Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel – A Book Review

Waking Gods


A twenty-story-tall metallic figure appears in the middle of Regent’s Park. The caretakers at London Zoo notice it first at around 4am. The figure, or robot, bears a great resemblance to the UN robot known as Themis . . .

Who made Themis?

It’s been ten years since Themis – a giant alien metal robot – was revealed to the world by Dr Rose Franklin. It now stands at the heart of the Earth Defense Corps – in case the makers of Themis return to claim it.

Why did they leave it here?

Rose and her team are still seeking answers to Themis’s origins when a second and even bigger robot appears in London’s Regent’s Park. A military response backfires, reducing half the city to bare earth.

And what if they come back?

As more robots appear across the world, Rose knows it’s a race against time to discover where they’ve come from, what they want and – most importantly – how to stop them . . .

Author: Sylvain Neuvel

Publisher: Penguin

Release Date: 05/04/2018

Pages: 336

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Themis Files #2

My Chosen Format: Kindle

My Rating of ‘Waking Gods’: 5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon UKAmazon USAudible UKAudible US


Waking Gods is the second book in the insanely addictive Themis Files. I can’t quite tell if it’s the writing style (in which these books are written through interviews, journal entries, broadcast transcripts etc …) that makes them addictive or the storytelling going on within said medium. Whatever it is, Sylvain Neuvel is on to a winner with this series.

[Sleeping Giants (book one) Spoilers]

Book one left us with people on Earth having discovered a series of metallic body parts that, when put together, created a two-hundred foot robot. They’d just got the hang of it and had started using it. In book two, the alien race that left the robot on Earth has figured out that they’ve been using it. And they’re not happy.

[End of book one spoilers]

In this book Neuvel manages to get across fast-paced action in what should be a very hard writing medium to achieve that. He also creates characters, and bonds between characters, that left me loving some of the people in this book more than any book written in a more dynamic or emotive style.

Somehow, when characters die or leave the book for whatever reason they choose to leave, I can’t help but miss them more than I would in other books. So Neuvel has done an outstanding job with weaving a link between story and reader. 

It’s also, along with Sleeping Giants, one heck of a page turner. The way the book is set out feels like it’s quick and easy to read and you can’t help but burn through the pages quicker than usual. Not to mention the way Neuvel has gone from a book of discovery in book one, to a book of grand and epic proportions in book two.

To anyone who wants a well-told, unique science fiction novel, I’d highly recommend starting this series. So far both books have received top marks for me and I look forward finishing the trilogy.

They are also some of my favourite covers of any science fiction. Absolutely love the artwork.

7 thoughts on “Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel – A Book Review

  1. You say “unique” and I’m not going to knock that you’ve had a fantastic time reading these books, but when I was reading your review, all I could think of was “Robotech!” Or to be more precise, the Macross Saga.

    With that being said. I had zero interest in book one after all the reviews I read of it. This though, sounds intriguing. We’ll see how the next book does at keeping itself on my radar 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, I’m tentatively interested – if it still holds water after book two, it might be all right 😉 But I think I will wait for your review of book three and then make the decision 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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