- Megan Bingham
Seventeen years ago, young Rose Franklin landed on a mysterious crater in South Dakota. Instead of falling to her death, Rose lands on a giant, glowing mechanical hand with ambiguous symbols and pictures carved in the metal.
Now Rose is a physicist at Earth Defense Corps and is a powerhouse in her field. When she's chosen to lead a team of fellow scientists who are researching the giant hand, she's not surprised. Rose reveals she believes that it's her destiny that the object has woven itself back into her life. When a giant metal forearm is recovered in Turkey, Rose suggests there are more body parts scattered around the world, hidden underground.
Rose and her team try to understand what the mechanical body parts could mean—and how could they been hidden so far underground without human knowledge? Is it advanced alien technology? To make things more interesting, the body parts themselves prove to be difficult to work with. The language scrawled across the palm of the hand is not from this world; its fluorescent teal lighting seems to come from an unknown source; and human tools cannot split the metal. Beyond Rose and her team's task at hand, once the body parts are put together, what will become of humanity? Will it mean a new beginning or a horrifying, bitter end?
Sleeping Giants is a fast-paced, mesmerizing work of modern science fiction. The uncertainty of where the body parts came from and what they will eventually do keep the reader intrigued. Like Max Brooks' World War Z, the story is conducted through interviews and files from Rose's research team, along with statements from witnesses and other key figures, including the anonymous interviewer who has striven to keep the research project going. The many narrators keep the tale grounded as readers gradually get a picture of the mystery. Sleeping Giants is an excellent and well-written debut for newcomer Sylvain Neuvel, who has continued his story in a sequel, Waking Gods, which is due out April 4, 2017.