Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Sleeping Giants
Author: 
Sylvain Neuvel
Series Name: 
Themis Files
Genre: 
Adult Sci-Fi
Publication Date: Oct 20th, 2016
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Del Rey
Rating:
4 and a half star

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The Themis Files is a deeply human story about a world-changing alien discovery.

17 years ago, a young girl named Rose fell through the ground in the Black Hills and found herself in an underground chamber filled with gleaming symbols, lying in the palm of a giant metal hand. Now a physicist, Rose leads a research team struggling to determine the hand’s origins. When another giant limb is discovered, she quickly devises a method for unearthing the hidden pieces, convinced there is an entire body out there waiting to be found.

Halfway around the globe, Kara watches helplessly as her helicopter shuts down over a pistachio field in Turkey. That’ll leave a mark, but she’s about to crash her way into what might be the greatest endeavor in human history.

This is a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts. Written as a series of interview transcripts, journal entries and mission logs, The Themis Files tells the tale of a handful of people whose lives are inexorably linked by the discovery of an alien device and the commotion that follows.

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This review doesn’t follow my normal format as originally it was meant to be a mini spoiler-free review but I’m now at around my normal word count for book reviews so I took ‘mini’ out of the title haha.

This book was the right amount of interesting and insane and I absolutely loved it! The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is because I am giving book 2 & 3 the option to be even better!

Firstly, I HIGHLY recommend the audiobook. That is how I consumed this book and it is extremely well done, with a cast of voice narrators. This book is set out similar to The Illuminae Files meaning that it isn’t told in novel form but in a dossier of documents. I have spoken to some people that said they couldn’t get into this book because of this format. So for that, the audiobook is awesome. I don’t think I would have had a trouble with the physical book myself as I jumped straight into The Illuminae Files with no issue at all, so I don’t think this type of format bothers me.

I have no idea how but this book made me emotional from very early in the book. I didn’t know these characters, I didn’t know these people,  I didn’t know this world but I found myself tearing up at 16% into it! Also, teared up in two other stages of the book, but at this point, I was starting to know these characters and care. But that first time actually shocked me. I don’t generally cry or tear up in books except for absolute favourites like Harry Potter, The Illuminae Files, The Medoran Chronicles, etc. and it is never in the first book, it is usually a book or two into a series I am loving and really care about the characters that this happens. Oh and also World War 2 Historical Fictions, but who doesn’t get emotional with those, it’s fucking reality, anyway. This book is neither but something about it got to me. I don’t know why but damn.

The plot of this book was so good. There were so many shocking things that happened that it always keeps you guessing.

Because of how this book is set out we get to know the characters very well and I loved all of them except two which you aren’t meant to like. I still think their character was done well, but that doesn’t mean I like them.
*This is going to be tricky as I listened to the audiobook and don’t have a physical book, so I am just guessing spelling here. Usually, I check the Goodreads Synopsis for spelling but only Rose is mentioned there. *
Okay, so I will start with Rose. She was probably the one we connect to least as she doesn’t have as many conversations as the others. But I really liked her. For some reason, I am picturing her like the old girl from the movie Paul, Tara Walton.
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I don’t know why because Rose isn’t even old. She is in her 30s apparently. But she just feels like a protective mother figure of sorts. Then there is also the similarities that both Tara & Rose find an alien something when they were a kid and then get reunited later in life. Anyway, I don’t really know why but that is who I picture as Rose haha. Besides that I like that she is smart, she questions things, she is protective and caring.
Next, we have Kara who is totally me! She is sarcastic, bitchy, doesn’t like being told what to do and doesn’t appreciate when people keep her in the dark. I absolutely love Kara, she is my soul sister but with fighting skills haha.
Next, Vincent, I didn’t love him at the start but grew to like him. He is intelligent, caring and determined.
Then we have the unnamed guy that kinda runs the show & is generally the one asking the questions in the discussions throughout the book. At the start, I didn’t like him either. It annoyed me that he never explained anything, but I came to realise the mystery is part of the book. Also, he is kinda cruel but I came to really enjoy him. He is resourceful, sarcastic without it seeming like sarcasm, he is smart and usually 5 steps ahead of everyone & he does end up caring about his team.
Elisa Papantonio (I have no idea if that is how it is spelt! If you have the physical book please let me know!) is the next one I will briefly talk about. I don’t want to spoil anything but this character is one that I do not like, even in the beginning I just couldn’t stand her personality and how she spoke about the project and the other characters.  Also, she reminded me of another movie character. This one I partial guess why but I won’t explain, I just wanted to share. She reminds me of Doctor Poison from the new Wonder Woman movie.
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Overall I really enjoyed this book. I love the characters and feel a connection with them. The plot & world is very interesting and I love learning about it. Also, I really enjoy the format of the book too. I think the dossier of documents is awesome. Lastly, the audiobook is awesome! Full cast narration and this format is a recipe for a perfect audiobook.

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

You can purchase this book at any of the below links!
*There is an alternate cover for this book. The ones with this other cover will have a * next to the link – The Alternate cover is shown below*

Book Depository (Worldwide Free Shipping)
Paperback   /   Hardcover*

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Amazon
eBook   /   Hardcover*   /   Paperback

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Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

Purchase any of the books mentioned from Book Depository! World Wide Free Shipping.

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Audiobook Reccomendations!

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I love audiobooks & I listen to them all the time! I’ve listened to close to 100 audiobooks, so I think I have a fair selection to choose from. So here is my audiobook recommendations!!

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

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Of course, Harry Potter had to hit the top of this list! Not only are the books themselves amazing, the narration by Stephen Fry is perfect! He is an extremely good voice actor and can do a TONNE of different voices for each of the characters in HP and somehow keep those same voices up for the entire series.

This was one of the first audiobooks that I listened to that had a full cast of voice actors. These audiobooks are amazing! They have a full cast, sound effects, music and heaps more that makes in an incredible reading experience. And also The Illuminae Files are just an amazing series to begin with.
*Just a warning here. If you only listen to the audiobook you will miss the visual aspects of maps, drawings, etc that are present in the physical book. So I highly recommend using the audiobooks as a reread or flip along with the physical/eBook while listening even if it isn’t every page, just flip through every now and then to see what visuals you missed.*

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THIS AUDIOBOOK!!! If you are a Harry Potter fan YOU NEED to listen to this audiobook. The beginning of the book follows exactly what is said in the physical book, but then at the end, there is exclusive content and it is amazing! Wanna hear Ginny Potter commentating at the 2014 Quidditch World Cup while Rita Skeeter tries to get the latest gossip on Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Ron, Neville, Luna & all their families?!!? Then you need to listen to this audiobook. It was amazing and I loved getting that tiny snippet into Harry’s world well after the events of the Deathly Hallows

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I know these first 3 are all Harry Potter related but they really are amazing audiobooks! This one is narrated by the actor that plays Newt Scamander in the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Eddie Redmayne. Also, it is full of sound effects and awesome facts about the fantastical creatures in the wizarding world of Harry Potter

These books are amazing & the audiobooks are really well done! It seriously felt like I was listening to this book happen through a closed door. I couldn’t see it, but it felt real. The narrator is amazing and Audrey Rose is an amazing female MC!

These are a fun action-packed middle-grade series filled with books, fun & facts. It is literally set in a library with a crazy game/video game maker! I absolutely adored this series and the audiobook definitely added to the enjoyment!

This Duology is full of badass female pirates & sirens. What more could you want? I also really liked the narrator of this series and there was actual good singing for the siren song parts. Not just some narrator attempting to sing (Do not listen to The Raven Cycle on audiobook unless you want horrible singing!)

Basically, anything Agatha Christie that is narrated by Hugh Fraser is really good! I love Agatha Christie books but there is a shit tonne of them! So when I found a lot of them on Scribd I dived straight in and haven’t looked back. The narration is really good and you know basically all of the stories are amazing (Except Endless Night, just don’t even go there unless you want 80% romance & 10% mystery & 10% physiological I don’t know what!)

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My goodness, this book was so good! I don’t know why but I love mystery/Thrillers on audiobook. This is apparently a YA Thriller, at the time I just kinda thought mystery but thriller works too. I knew nothing going into this except I had heard it talked about a couple times and I was not disappointed!

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If you want a heartbreaking WW2 story that was amazingly done on audiobook then this is your one! This book follows the POV of 4 MCs and has 4 voice actors to fill those positions. All 4 voice actors also have appropriate accents. I’m not 100% sure if the accents are correct to the character they are representing as I’m not good with picking accents. But it made it feel all the more real. I had to pause this audiobook multiple times because I was crying and just couldn’t pay attention. It is so well done and I HIGHLY recommend it.

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So I haven’t listened to Crooked Kingdoms yet but I just got it from Audible this week and will try and get to it very soon as I am concentrating on LGBT+ books in June for a couple events and Crooked Kingdoms has LGBT apparently.
However, I have listened to Six of Crows and it was so damn good. It is another one with multiple voice actors for the multiple POV the book follows. I suggest moving up the speed on this one as it is so action-packed that it drove me insane when it was at normal speed as I just needed to know what would happen next and it wasn’t happening fast enough!

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This is an adult fantasy that is very character driven. As this is less about the plot and more about the characters I think I would have found it boring if I was physically reading it, but the audiobook was great. I love the group of character we meet in this book, there are tonnes of different species found in this book and they were all soo interesting.
I haven’t finished the audiobooks for the second book, A Closed and Common Orbit, but I did start it. Each book in this series is a companion book and follows a different MC and I just couldn’t connect with the new MC, however, I do want to give it another go as book 3, Record of a Spaceborn Few, is out in the next month and I am keen for it.

These two aren’t the same series but they are both by Ernest Cline and both spectacularly narrated by Wil Wheaton. Wil is the perfect voice for these gaming/sci-fi heavy books. I also just really enjoyed both of them. I love reading books about gaming and both of these have that. Ready Player One is set in and outside a virtual reality game. The creator has died and left eggs throughout the virtual reality world for players to find. The one to find them all the first gets ownership of the game and the creator’s fortune. Armada is where video games come to life when the government use the ideas from video games and brings in the best players around to pilot real-life versions of the battle spaceships in games to save the earth. Think the movie Pixels but with no vintage games. Both of these books are hectic and action-packed. Ready Player One is also full of pop culture hints.

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

Well, that is all the ones I can think of right now but I am always listening to new ones so I will do an updated version in a few months time.

Lizaxx1

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Wayward Children Series Audiobook Review & Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire – Mini Spoiler Free Review

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Okay, so this post will be a little all over the place. First I just want to do an overall review of the audiobooks for Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones & Beneath the Sugar Sky.

All three books were narrated by different people. Every Heart a Doorway is narrated by Cynthia Hopkins,  Down Among the Sticks and Bones is narrated by the author, Seanan McGuire & Beneath the Sugar sky is narrated by Michelle Dockrey.
So because of that I can’t really do an overall opinion of all of them as they were all slightly different.

My least favourite was actually Down Among the Sticks and Bones narrated by the author. I personally didn’t love her voices for some of the characters, mostly the Doctor. She used this creepy husky whisper and it was very off-putting. This was a reread for me and I enjoyed the Doctor when reading the physical book, but with that voice it just made him feel like the creep. Down Among the sticks and Bones is also my least favourite out of the series so far and the narration didn’t help with that.

Now onto a more positive note. I really enjoyed the narration for Every Heart a Doorway, especially the narration for Kade, his voice just sounded like what it was meant to. He has a thick accent and when reading in my head I just didn’t give him that, but with the narration it was great.  I honestly think the audiobook helped me like him a lot more than I did when I first read the book too. My first opinion was he was kinda boring, but now I quite enjoy him. Overall Cynthia’s narration was really good and matched well with the narrator of the last book, whereas Seanan McGuire’s narration really stood out as not as good as the others.

Next onto an even more positive note. I loved the last book! I will talk more about why in my mini spoiler free review below but I really enjoyed the narration. Michelle Dockery did a great job! Her voices were really good!

I highly recommend the audiobooks of this series, even if I didn’t love book 2. The other two make up for it and maybe you won’t have an issue with Seanan’s narration as much as I did.

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

Now onto the spoiler free review of Beneath the Sugar Sky!! I’m not doing a full review as it will start to get spoilery to the other books discussing certain characters. Especially when some of the Wayward Children’s series are in the past and some in the future, so everything adds up and you just need to read it all!

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Title: Beneath the Sugar Sky
Author: 
Seanan McGuire
Series Name: 
Wayward Children
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Jan 9th, 2018
Pages: 174 (Hardback)
Publishers: Tor
Rating:
5 star

Goodreads Synopsis

Beneath the Sugar Sky returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world.

Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.

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You can find my review for Every Heart a Doorway HERE & Down Among the Sticks and Bones HERE!

If you can’t tell by my rating, this is my favourite out of the series so far! This one was just so fun and adventurous! I also really enjoyed seeing 2 new worlds that we haven’t explored before! I also loved that we got to see some of the characters that I love. I enjoyed Every Heart a Doorway because of the school and the idea of the doors and the magical and amazing worlds they lead to. Even though we did see that in Down Among the Sticks and Bones it left me underwhelmed as the world wasn’t actually explained or explored. So I didn’t get what I wanted. In this one, however, we got to explore 2 new worlds that we did get to learn a bit about, one more than the other, but it was still really interesting and fun. Especially learning about Sumi’s candy land world! Reminds me of Wreck it Ralph to be honest, but it was so fun.

This book just has everything! Awesome character, amazing worlds and unique ideas. It made me both laugh and tear up at different points!

I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to continue the series! I hope the next one is just as adventurous as this one was! I haven’t read a synopsis but by how this one ended I have a fair guess of who it will be about! I hope I’m right!

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

You can purchase Beneath the Sugar Sky at the links below!

Book Depository
Hardback

Booktopia
Hardback

Amazon (Aus)
eBook   //    Hardback

If you’re Aussie you can also get the first three books in the series on audiobook as part of a Scribd membership! Scribd is awesome! You pay around $13 (AUD) a month and get unlimited access to all the eBooks and audiobooks on their app! It is available in other parts of the world too, however, I don’t know if the Wayward Children’s books are available as there are different books available to different countries.

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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