Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel [Review]

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review. The thing is, like so many other books this year, I didn’t get to it before the release date, so the galley didn’t really help me out. But I still want to shout out publishers for sharing – it’s not their fault I can’t get my act together!

Image result for waking godsWaking Gods is the second book in the Themis Files series. I will not be including any spoilers for this book, but there might be some slight spoilers from Sleeping Giants. If you haven’t come across this series before, or are waiting for it to be complete before diving in, fair warning. But also, if you haven’t started the series yet, WHYYYY.

I sort of want to caps lock this review because I feel like I’m shouting about how great the series is every time I talk to anyone about it. Waking Gods continues the story of how humans might cope were we to find a massive robot built by an alien race buried in the Earth. (Spoiler: not super well.) Our cast of characters is back and face a new challenge when new robots arrive on the planet and don’t seem to want to move unless we try to attack, in which case they annihilate us. The mystery of why they’re here, who created them, and what might come next deepens, and the more we learn, the more questions that need to be answered.

The thing I really enjoy about the series is that we get multiple narrators helping to tell the story through a series of saved files, so we’re able to jump perspective, time, and format with relative ease and it doesn’t end up being confusing. I’ve listened to both books now on audio, and I really recommend it. There is a whole cast reading for the various characters, and it really lends a cinematic quality to the reading experience. I found myself looking for any excuse to turn the audiobook back on, which is what I really look for in a listening experience.

I’d describe the book as being a true science fiction story, written for literary fiction readers. The story has some great sci-fi elements and pulls those off really well, but the real hook is the character develop and the human reaction to the unknown. We action is taking place on Earth, and we don’t get any more information about the alien race than what the humans are able to figure out.

It makes this an easy book to recommend to all sorts of readers, and so I recommend it to you.

 

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Big Mushy Happy Lump by Saran Andersen [Review]

I read somewhere recently that you shouldn’t start your review with a note that you got the book for review from the publisher. I like to be upfront about things, so I’m including it anyway, and I also like to give credit where credit is due. Publishers sharing titles free of charge means a lot to bloggers, so why shy away from it?

This will be a short review because the book was funny and smart and sometimes so true it hurt, so I don’t feel the need to dissect each panel. Sarah Andersen never fails to write content that I identify with in such a way as to make me feel both part of the in crowd and a slight failure as a human being. Adulthood is a Myth was one of my 5-star reads from last year, though I thought this collection wasn’t *quite* as strong.

But there was still this:

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And this:

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So…saying it wasn’t as good for me as the first collection isn’t really saying a lot. You should check these books out if you haven’t seen them. I feel the need to buy another copy just to cut apart so that I can frame 70% of the pages.