how would you feel if giant robot parts were found scattered across the earth?

sleeping giants by sylvain neuvel

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

This story begins when a young girl, Rose, wakes up from a biking accident in the middle of a giant metal hand. Fast forward a few years, and adult Rose finds herself involved in the study of this artifact, trying to discover where it came from and what it can do. She becomes part of a small team, led by a mysterious nameless benefactor, to put the pieces together–in more ways than one.

Recommended if you like:

  • robots and science
  • mixed format stories
  • intrigue and mystery of the sci-fi variety

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My Spoiler-Free Review

What an intriguing concept for a story! I just love sci-fi books that I could picture happening right here and now. This means not so heavy on the aliens and space, and more of a focus on weirdness happening here on Earth. So interesting.

This book is short and fast-paced, a very quick read. The story is told through interviews, journal entries, and various reports. Because of this, there’s lots of scientific jargon and little world-building. Expect to skim over some of the complexities yet find yourself wishing for more depth at the same time.

The cast of characters is certainly interesting as well. We have a small team working in close quarters on this project, and that creates some interesting dynamics and surprisingly quite a bit of tension. While I expected the plot of this book to be more driven by the discovery of the robot, it actually focused a lot more (than I expected, anyway) on the drama between the characters.

The writing is hard to comment on because it was written in such a different way. Neuvel managed to really capture the way people talk, and the interviews came across so naturally. Though I didn’t listen to the audiobook, I have a feeling it must be stellar. However, I did wish for more description and overall world-building. I felt the story lacked depth and impact overall.

Will I continue the series? Probably. But I’m in no rush.

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Have you read Sleeping Giants? What did you think of it? Leave your thoughts below!

Until next time,
Brianne

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book review | the long way to a small, angry planet by becky chambers

the long way to a small, angry planet by becky chambers

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Captain Ashby Santoso leads a misfit crew on his spaceship, the Wayfarer, in this heartwarming sci-fi novel. The crew journeys to a far off land to create a new wormhole, and in the process learn more about each other, create connections, explore new planets, and face challenging trials. They come out of it for the better, and readers will too.

Recommended if you like:

  • diverse space characters
  • character-driven books
  • heartwarming sci-fi reads

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My Spoiler-Free Review

I had seen a lot of hype for this book before I read it, which is why I gave in and bought it. (It is now the most gorgeous book on my shelf so even if I hated it, I still wouldn’t regret the purchase.) And it lived up to the hype!

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just sooooo pretty *heart eyes*

You need to understand what kind of book it is before you go into it, though. It’s slow, not high-action, and definitely character-driven. It’s not boring by any means, but I know that I, perhaps like many others, have to be in the right mood for slower books. If you go into this expecting a really exciting, high-paced space story, that’s not what you’re going to get. You are, however, going to get a heartwarming, funny, touching, sweet, thought-provoking read.

My likes

I’m not one to get worked up over lack of diversity in books (most of the time), but the diversity among characters was the biggest highlight of this book. We not only have diversity in terms of age, gender, sexuality, and identity, but also species. I mean, this is a science fiction book. Weirdly enough, in sci-fi novels we don’t always see diversity in terms of species within the main characters. In this novel, we have three main characters out of seven who aren’t human.

And if you’re like me and a little unsure about those characters of different species, just give them a chance. Becky Chambers writes these characters so excellently. It’s impossible not to connect and empathize with every one of them. They all have unique quirks, backgrounds, motivations, and struggles. And they are a joy to get to know.

That’s what this book really boils down to for me–it is just a joyful, fun, warm and fuzzy read. I dare you to pick this up and not feel warm inside by the end.

My not so likes

As mentioned before, this book is slow-paced. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it did take me some time to get into it. I do much better with fast-paced novels, so working up the motivation to stick with something slower can be hard for me. I set the book down a few times before coming back to it and finishing it within a day or two, once I finally got into it.

On a related note, I wished the climax had been a bit more…climactic, if you will. And I wish the plot had built toward it a little more. It was all a bit sudden, which was weird given the slow pace.

Overall

Everyone could get something out of this book. Even if you don’t usually read sci-fi, give this one a chance! My guess is you won’t regret it.

Wayfarer crew by SebasP
art by SebasP

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Have you read The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet? What did you think of it? Leave your thoughts below!

Until next time,
Brianne