Waking Gods (Themis Files #2)

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Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) audiobook

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Review #1

Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) audiobook free

3.5 Stars

The more I get into this series and others like it from other authors, the more clear it becomes these books are basically screenplays with a lot of extra dialog written into it (as you’d expect with a novel). There is too much over-simplification, or put another way the characters read more like movie characters and the plotlines more like movie plotlines. You can almost see hollywood at work. And don’t get me wrong; I don’t begrudge any of these authors their literary or hollywood success (I can’t claim to have achieved anything like that level of success (technical writer)). But I do feel like a lot of these novels by this author, authors like Douglas Richards, and others are too much catering to the “millennial mind” people who need to be quickly entertained and satiated on that level rather than challenging them with a deeper story and context and making them engage the novel a bit more to get the payoff at the end.

Still worth a read, and for sure I’ll buy the third installment at this point (to see what happens)… and maybe that installment will be the depth I’m hoping for… but ultimately this amounts to your typical “good read on a summer weekend” (or snowy weekend depending on where you are).


Review #2

Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) audiobook streamming online

As you have probably have heard me mention several times, Sleeping Giants is my Book Of The Year for 2016. I could not recommend that book enough. In short, that book really stuck with me and it is easily one of my Top 5 Books Of All Time.

Needless to say, my expectations for Wakings Gods were set very very. . .very high. How high? I expected Waking Gods to be my Book Of The Year for 2017 and the final, yet to be named, Book 3 to be my Book Of The Year for 2018. I know, really high expectations. But based on the storyline and the style of writing with Sleeping Giants, that did not seem unrealistic of me.

One of the things that really caught my eye with Sleeping Giants was the cover. There was the square cutout on the dust jacket with art printed on the actual hardback book. I am so happy they did that again with Waking Gods, but instead of a square cutout they did a triangle one. The color scheme is different, Waking Gods having a yellow theme to it while Sleeping Giants was turquoise. The artwork below the dust jacket is beautiful. I do wish they would have put more artwork on the back of the actual book, just like in Sleeping Giants, but they did not. There are stars there, but no robot artwork.

Unfortunately, I do not believe that Waking Gods will be my Book Of The Year for 2017. Dont get me wrong: it is a very good story. But it didnt wow me like Sleeping Giants did.

Waking Gods does not pick up right where Sleeping Giants ended. It actually starts nine years after the events of Sleeping Giants, but most of the book takes place ten years after Sleeping Giants.

Waking Gods suffers from what I am going to call the Ernest Cline syndrome. Ernest Cline made a huge splash with Ready Player One and the bar he set with that book was very high. Many people, including myself, expected another book of that caliber. Some will argue he succeeded and others will say he failed with his next book Armada. Sleeping Giants was Sylvain Neuvels debut and he made a huge splash with it. The movie rights were actually bought before the story rights were picked up. But how do you follow up a story like that? How can you meet the expectations you set with book one? It is a monumental and scary task.

Waking Gods is told in the same format as Sleeping Giants, mainly interviews and transcripts. One thing Neuvel did more this time was having more than the two people speaking in a chapter, but he does a great job of making it easy to following along with who is speaking.

This format is what really makes this series stand out among all the other stories out there. Before Sleeping Giants, I had never read anything like this. I know there are other books out there that might be written in the same format, but I had not read them and this style was new to me. It was exciting. Fun. I could not stop reading. For about thirty-six hours I ate, slept, and drank Sleeping Giants.

The audiobook for Waking Gods is amazing. Id venture to say that it is actually better than the audiobook of Sleeping Giants. There are parts of the story when characters are talking to each other through a walkie-talkie (do people still say that or do they just say radio?). During these parts in the audio version, there is an added effect so the person sounds like they are talking through a walkie-talkie.

As I read and listened to the story, I realized that I prefered to listen to Waking Gods. It is a good story, it just isnt great. I didnt always feel like I needed to read what was coming next. I didnt always feel like I needed to find reasons to read or to take reading breaks at work while other people took smoke breaks. There were times when I actually decided that playing a game on the Playstation sounded more fun. Now there were times I needed to know what happened next, but more times than not, I was ok if I could only read one chapter during the day.

There are some moments that did make me drop my jaw and want to throw the book. Not because it was bad, but because Neuvel did something that I didnt think he would do. I wish I could mention them but they would be major spoilers.

That is one thing that I have enjoyed with this series so far: it is not predictable. Neuvel has always done a great job with the twists in his stories. There are two major instances during Waking Gods where this happened, and I actually emailed him about them. One of them was explained a little later in the book, but they were major enough that I needed to let him know what I thought.

Waking Gods at times felt too long. I dont know why, but it kind of felt like it could have been a novella instead of a novel.

Overall, if you enjoyed Sleeping Giants and want to know where the story is going next, pick up Waking Gods. Dont do what I did, dont set the bar so high that no matter what Neuvel wrote, it wouldnt be good enough. The story is good and I believe it is setting up an explosive end to the series. I have no idea where he is going to go with the story. Book 3 will definitely be a surprise to me and I cant wait to read it when it comes out in 2018.


Review #3

Audiobook Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) by Sylvain Neuvel

Heres how I began my review of Sleeping Giants, the first novel in the Themis Files series: Every once in a while you come across a work of fiction so puzzling that you simply cant put it down. No matter that the story seems not just farfetched but downright silly. The narrative drive, the sheer suspense, keep you turning the pages all the way to the end. If you cant figure out why, its probably that you keep wondering whether the whole thing makes any sense at all. At any rate, that was the experience I had when reading Sleeping Giants by the Canadian author Sylvain Neuvel. This debut sci-fi novel is strong on plotting but weak on plausibility. Hard science fiction its not.

I cant say that I feel a great deal differently after finishing Waking Gods, the second of the Themis Files novels. All Id add is that I found the book enormously entertaining. The dialogue, reproduced in a series of transcriptions and documents that together comprise the Files, is often funny. Very funny. Author Sylvain Neuvel has a terrific way with dialogue.

Years after the conclusion of Sleeping Giants, Waking Gods picks up the story of Themis, the giant alien robot reconstructed by American and Canadian scientists. The United Nations has formed the Earth Defense Corps (EDC) to deploy Themis in the event aliens (or simply more giant robots) attack the Earth. The mysterious, unnamed interviewer of the first novel continues to play the role of intermediary between the scientists and (apparently) the White House. The team of threeDr. Rose Franklin, Captain Kara Resnik, and Vincent Coutureremain in direct control of Themis. Dr. Franklin, who discovered the robot as a child, is head of the scientific division of EDC. But shes not completely convinced that she really IS Rose Franklin, because she died and came back to life four years later with no memory of the time elapsed. (I dont know what I am, but I know Im not . . . her. Im trying to be. Desperately trying.) Kara and Vincent, now married, are the robots pilots. They appear to be the only people on Earth who can manage the alien controls.

Waking Gods begins with a shock. A 200-foot-tall robot has appeared in the middle of Regents Park in London. It looks like Themis, but its ten feet taller and radiates a different color. For a long time, the robot simply stands, motionless, while the Earth Defense Corps and the worlds governments debate what to do in response. Send Themis as a good-will gesture? Attack with every weapon at NATOs disposal? Naturally, when the question is finally resolved, by default, all hell breaks looseincluding, of course, a battle between giant robots. Youll have to read the book to learn just what happens. And if you do, youll find yourself surprised, again and again.


Review #4

Audio Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) narrated by full cast

3.5 – Lets get the formalities out of the way as with nearly all trilogies, the second novel is a continuation of the first, so to get the most of the second book you should have already read the first. Waking Gods picks up ten years after Sleeping Giants, but it may as well have been five minutes, because so much will be lost on you and lacking in sense, and emotion, if you havent read Sleeping Giants.

The easiest way to sum up this novel is, it was good, but everything was less than in the previous novel. The mystery, the intrigue, the excitement, it was all still there, just not as intense as it was in Sleeping Giants. I think thats the case with a lot of sequels, maybe because the initial impact has already been made so you cannot experience that first-time feeling again. Dont get me wrong, I did enjoy this novel, it just didnt impact me as much. However, theres always comfort in returning to characters you loved in the previous novel, such as sassy Kara, always ready with a witty retort.

This novel wasnt without its surprises, there were several that threw me off balance; clever in that they were born out of the events that happened in Sleeping Giants. It was also interesting to see how these events were paving the way for the final instalment in this trilogy. My absolute favourite part of this novel was finding out the backstory of the unnamed narrator, it was genius, so simple it was brilliant.

Reading a sci-fi trilogy with themes of time travel and alien/robot invasion is a new experience for me, but one Im really enjoying. The science doesnt make me feel stupid, which is really important in making these novels accessible to the wider reading public. Again, Im impressed with the strong cast of female characters in skilled professions, and the ongoing battle between good and evil/friend and enemy is playing out really well. The suspense around the robots is very well done, its so much fun to learn about the robots, their purpose and how exactly they function.

The formatting of this novel was the same as the previous novel, and true to the trilogys title, the story was told in a series of files. The transcript of how MPs talk in parliament was tough going, but other than that, I think this format works really well. Its a great way to keep to the point, as every file serves a purpose in building the bigger picture, whether it be the threat to mankind or the backstory of the characters.

As this is a trilogy, this novel ends on a cliff-hanger, one that pretty much guarantees youll be reading the final instalment, Only Human. Ive got it scheduled for next month, due to the continuation of the plot, these novels will be better enjoyed if you pick up the next one while you still remember all that occurred in the previous instalment.


Review #5

Free audio Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) – in the audio player below

I thought this was perhaps a little slower moving than the first book but that is not to say how much I enjoyed it, I thought it was an excellent read, really on the edge of your seat stuff, the author really makes you feel like you are there in the story and I think the way it is written, in a diary/blog etc form, really help you with that. The only issue is the time I will now have to wait to read the third installment! Please buy this as you need to read.


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