Thursday, August 24, 2017

Audiobook Review - Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel @neuvel @randomhouse

A Quick Note About this Review
I originally read and reviewed this book back in April 2016 (see review).  At that time, I liked the book but I didn't love it.  I actually only gave it 3 stars.  I saw a few people saying how good the audiobook was and when I saw it on sale, I decided to pick it up.  I was amazed by how much I enjoyed this book in audio.  Since my thoughts are so different this time around, I thought I should write a review based on this reading experience.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel 
Narrated by Full Cast
Series: Themis Files #1
Publisher: Random House Audio
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Date Read: August 16, 2017 (2nd read)
Length:  8 hours 28 minutes
Source: Audible purchase
★★★★★
An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a literary thriller fueled by a quest for truth - and a fight for control of earthshaking power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved - its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand's code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of relic. What's clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history's most perplexing discovery - and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014597-what-doesn-t-kill-her
My Thoughts

This was really good!  Amazingly good!  I am kind of thinking that I am a big dummy for not realizing how good it was when I read the book last year.  I liked it the first time around but I wasn't nearly as impressed as I was with this listen.  I really do think that the narration of this story took everything to a whole new level.  I listened to it over just a few days and really never wanted to stop listening.  I am so glad that I decided to give this book another try.

This story is quite imaginative.  Rose falls into a hole as a small child and discovers what appears to be the hand of a giant metal robot.  I was hooked right away.  The entire premise is just so interesting and I loved watching this group try to figure everything out.  Since I had read this book just a year ago, I already knew how things would play out but that didn't lessen the excitement for me.

This book is laid out a little differently than the norm.  Instead of a running narrative, this story relies on a series of interviews, reports, and journal entries.  The interviews are conducted by a character that doesn't have a hands on role with the project but seems to have a lot of power over everything that is going on.  I found myself not only trying to figure out what was going on with the project but also trying to get some kind of clue regarding the identity of the nameless character.

One of the main reasons that I decided to give this story another try was the fact that this audiobook is performed by a full cast.  Having read the book before, I had a feeling that if done right this audiobook could be amazing.  I was right.  I almost felt like I was listening to a play being performed.  Each character in the book had a different narrator.  Interviews would be conducted back and forth between two narrators.  The narrators were all really good and captured the characters very well.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  If you are someone who enjoys audiobooks, I would recommend that format if you have the option.  The full cast production of this audiobook really does take a good story to a whole new level.  I can't wait to continue with this series.

About the Author
SYLVAIN NEUVEL dropped out of high school at age fifteen. 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).

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

24 comments:

  1. I'v eread reviews of this before and while it sounded epic, I was never quite sure if I wanted to read it or not. But with a full cast in the audiobook, I know think I definitely will add it to my TBR. Having a cast makes all the difference to my reading ears!

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    1. The full cast audio really was well done. The voice talents did an amazing job!

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  2. I love books that are different from the norm and that the book takes place through files and documents!
    I loved that for Illuminae as well. Will add this to my TBR :)

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    1. I did enjoy how this one was laid out. The interview were really well done.

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  3. Amazingly good sounds good to me :D

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  4. How neat that it struck you so much better this go around with the narration. Guess I know how I'll be experiencing it. I didn't realize it was an epistolic-style book. I really enjoyed that with a different series.

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    1. The narration was just so good! It was like a movie playing in my head with all of these wonderful characters.

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  5. I'm glad you had such a better reading experience the second time and enjoyed it more! I don't listen to audiobooks, but I imagine having a full cast would make a big difference for some books.

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    1. It really worked well with this story. Some books are fine with a single narrator but I don't think that would have been ideal with this one.

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  6. I bet this was awesome with the full cast, and sometimes a book just blooms on audio. Not sure if the narrator picks up on tones not obvious in the book or what. Most talk to author first and get a sense of what they are trying to achieve.

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    1. The narrators were so talented with this book. You could tell that they really got into character with the story.

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  7. It is great that you enjoyed it the second time around.

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    1. Sometimes I think you have to be in the right mood to really enjoy a story. This worked so well for me this time around.

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  8. Wow! That's cool how the audio version made the difference for you. Looks like a cool read. ~Aleen

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    1. The book was just so much more in audio.

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  9. wasn't the audio AMAZING? I loved it so much it was hard to stop listening.

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    1. I loved it! I am actually hoping to play this one in the car during our next road trip. I think my husband would enjoy it.

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  10. I have an e-copy of this one, but now I'm thinking maybe I should just listen to the audio . . . Hmm. I am glad you liked this one even better the second time around, Carole!

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    1. I really did enjoy the audio performance but it should be good in print as well. I may not have been in the mood for it the first time around.

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  11. A full cast audio does sound like a great way to experience this book. I've been intrigued by the premise, but unsure about putting it on my to-read list. I think I'll see if my library has a copy.

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    1. I definitely recommend the audio if you have the option. I hope you enjoy it!

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  12. I loved this in print, but I'd like to try the audio just for all the amazing things I've heard of it. :)

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    1. It was a really great re-read. Definitely worth a second look for the audio performance.

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