Publish Date: April 4, 2017
Medium: Advanced Review Book
Overview (No Spoilers): On Friday I was both surprised and ecstatic to find an advanced review of Waking Gods, the second book in the Themis Files series, on my doorstep. The preceding novel, Sleeping Giants was one of my favorite books of 2016, as such Neuvel’s follow up book deservedly found its way onto my list of most anticipated releases of 2017. Needless to say, every spare moment of my weekend was spent devouring Waking Gods, which kept me riveted throughout. With that being said, Neuvel’s second novel was incredibly dark compared to its predecessor that had overall feelings of hope in reference to Themis and the newly discovered alien technology. Based on the aforementioned ingrained feeling of trust established by Sleeping Giants, Waking Gods, which takes place ten years in the future, left me with feelings of shock, horror and hopelessness as the creators of Themis make contact with humanity. One can only assume Neuvel must be a Star Wars fan from the many references found throughout the text, as such I found myself drawing a connection between the desperation felt during Empire Strikes Back and this second installment of the Themis Files. Following the same interview/memo format as Sleeping Giants, it took a bit of effort to reingratiate myself to the storyline, however equilibrium is quickly reached with the emergence of familiar characters, such as Kara, Vincent, and the mysterious Interviewer. As in Sleeping Giants, the political repercussions of alien contact and advanced technology continue to be explored, which is an oft neglected concept in science fiction. As the survival of humanity hinges on our favorite team of scientists, the veil of secrecy surrounding the Interviewer and the role of the alien race begins to lift leaving the reader reeling time and time again from unexpected plot twists. Neuvel is a dangerous man wielding a pen with no character truly being safe, as the reader painfully finds out. He must be taking lessons from Mr. Martin. Overall, the Themis Files should be a must read for any science fiction lover, with this second book in the series more than living up to loft expectations as an intense, fast paced, edge of your seat read that will shock over and over again.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
I’ve made the decision to postpone publishing my additional insight until the release date. The spoilers are far too juicy! Please see back on April 4th for my spoiler laden thoughts!
Of note, much to my delight, I must point out that my beloved Detroit Lions proved Neuvel wrong in his Sleeping Giant’s prediction with their presence in the NFL playoffs, although it is debatable as to if they really belonged after the sad end to their season.