Rave Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Rave Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain NeuvelSleeping Giants
by Sylvain Neuvel
Length: 8 hours 28 minutes
Published by Penguin Books
on April 26th 2016
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
five-stars
A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton,World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan 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 the 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?

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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I’m not sure where I first heard about this book (perhaps Litsy?). I’m not even sure why I wanted to read it so badly. But as soon as I saw it, I KNEW I had to read it. When it showed up in an email from Penguin Audio, I hurried to download it and added it to my queue. I started it on a Wednesday afternoon, when I was doing some really menial, repetitive (read: boring) work at work. I went in blind. I had no idea what it was about (serious, WHY did I want to read it so badly) and I certainly didn’t know that the story was told in interviews, journal notes, and such and I really didn’t know it had multiple narrators.

At first, since I didn’t know the narrative structure, I was a little put off. The main narrator, the one questioning all the other characters, was a little off-putting. Yet, as it went on, it became quite compelling. I couldn’t help but be interested in a woman who, as a child discovered a metal hand, grew up to study that hand – and the rest of the giant robot that went with it! As each character was introduced, they were so interesting and well-formed! I wanted to know more!

The next thing I knew, the work day was over and I was over a quarter of the way through the book! I listened all day Thursday, barely pausing to talk to anyone at work because I didn’t want to stop listening. I finished Friday morning and felt bereft. Especially with the way the book ended. I’m ready for the next book, without a doubt.

By the end of the book, I really appreciated Neuvel’s choice in telling his story and, since I listened to the book, I can’t imagine reading it any other way. The actor’s really shined in their parts and completely made the book for me. I don’t mind multiple narrators, especially when they are in an audiobook, so in my opinion audio is the way to go here. It was just fantastic and I think it would make a great beach read.

The Wander Society by Keri Smith

The Wander Society by Keri SmithThe Wander Society
by Keri Smith
Published by Penguin Books
on March 29, 2016
Genres: Nonfiction
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
Amazon
five-stars
wan·der
verb  \ˈwän-dər\
to walk/explore/amble in an unplanned or aimless way with a complete openness to the unknown

Several years ago when Keri Smith, bestselling author of Wreck This Journal, discovered cryptic handwritten notations in a worn copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, her interest was piqued. Little did she know at the time that those simple markings would become the basis of a years-long, life-changing exploration into a mysterious group known only as The Wander Society, as well as the subject of this book.

Within these pages, you’ll find the results of Smith’s research: A guide to the Wander Society, a secretive group that holds up the act of wandering, or unplanned exploring, as a way of life. You’ll learn about the group’s mysterious origins, meet fellow wanderers through time, discover how wandering feeds the creative mind, and learn how to best practice the art of wandering, should you choose to accept the mission.
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The Wanderers are Everywhere. 

Do you like to wander? Do you like to disconnect; from life, your phone, from everything – even just temporarily? Do you feel like you’ve lost touch with nature, yourself, with the world?

Then this book, this SOCIETY, may be for you.

It’s easy to do:

wanderprecepts

When we constantly fill up all our “empty” time with stimulation in the form of electronic devices, games, and distractions, our brains become disengaged and the thinking process is effectively halted. We never get to hear our own inner voice-we don’t develop a relationship with ourselves and our minds. We don’t get to know who we are because we’re not listening.

I find that I am too connected. I have to have my phone with me. I can get lost on the computer, for hours at a time. I do not want to be this way. I have started wandering. And I will wander more.

Join me?