Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
[Rating: 3.5 stars]
A daring sequel to a thrilling first novel, however slightly inferior. Second book syndrome, or perhaps not enough spent with my favorite character may contribute to my indifferent to this continuation.
Plot-wise it's absolutely fascinating and was moving along quite rapidly. Planet Earth is being invaded by more and more of these "alien robots" that are threatening the very international safety. Chaos ensues and the storyline goes from there, involving all of the same characters that were featured in the first book.
There was more of a sense of deathly urgency, which of curse ensured that there was a decrease in solid character development that I was desperate to see. However this (endearing) train wreck didn't keep my on my toes. I think that the author tried, and quite frankly failed at creating that authentic urgency that's needed in this thriller-esque thing. The format stays exactly the same as it was in the first installment (interviews and short diary entries) however because of certain event and the need for more narratives to fully flesh out the character.
Funny, I expected this alternative world to expand, but instead I felt like it was narrowing. We spend a significant among time solving mysteries in the details of under the microscope and examining DNA. Sure, there were some profound passages that explore the idea of space, infinity, etc. just as could have been expected from Neuvel.
(view spoiler)[My main problem is that there was emotional distance. Without giving too much, in the world millions of people are dying, and I just didn't seem to care. Major characters also died, and I just kept on going, not really being affected in any way as a reader with the enormous amounts of death and destruction that was sown everywhere. I don't know, maybe the birdseye just wasn't enough for me here, I wanted the author to make these main characters more approachable. (hide spoiler)]
Lastly the ending: omg! Neuvel really has a knack for writing abstract cliffhangers. Not only did you not expect them, but they are completely out of the world of things that happened; that they change the playing board completely. I'm expecting that this is a set-up for the third installment.
**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**
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