Book review · novel

Book review: Waking Gods

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

Please note that this is a sequel and you might get spoiled if you keep reading further and haven’t read the first book yet.

31949138Description: (from Penguin UK)

An unknown vessel, not of this world, materializes in London. A colossal figure towering over the city, it makes no move. Is this a peaceful first contact or the prelude to an invasion?

Every child has nightmares. But the only thing scarier than little Eva Reyes‘ dreams – apocalyptic visions of death and destruction – is the habit they have of coming true…

Scientist Dr Rose Franklin has no memory of the last few years. The strangers she works with say she died, and was brought back to life. The question is not just how … but why?

Kara Resnik and Vincent Couture fell in love during war, and have found peace since. They are the thin line of defence against what is coming. But they do not know they have been living a lie.

And a man who claims to have the answers has his own agenda. There are things he cannot say – and others he won’t.

All pieces of an epic puzzle. One we have been trying to solve since the dawn of time…

Publication date: April 6th 2017.
A review copy (eARC) of this book was provided by the publisher through Netgalley. Some things might change in the final copy.

Reminder that my review for the first book in the Themis Files series is here.

Before starting, I want to talk about the dedication: while being super cute and funny, it actually spoils Star Wars The Force Awakens so be careful if you haven’t seen it yet!

How excited I was when I saw Waking Gods was available on Netgalley! I ran to download the file (uhuh) and started reading almost instantly. I read the first book back in November so everything was still fresh enough in my memories, some names might have eluded me at first but everything came back easily.

I was looking forward to meet this new character, Eva Reyes, but I have to say I was a little disappointed to see so little of her. By the middle of the story I hadn’t seen that much of her, her part was more important in the second half but still not as much as I’d hope.

I have to say I had not the best of times reading Waking Gods, because of something totally unrelated to the writing or the story. I read this eARC on my phone with the Kindle app and there was some kind of glitch where almost every bold text (usually to differenciate who is talking during the interviews files) had no spaces between words. That explains why I took a few more days than usual to read this one, it made me do quite a lot of visual gymnastics and left me exhausted at times 😦 BUT I persisted and flew through the story anyway.

I liked how the characters relationships evolved. It was great to come back to Rose, Kara, Vincent and Mystery Man again! Ten years have passed since the events of Sleeping Giants, but only five month for me (and a year for the people who read it back when it was released I guess!) It was interesting to see how they had changed (or not) during that time. I’m also mad/sad about some events, but it shows how good Neuvel is at making us feel things just with files, journal and log entries about/from the characters.

“I’m grateful for Themis, to be in her company every day. I feel drawn to her. She isn’t of this of this world either. She doesn’t belong here any more than I do. We’re both out of place and out of time, and the more I learn about her, the closer I feel to understanding what really happened to me.”

The way the story was told actually changed a bit, not as many files anymore and a new format of dialogues which confused me at first. I actually missed a little bit the way the first book was told. I’m thinking maybe this was done because some people struggled with the original format?

Waking Gods manage to answer questions from the previous book AND to ask new ones, always leaving us poor reader begging for answers. And we get a lot of answers in this sequel! I love that Neuvel didn’t try to make the suspense last longer than it should, always ready to shoot the reader in the face with new twists at every turn of the page.

“Scientists are like children: They always want to know everything, they all ask too many questions, and they never follow orders to the letter.”

Still, I felt there was not as much *on the edge of my seat* kind of discoveries, not the same *omg I need to know I NEED TO KNOW* emotions like I felt while reading Sleeping Giants. It didn’t stop me from reading this book as fast as I could because I really wanted to know what would happen, even if the feeling wasn’t as strong as the first book.
The humor was also very present despite the terrible events and I laugh a few times! There a quite a few quotes I’d love to share here but I’m afraid they would be too spoilery 😦

I’m also VERY much on board to read book 3 because that last sentence was crazy. My eyes almost jumped out of my head when they realised this was the end and that I wouldn’t get more. I’m really looking forward to the next instalment! And also to know what great cover design Penguin will come up with for the rest of this great series.

“The universe is a marvelous place where just about everything is more than the sum of its parts.”

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2 thoughts on “Book review: Waking Gods

    1. Well it doesn’t change THAT much but there are a few more pages that focuses on dialogues and not really journal entries or files! But still it’s kinda like the first.
      But if you want to know some answers the first book left unanswered, do give this a try 😀
      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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