Friday, May 13, 2016

Sleeping Giants ~ Sylvain Neuvel

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Neuvel, Sylvain. 2016. Sleeping Giants. New York: Del Rey Books, a division of Ballantine Books.  $26.00 USD.  ISBN 978-1101886694

This novel, a debut written by linguist and translator Sylvain Neuvel, is a fascinating mystery and an elegant piece of science fiction. Written entirely in the form of interviews with an anonymous interrogator, it explores the lives of various characters involved in the discovery and reclamation of a giant robot, body part by body part, buried by an unknown entity or advanced alien species sometime in the past. The story is revealed gradually through the interviews, and the author does a fantastic job of giving distinct personalities to each of the novel's characters. It is also the first novel of a series, so we are left with some unanswered questions to look forward to being resolved in a future title. What is distinctive about this novel is its format.  I've seen novels written in diary or journal entries, emails or text messages, or a mixture of these with prose. But the interrogation/interview format is new to me, and Mr. Neuvel has used this technique to write a novel of propulsive suspense.

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