time figuring out the origin, politics and the mechanics to use the giant turquoise robot (now named Themis) and introducing the main characters of the series, Waking Gods built upon those foundation wonderfully.

Right from the start, the story started with an arrival of a new robot in London. Engaging, darker and intense plot with so many things going on, also imbued with many popular Sci-Fi references cameos like Neon Genesis Evangelion (which I talked about in my SG review), World of Warcraft and Star Wars, I am pleasantly surprised by the improvement in quality on this book. It was thrilling, sometimes humorous, and hard to put down. Not only there are more actions, the increasing casualty and combined with the epistolary format made this book even faster paced than before and an excellent page turner.

I’m also very happy with increasing amount of Sci-Fi elements introduced here because I find the first book to be scarce of them. Don’t be afraid though, they’re all so well written and easy to understand, especially the discussion about DNA in this book was so interesting imo.

I had a bit of a problem with the Epistolary format, I find the characters lacked of emotions and really hard to empathize with in the first book. I was proven wrong with this installment. The characters development over the first book is fantastic; this is due to the help of well written letters and personal journal entry that served as a substitute for the missing narrative. We finally get to see the characters personality development, changes, and emotions unlike before. The Nameless Interviewer specifically, we finally get to see more about him and his background.

“I came to realize that good and evil were out of my reach, that time was the only thing I had any control over. I could buy time, create intervals. I could not truly make the world a better place, but I could make part of it a better place for a short while.”

The only problem I had with the book lies in its action sequences. Although the plot is thrilling and this book has plenty of actions compared to before, we still never get to really ‘see’ the battle cause everything is told through dialogues and that had me disappointed. Hopefully the next book in the series could fix this part without changing its story format somehow.

Despite that, overall Waking Gods is a great sequel that improves upon everything from its predecessor. I definitely recommend this for any lover of Sci-Fi and Giant Robots who's looking for a unique fast paced read.

You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,100 followers
February 18, 2018
Re-read 2/17/18:

Thrilled as hell to get the ARC of book three, I decided to go on a tear through the first two again.

But Why?

Because they're just that good. Great characters, fantastic dialogue, and action, action, action. What kind of action? GIANT ROBOT ACTION.

I hated to see who died and loved to see who took over. I'll leave it at that. I would like to call this pure popcorn fiction, but it's a bit better crafted than that. Deceptively simple, even, sprinkled with very sharp quotes and humor. I'd say don't miss this SF if you're at all a fan of SF at all. It's pure fun. :)

And with that cliffhanger.......

I'm SO HAPPY to have the new book! WOOOO! WOOOO!

Original Review:

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!

I've been looking forward to this one ever since I read the ARC for the first, and I cannot even begin to describe how excited I was when I got the second. :)

In the first, we get an adventure and the assembly and the loss and the regaining of the Giant Robot Themis, with our motley pilots and oh-so-mysterious Interviewer.

In this one, we dive right into the thick of things ten years after the adventure began with the arrival of rival robots from right across the universe. We'd already heard tales of them in the first, from strange long-lived people who'd stayed behind to see through the bloodlines, but this is where things get really wonky.

And where the death-count starts rising.

And if you're more interested in the characters and their arcs, never fear. Some very interesting developments are happening. Am I just as thrilled for the Neon Genesis Evangelion nod? Hell yeah. Do I love this tale and the odd kinds of twists and turns surrounding our original researcher? Double hell yeah.

As for our not-so-favorite geneticist? I feel nothing but loathing. That's kind of the point. She rather deserves it. :)

No spoilers since this won't be released for several more months, but suffice to say I really enjoyed it and I really want to sing its praises. I love my big robots! I love ALL my big robots, even if they're not on our side. They still give me the warm tingles. :)

All told, if you guys haven't enjoyed the first novel, then get on it. The second is just as delicious and its satisfying all types of unfulfilled SF niches for us. :)
Profile Image for Always Pouting.
575 reviews762 followers
February 13, 2020
I have this awful habit of reading books that are part of series out of order because I end up getting on of the books out of order and then I'm too lazy to try and read them chronologically, so I haven't read the first book in the series. That said I really really want to now. Even knowing what will happen I want to read the first one and any subsequent ones that's how much I enjoyed this one. The format was different and the story wasn't told directly but through logs and reports which usually is off putting for me, but I think here it only added to the plot line. It helped maximize the action and storyline and kept me engaged the whole time I was reading. I wasn't even expecting that I would get attached to the characters because the way it's written is less personal than a narrative where one has the opportunity to really understand their character but wow I loved the characters honestly. The science was also believable which is always a problem with science fiction because sometimes they stretch things so much I'm like come on. Overall really enjoyed this book, looking forward to eventually reading the first one as well, as soon as I can get the number of books I currently own down to like 100 maybe...
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,096 reviews17.7k followers
August 15, 2019
—And therein lies the fundamental difference between us. You would not sacrifice your principles for a greater good. I would not stop to think about it. I am... . . . pragmatic, and you, Dr. Franklin, are an idealist.
—Is that such a bad thing?
—Not at all. What would people like me do without ideals to defend?

Actual Rating: 2 1/2 stars . I'm not sure if I'm being harsh or merciful with this rating; I suppose I'll let you all judge after my review.

Science fiction is always so convoluted. Have any of you noticed that? No matter what book you're reading, there's so much deus ex machina. It's like the one consistent feature of the genre. This book takes deus ex machina to a higher level; not only with an unprecedented reliance on it as a plot device, but also through the inclusion of literal machine gods.

(That was, in fact, a joke. Please clap.)

Maybe that's unfair, though: it's a constant issue with the genre. I could excuse the deus ex machina and simply praise how twisty the plot is. I could, but I don't want to. Honestly, I didn't find this one quite as addicting due to my reading slump. If I had gotten through this in a day, maybe I'd be praising the whole book right now. But to be honest, the longer I read it, the more annoyed I got.

This series relies far too much on its gimmicks. Not just the formatting; the whole explaining-things-through-metaphors has honestly gotten a bit old. I still find the conversations interesting, and often amusing as well, but I have to admit they feel overdone at this point. We get it, you have a damn creative storytelling format. Let's move on.

[slight spoilers for book one, broad hints for book two] I have to admit, after the cop-out deaths of book one, I found it hard to be confident in book two's major character deaths. These deaths ARE a lot more long-lasting, with less deus ex machina. An improvement. The problem is I didn't believe they WERE going to last. I totally thought the dead characters would be back immediately. As a result, the initial deaths didn't blindside me or make me feel upset.

Also, because this is so stupid: why do the robots have genders? Why are the male robots “ten times more massive than the females”? They're robots. What, do they have fucking hairstyles? Do they have breasts? Would they really be different sizes? What does this even mean? THEY ARE ALIEN ROBOTS. Why the fuck would they have gender roles the same as ours? All in all: what the fuck?

Since I've talked so much about my dislike for the gimmicky style, I do want to give over a brief section for what I did like about this book. First of all, I do think this series manages to be quite fast-paced, with a few twists that are particularly shocking and aren't just a blatant deus ex machina. There's something to be said for a series that keeps me reading through annoyance. I have to admit, though, this book took me far longer than book one. Second, I do really like the sarcastic narrative style of our omniscient narrator. There's a biting sarcasm to his dialogue that I really love. His sense of humor is just my style.
—Is that the end?
—Yes! What do you think?
—I . . . I enjoy squirrel stories and found yours very entertaining. You conveyed the desperation of Little Larry really well and I was saddened by the news of his demise. With that in mind—and I hope you will not judge me too harshly for my lack of perspicacity—what could this possibly have to do with the aliens in London?

Ignoring every single nitpick I've listed before, because I want to talk about the major flaw of this book. My issue with this book— no, this series— is it doesn't accomplish its purported focus on human dynamics. Neuvel is trying to convey the desperation and strength of humanity in the face of adversity. But I don't think he gets to the heart of it like I want him to. He tries to keep this story human, but the characters don't read human enough. Not only are the main characters too close to the chosen-one archetypes to be relatable, I find that due to the odd medium, the character's voices barely come through on page. I like both Vincent and Kara, but both make so many odd decisions I can't really get a handle on who they are. I do enjoy Rose; she's certainly got the best character growth, if anything. And I also like our omniscient narrator. But even these two characters just don't quite feel real. In a story about humanity's strength, this is such a major flaw.

So, now that I've reached the end of the unpopular opinions train: I didn't like it that much, I considered giving it 2 stars, I think this series is incredibly overhyped, and I'm frankly a little annoyed. I'll read book three, but I don't know how to get past my annoyance.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,114 followers
December 3, 2018
"Right is a luxury we do not have at this time. It is an imperfect solution to a less than ideal situation. I suspect there will be a lot more of those in the near future."

Really starting to get into this series now! It took a while during book 1 for me to connect to the writing style, and actually UNDERSTAND what the bloody hell was happening. But here I am in book 2 and everything is great - and absolutely mind boggling.

At the end of book 1 we were left with a major twist Themis has been fully constructed and is completely operational. What book 2 gives us is even more giant robots and ALIENS!

The aliens are mad. They are angry with the human race and have sent 24 different giant robots to wreak havoc on Earth. Watching how the humans deal with this new phenomenon is awesome and terrifying and I am very excited for the final installment!

"Well, I'm sorry the apocalypse isn't convenient for you."
Profile Image for Philip.
513 reviews684 followers
February 2, 2018
4.5ish stars

Waking Gods has everything good about its prequel, Sleeping Giants, but kicks it into an entirely other level. I thought SG was decent enough, with some interesting ideas, but I enjoyed this so much more. To anyone thinking about picking this up: listen to the audio version. It's a great production with a full cast of voice actors and it elevates the story so much.

In SG I thought Neuvel's authorial voice was a bit uneven and a little inexperienced, but it seems much more confident and comfortable here. Now that the characters and the plot have been introduced, Neuvel is left with a lot more room to expand personalities and play with the pure sci-fi awesomeness of the plot. Each of the characters come into their own, especially Vincent and Kara, and our "nameless friend" continues to be an infuriatingly fascinating enigma.

One thing I'm especially impressed with is that Neuvel, who has an extensive background in linguistics and a "dabbling" in robotics, does a great job of balancing the more technical sciencey elements of the story with straight up robot aliens. It's quick, exciting, unabashedly alien melodrama without being mindless. A difficult feat, but Neuvel achieves it.
Profile Image for Debbie W..
761 reviews569 followers
May 2, 2021
What a thrilling sequel to Sleeping Giants! I highly recommend listening to this story as an audiobook - with a cast of a dozen narrators, it's like listening to a radio play! I was on the edge of my seat; it's so realistic!

Some of my favorite narrators are back, such as Andy Secombe as the nameless interrogator. The continued use of gripping interviews, news-feeds, journal entries and dialogues moves the plot along and develops the characters even more! I especially enjoy the hilarious, yet thought-provoking conversations with "Mr. Burns" - who is he?

Two reasons why I subtracted a star:
1. I found the section of speeches by the British Members of Parliament to be somewhat dry; and,
2. Vincent Couture's Quebecois accent is a little inaccurate.

I'm so excited to hear the audiobook of the final story in this trilogy - Only Human!

Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
April 18, 2017
This SF sequel to last year's Goodreads Choice nominee Sleeping Giants, is on sale as of April 4, 2017. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature (along with two other excellent reviews from my co-reviewers at FanLit, who gave it 4.5 and 4 stars). Jason and I also have an interview with Sylvain Neuvel on FanLit, so check it out!

It’s nine years after the end of the events in Sleeping Giants. Our anonymous and dry-witted handler is still pulling strings and manipulating events and people behind the scenes. Vincent Couture and Kara Resnick are still in a relationship, and still the only people on earth who can pilot Themis, the two hundred foot tall alien robot that scientists found and assembled. Dr. Rose Franklin ― or the younger copy of her that was found by a road in Ireland, a year after the original Rose died ― is the head of research in the Earth Defense Corps, formed to deal with whatever alien threats might appear. And now, it appear, the EDC will get its chance.

A new robot suddenly materializes in the middle of London, a little taller and more muscular-appearing than Themis, striated with veins of yellow light rather than Themis’s turquoise, and likely six thousand years newer than her. For a week the new robot, called Kronos, stands motionless and silent while humanity in general, and the British Parliament in particular, argues about what to do. Finally the British military calls in tanks and soldiers to confront Kronos with a show of military force, hoping that those who control the robot will choose to leave. Kronos turns its head. And then all hell breaks loose.

More giant robots mysteriously appear around the world, and are wholly uncommunicative about their intentions … but not so much, unfortunately, about their combat abilities. Humanity is in trouble, and at an alarming disadvantage.

The characters we know and love (or, in the case of a couple of them, love to hate) all play a role in the events of Waking Gods. There are some truly surprising character arcs during the events of this novel. The handler character is still nameless, but discloses an intriguing background. Kara is as impulsive and smart-mouthed as ever, but shows a new side of her personality when she gets some astounding and highly personal news. Rose is a darker character in her new iteration. Nine years after her mystical reappearance as a younger version of the character who died in Sleeping Giants, Rose is still traumatized by the idea that she’s just a clone or copy; she spends a lot of time, perhaps too much, gloomily navel-gazing. But the answers to the questions about how and why she was brought back may give her a new purpose.

There are also a couple of key new players: Brigadier General Eugene Govender, commander of the EDC, and Eva Reyes, a ten year old girl in Puerto Rico with disturbing visions that often come true. I’m not always convinced about the wisdom of adding a child character to an otherwise adult adventure tale, but Sylvain Neuvel uses Eva’s character to good effect here.

While Waking Gods retains the same file-based structure and interview and report-based narrative style as Sleeping Giants, the focus shifts from the wonder of discovery and research about an alien artifact and the political ramifications of that discovery, to more of a science fictional disaster film vibe. While the nature of the story being told in Waking Gods didn’t have the innate appeal to me as Sleeping Giants’ story did, it’s still a gripping tale. It’s slightly marred by just a few plot developments that struck me as either overly convenient or pat, or (I’ll admit it) painfully shocking.

Waking Gods is an epic story, global in its scope. Even it didn’t engage me quite to the extent the first book did, it’s unquestionably a solid follow-up. And with that last sentence in the novel, Neuvel had better be planning on publishing a third book soon!

ETA: For those who've read the first book, the author has published some additional "Lost Files" online:
File No. 002
File No. 247 -- requires signing up with Instafreebie and downloading a file they'll email to you. It's worth it if you're a really big fan of Sleeping Giants and particularly of the mysterious handler.

I received a free copy of this ebook from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for a review. Thank you!!
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
872 reviews3,757 followers
April 25, 2017
I am absolutely devastated that this is over and we don't even how long we have to wait for the third book yet.

Gripping. Intense. Also heartbreaking because some of my favorite characters were killed off, but I don't care, GIVE ME MORE. Another mind boggling ending that I can't wait to get the explanation for!

Honestly this is a new favorite series of mine because of the audiobook listening experience. The story is told through audio files so the audiobook format is perfect.
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
547 reviews34.7k followers
May 13, 2022
I’m on BookTube! =)

”If there's one thing we should have learned by now, it's that we're not the greatest thing in the universe, certainly not the smartest. Seems logical there'd be a great many things in it we can't comprehend."

Do you remember my sceptical face when I read the blurb of “Sleeping Giants” and was confused by the “enormous, ornate metal hand”? Yeah, it’s been a long while but after almost a year I finally managed to get a copy of “Waking Gods” into my greedy hands and I was very happy to be able to continue this crazy journey. And boy, let me tell you this: It’s been another freaky ride. *lol* The story of the second book starts about 10 years after the first book ended so we have a lot of things we need to catch up to before the plot actually picks up and thickens again.

”I’m a soldier, so if they tell me to walk up behind it and kick it in the butt, I will. But if we can avoid the whole me and Vincent dying thing, you know ... that’d be good.”

But first things first: Of course our book starts with a visit from “Mr. Smith” because a huge giant figure similar to Themis suddenly appears right smack in the middle of London and kind of looms over the city. No one knows where it came from or what it wants but the mere presence of the figure already seems to be quite threatening and while the governments are busy thinking about how to deal with this new challenge, there appear more and more giant figures all over the world. So the inevitable happens: After 10 years of training and sort of parading through the world with Themis Kara and Vincent are brought back into the game and are probably the only hope for humankind.

"Kara's ... engaging in diplomacy.
[She's what?]
She's giving him the finger. Very mature, Kara.

Haha! Yeah, they probably shouldn’t have sent Kara to do the job, because this girl is as fierce and rebellious as ever but oh well; thankfully Vincent is the voice of reason and knows how to talk her down. ;-P Not that diplomacy would have helped with the things that were coming their way, but that’s a story for another day. I really enjoyed that we got to see a lot of the cast from the first book and Mr. Smith, Dr. Franklin and Eugene Govender were all a part of “Waking Gods” as well. Unfortunately the same can be said about the people we didn’t like. Yes. Mr. Mitchell and Alyssa are once again a part of this book too. >_< And I still don’t like them, especially Alyssa. Urgh, that woman!

"I may believe in God, but I'm at war with Him. I'm a scientist, I try to answer questions, one at a time, so there's a little less room for Him as the answer. I plant my flag, and inch by inch, I take away His kingdom."

Anyway! What I really loved was that we didn’t only get to see the huge problem of the robots and the threat they presented for humanity but that we also got to see more of the character’s personal lives. They are all human, they make mistakes and no matter how mysterious they are, they still had a past and a background story that was worth telling. Honestly, those background stories were one of the best things about this book, at least for me, because I was almost speechless when they were revealed. Not to mention all the plot twists that always caught me off-guard. This mixed with a little bit of science, theoretical discussions and the omnipresent questions of “What does humanity stand for?” and “Is it worth to be saved?” made this a really intriguing read.

”I came to realize that good and evil were out of my reach, that time was the only thing I had any control over. I could buy time, create intervals. I could not truly make the world a better place, but I could make part of it a better place for a short while. I came to peace with that."

All told “Waking Gods” was at least as mind-boggling and startling as its predecessor and I can’t wait to pick up the last and final book. I’m sure Sylvain Neuvel has still a lot in store for us and I’ve no doubt the plot twists in book three will throw me for a loop as well. I love that I can never anticipate what will happen next and this makes this series such an interesting read. Highly recommended for everyone who enjoys to be kept on their toes. ;-)


WOAH! By now I should know that Sylvain Neuvel’s books will throw me for a loop but boy, I didn’t expect that. I never see his twists coming. O_o
How is this even going to continue?! Seriously, this is a series that constantly keeps me on my toes.

I need to read book 3!

Full RTC once I’m more coherent and digested this. *lol*

So after reading the first book I just had to borrow “Waking Gods” from my library because “Sleeping Giants” was so much fun and such a huge surprise. I read it last year and I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy it so much. Sylvain Neuvel definitely persuaded me to read the next book. XD

This said: Have you heard of the “Themis Files” already and if yes, did you read them and like them as well?
I have a feeling that this series is still so underrated.

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Profile Image for Ahmed  Ejaz.
549 reviews323 followers
April 29, 2017
Waking Gods is the second amazing book in Themis Files series. Thrill was unlimited. I loved it more than the last one.

Spoilers are concealed. Feel safe to read.

Aliens have arrived on Earth and they have started killing the people. Millions have died.
Go home and tell your family you love them. Tell them ten times, a hundred times. Do it while you can. And if we somehow survive this, keep doing it. In the end, it’s all that really matters.
=> I liked that Dr. Rose came back. But this book got very bloody at various points. There were numerous deaths.

=> This book has more science than the last one. I did love it. But some of the things weren't my cup of tea. Every scientific fact was a great fun for me except for Genetics. I had to read the genetic-facts twice or thrice to get them. This isn't the author's fault at all. Me and Bio just can't get together. Bio is very mind-numbing for me. But I got the concept of what the author was trying to tell.

=> I liked the mystery guy a lot. When I read him in the last book, I felt that author couldn't be able to do justice with his personality. Like he was all powerful. How?? But now in this book, Sylvain proved me wrong. He really did answer all my queries.

=> I am very impressed by the way how this series handled Alyssa's character. From her talking, I felt that she was a stammerer. It felt very natural while I was reading her character. I hadn't read a stammering character before. It was a first time. And I am impressed by the real feeling of her stammering while reading.

=> Mr. Burns' Seagull's tale was metaphysically amazing. "Mystery-guy" should have listened to this tale in the last one. Hehehe.
Believing you’re the only person with their head on straight is usually not a sign of good mental health.
=> Epilogue was, again, mouth-dropping. Just astonishing to be exact. I wasn't expecting that but it was great.

Almost everything has resolved in these two books of Themis Files series. Last one would be little different with respect to plot I think. I am sure it would be more awesome. (^_^)
The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land.
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April 28, 2017
Profile Image for ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️.
614 reviews764 followers
August 16, 2019

So much happened I don’t even know where to begin. I still can’t fathom what just happened.

But suffice it to say, WHAT DID YOU DO, NEUVEL!?!? WHAT. DID. YOU. DO!? WHY THAT??

This book gave me a headache. An actual headache.
Profile Image for Katie Colson.
676 reviews6,889 followers
April 27, 2022
This had my eyes welling. My laughter bubbling. And my emotions surfacing. I loved this sequel in the series. I have heard very poor things about the last installment however. So I will not be continuing. Much rather leave the sleeping giants where they lay.

The interviewer remains my favorite. That scene with him in the lab, with the gas creeping in had my on the edge of my seat, finger biting, muscles clenching.

This is a fantastic audiobook duology (I don't count the third cause I won't read it). It is thrilling and sci-fi and a full cast narration. What more would you want?
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,107 reviews6,573 followers
July 3, 2019
1.) Sleeping Giants ★★★
2.) Waking Gods ★★★.5
3.) Only Human ★★.5


I don't know why, but this series has been kinda underwhelming for me and i'm v sad about it. I'm also salty that my fave character died
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,987 followers
February 16, 2018
3.5 to 4 stars

Interesting - that is how I have felt about this series so far. I do like it, but, there is just something about it that is . . . interesting.

The format is a bit unusual and might take a bit to get used to. After 2 books I am still not quite sure if I am used to it. It is kind of a dossier format similar to the Illuminae Files, but Illuminae Files handles it a bit more comfortably for me.

The story is very unique and fascinating. The author gets bonus points for creativity. The fact that I have been bringing up points from this story is a sign that it has me thinking. For that, it is quite worth giving it a shot.

It is worth trying the first book in the series to see if it is for you. I am definitely not comfortable recommending it to anyone because it is too outside the box for me to confidently do so.
Profile Image for Angelica.
814 reviews1,152 followers
September 3, 2020
Have you ever been so deeply into a story that you hated putting the book down because you just needed to know what happened next? Have you flown through a novel, dreading the knowledge that it would soon come to an end?
I felt that for this book.

This is perhaps one of the best books I've read.
Profile Image for Iryna *Book and Sword*.
446 reviews641 followers
February 15, 2019
5/5 stars

You know when you read a first book in the series and you like it so much that you pray the second book is at least half that good?

Waking Gods blows Sleeping Giants out of the water.

​It's funny, but as with the first book it took me a little bit to get completely sucked into it. About thirty pages. I feel like Neuvel eases the reader in slowly at the beginning of every book.

Because when the things start happening - they don't stop until the very last page. So I hope you're good at holding your breath for the long amounts of time, because you will be doing that a lot here.

It's a specialty of mine to not being able to write a proper and coherent review for books that I really, really, really enjoyed. I just can't find words.

​In terms of writing, in terms of plotting, in terms of characters - this book improved so much from the first one. And I already thought that the first one was perfect. So, we're breaking physics over here, really. Waking Gods gave me a lot of feelings. I still can't believe that the author did what he did. And he did it so off handedly too!

​What I loved the most is how brutally honest everything is - this book highlights everything that is wrong with humanity and everything that could be right, but because of our humongous egos and selfish nature, just can't be. This book has so much food for thought that you will need a to-go box!

initial reaction to the ending of this book -----------> Well, SHIT.

Profile Image for Nicole.
749 reviews1,935 followers
December 24, 2020
Waking Gods was a big improvement from Sleeping Giants. If I didn’t already have the paperback, I doubt I would’ve read it because the first installment was meh at best.

What I liked in this book comparing to Sleeping Giants is the personal dialogues. We got to know the characters better instead of reading random bits here and there. Since I care for and foremost about the characters in any story, I could not bring myself to like the first book enough. Yet here we saw more of them, their personality, vulnerabilities, attitude, and other things. While the first book was boring often, Waking Gods was also more action packed. In many instances I couldn’t stop reading and it might actually get me back to reading physical copies (I find myself becoming lazy about those since I read on my kindle most of the time.)

After reading many reviews on how disappointing was Only Human, I do not believe that I’ll be buying the next book (definitely won’t read the ebook, the format won’t be nice on my kindle) unless I find a very good deal. I’m also considering listening to the audio since many praised the audiobooks of this trilogy.
Profile Image for Sara.
204 reviews139 followers
September 29, 2019
What did I sign up for , Omg this is so great but in this book I didn't feel the it factor of an amazing book but still an 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ read
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,605 reviews2,309 followers
February 7, 2017
Freaking awesome! Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) by Sylvain Neuvel is the second book in the series and I didn't think it possible for the author to make a better book than book one but he did! What an epic story!!! I loved the first book and this doesn't let the fans down. The giant robot is back but now there are more but they don't friendly. There is so much action, twists, surprises, and suspense I had to stay up at night to finish the book. I couldn't sleep not knowing what was happening! This is definitely in my favorites! The same characters are back and the we get to know them more and deeper than ever. The plot is so complex and twisted, it just keeps you guessing. I loved it! So many surprises! Especially the ending! Oh my! This series is a must read! Do yourself a favor and start with book one, you don't want to miss out on anything! Fantastic! Thanks you NetGalley and Sylvain Neuvel for letting me read this awesome book! This is a 10 Star book!
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,304 reviews27.9k followers
March 26, 2022
This series continues to surprise me! This sci-fi series is so fun and exciting! I listened to the audiobook for this one as well, and these audiobooks from this book series are the best I have ever listened to! It's like listening to live action and actual interview clips, it's just so cool and unlike any other audiobook I've ever listened to!

In this book, I cared even more about the characters. I loved them all so much. I actually cried when my favorite character died while listening to the audiobook. This book surprised me again and again, there are so many cool twists and unexpected moments in the story. I feel like I need to get my hands on the third book in this series immediately, I just requested the audiobook from the library.

I am loving loving loving this series. The audiobooks are fucking great. I'm not a huge sci-fi reader but this series is a new favorite for sure.
Profile Image for Jenna ❤ ❀  ❤.
811 reviews1,267 followers
June 17, 2019
Clapping Leonardo Dicaprio GIF - Clapping LeonardoDicaprio LeoDicaprio GIFs

Well done, Sylvain Neuvel; this is another fun book in the Themis File trilogy! Though some of the characters' dialogue was stilted and unnatural at times, Waking Gods is a terrific second book to this series. It expands on the mystery of the first book, adds in a few new characters, and has plenty more robots! If you enjoyed SLEEP, you won't want to miss this book!
Profile Image for Connor.
693 reviews1,660 followers
June 22, 2018
[3.5 Stars]
I actually thought the first one was a tad better. I think the info-dumping got to me a little more, and I wasn’t as enthralled. It’s still a really fun story that’s quick to get through, but I found myself not caring as much. I listened to this as an audiobook which was interesting. I liked some of the narrators, but not all of them. I would get annoyed anytime the characters that I didn’t like voice-wise would pop up. I think reading the first book with my own eyes worked out better which I know is an unpopular opinion.
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