Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping GiantsI think that it’s good to go outside of your reading comfort zone every once in a while in order to dip your toes into the water of another genre. That’s what reading Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, a science fiction novel, was like for me.

The story begins when Rose, a young child, is riding her bike one evening and falls into a square shaped hole in the earth. She wakes up in the palm of a giant metal hand. As an adult, Rose becomes the physicist that leads the team researching the huge mysterious hand, where it came from, and whether there are other artifacts out there. The more the team learns about the hand, the more they question what the artifact means for humanity.

The story is made up entirely of interviews, journal entries, and news clippings. I thought this was an interesting approach to writing and although I felt oddly disconnected as a reader I didn’t dislike it. The same mysterious figure conducts each interview during the book and I felt quite curious about the character. We don’t know much about him besides the fact that he’s got powerful connections and is a bit of a bully. There were a lot of political components to Sleeping Giants as well, both within the United States and between the governments of countries across the globe.

Sleeping Giants On a disappointing note, the flow of the plot seemed a bit scattered to me and it was a bit challenging to keep up with the timing. I thought some of the plot decisions (don’t worry, no spoilers here!) were random and unnecessary as well.

Although Sleeping Giants wasn’t my favorite read, I enjoyed the tone and the idea behind the plot. I also enjoyed reading a book outside of my typically preferred genres to mix things up!

Now it’s your turn! Do you typically stick to one genre while reading?

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station ElevenI’m having a hard time deciding how to put my opinions of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel into words. I definitely liked the book; I’m just not sure how much.

On one hand, it’s a very interesting story, which centers on a massive case of the flu that has wiped out a majority of the world population and has left those remaining living in shambles.

Station Eleven jumps between decades, from before and after the collapse, and focuses on many characters whose lives are interconnected. We have Arthur Leander, a famous actor who dies on stage while performing a play on the evening when the sickness hits Toronto. Then there’s Kristen, one of the child actors performing with Arthur in the play, who survived the sickness and goes on to join the Traveling Symphony. We also have Jeevan, a training paramedic who realizes the epidemic is coming in time to store enough food to save himself.

My critique of this book is that I wasn’t able to connect with the characters as much as I would have liked. My favorite books are those in which I feel for the characters, but I don’t think that Mandel went far enough with her character development. They intrigued me, but not enough to make this book a favorite for me.

Overall, I liked this book and thought it was a unique choice that’s different from stories that I normally read.