Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

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5stars

“Generally speaking, people tend not to question what they’ve been told was true. Scientists are no different; they’ve just been told a lot more things.”

Title: Sleeping Giants
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #1

Number of pages: 304 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The files, the interviews, make you part of the story from the very first page.
Bad things about this book: Can I say the cliffhanger? Maybe not, seeing as the second book is already published.
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you love sci-fi books, there’s no way you’re not going to love this one.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I realized I almost always choose a book or by its cover or by its title. After I make that first choice, let’s say 8 out of 10 times, I’m lucky enough to find that the summary is a perfect mix of everything I enjoy in a book. After that nothing could stop me from buying it right away. That’s what happened with Sleeping Giants, with a tiny little difference: I received the first two books of the series as birthday presents back in November. Free books are the best!

Rose Franklin fell into a hole when she was ten, discovering a glowing giant hand, and her life didn’t change. It did chance almost two decades later when she found herself studying the hand again. She found a way to retrieve all the other pieces of this incredible giant all around the world, realizing it’s impossible humans made it. This discovery will change everything and everyone involved in the project. Why did they find the hand in the first place? Were the pieces put there for them to find when they were ready? What will happen now that they have the complete thing assembled? Is it a weapon?

“This, all that’s happening now, this is your bat mitzvah. You can play with atoms, you can sit with the grown-ups.”
“What does that mean for us?”
“That means you won’t be forgiven for childhood mistakes anymore.”

Told in the form of interviews and journal entries, this book takes you, with a lot of fast forwards, to the events involving the pieces of the statue, the assembling, the understanding of its commands, and the studying of its components. I found that the writing style made it easier to visualize what was going on. Usually the interviews told events already over, but lots were of conversations of planning ahead and insights of the project. Everything could be easily played inside your head like a movie, or maybe some sort of documentary. I got even more involved because it was like I was in the room with them, going through all the facts.

The characters were likeable and hateable; you form your opinions almost right away but that won’t mean you won’t have quite a few surprises along the way. Characters will have your cheer; others will have all the bad karma you can send their way. There are tons of twists, tons I’m telling you. I don’t think I have ever been so unprepared for things to happen. Are you kidding me? How was I supposed to be prepared for that epilogue? Nothing could have prepared me for that and, for it, I’m grateful. I love surprises!

I have now read the summary of Waking Gods and, what can I say, I need to read it as soon as possible. What the hell is going to happen?

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Warcross by Marie Lu

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5stars

Every locked door has a key.
Every problem has a solution.

Title: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Warcross #1
Number of pages: 368 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s intriguing and very well-written: you feel transported into the future.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

When I read this book was somewhat similar to Ready Player One, I knew I was already sold. It has similarities but it was its own creature with its own world and dynamics. One thing I loved a lot was that it took place in Tokyo; I love Japan and, even if I’ve been to Tokyo only twice, I always feel like going back to a familiar place. I’m all in for diverse characters and this book has them; characters from all around the world with different sexualities, all participating to the championship. It’s not difficult, right? It shouldn’t be.

Set in an unknown future, real world runs side by side with the virtual world; a world built by young genius Hideo Tanaka. Hideo Tanaka built glasses that can read your mind, helping you shape the virtual world making it almost impossible to discern it from the real world. When he introduced his invention, he put a game in it, Warcross, meant to help its users get used this new world. Little he knew that Warcross was going to become the number one game on Earth, having its own championship, black market gambling, and a lot more than that.

I found it all fascinating and scary. I, at the same time, can’t wait for that to become our future (just the nice part, obviously) but I’m also afraid it will be the beginning of the end, more than it feels right now. We all know that all that kind of power isn’t good in the hands of human beings. Humans are not the most worthy kind of beings. At all. What to do when things don’t go as they should be? What to do if users bet illegally on the game? Bounty hunters are called. Emika Chen is a bounty hunter and she is struggling, trying her best to pay her debts and her rent in New York. She has 16 dollars in her bank account and is willing to try whatever she can to live.

When you refuse to ask for help, it tells others that they also shouldn’t ask for help from you. That you look down on them for needing your help. That you like feeling superior to them.

One thing lead to another and she finds herself where she isn’t supposed to be, and she is being summoned to Tokyo, meeting her idol Hideo Tanaka, and being thrown into a job that is more than what it seemed at first. Emika is hired to infiltrate the game but she will find herself involved in much more than just a spy hunt. There were a lot of potential suspects. I’m one to suspect almost immediately; I like to point fingers and formulate my theories. I was 100% wrong about one thing, 100% right about another, and 0% expecting what happened in the end.

Death has a terrible habit of cutting through every careful line you’ve drawn between your present and your future.

Emika is a flawed character. She is not a damsel in distress, she doesn’t need to be rescued, she feels often insecure, she throws herself at things bigger than herself, she trusts her instincts, and she doesn’t stop until she solves the problem she is facing. She has been alone since her dad died and she is not used to be a teammate. She will have to learn to be one because she is going to be part of a Warcross team and at the same time she will have to be also a good liar because she has to do the job she was hired to do. I liked Emika a lot. She is a relatable character.

I loved everything that has to do with the virtual reality created by Hideo and I was, at times, quite smitten with him. He is a very intriguing character, hiding a hurtful past behind an ice wall, and having times with his walls down revealing how young he actually is. I was intrigued and, each time he introduced something new about the NeuroLink he created I drowned in each of his words. He charmed his way into my heart. I’m conflicted; he is young and has too much power in his hands. Is it safe? Doesn’t he need more than that? Something more real in the virtual world he created?

“Everything’s science fiction until someone makes it science fact.”

I now find myself waiting for the sequel with much more intensity. It’s harmful to be this impatient. It’s not that I don’t like to wait but when I’m anxious for the release of a book, spoilers happen. When I saw that Warcross was released I was interested; I didn’t buy it right away but waited a few weeks, then I didn’t read it when I got it. This way, I wasn’t extremely involved in the release process so I wasn’t subjected to the spoilers. Now my ears are up, paying maximum attention to news and that will lead to spoilers. I’m 150% sure of it. Let’s have a spoiler free waiting, ok? One can only hope!

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