More answers and more mysteries – Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Uncategorized

Rose Franklin died. But now she’s alive again, and not sure how, or how she feels about it. Meanwhile the world situation since the rebuilding of the alien being she found as a child has become far more serious. More and more of them are appearing on earth, and there is nothing except the original robot that can even try to stop them. And a little girl called Eva Reyes is having nightmares, and Kara Resnik and Vincent Couture have found a hard worn happiness, which is about to be tested again…

The conspiracy laden, sci-fi apocalyptic series continues with another book full of mystery, danger and personal stories set against a huge threat to the world. Having been fairly bemused by the first book I nevertheless felt it was worth another try – and found more answers than I was expecting. I have no idea how many books are going to be in the series, but this book packs no punches in racing forward with the plot. For me, it was probably an experience in intrigue more than enjoyment.

The narration continues on the same trend: we view the world through interviews from our unnamed interviewer. But the rigidity and formalism of the first book begins to disintegrate: as the certainty of knowledge in the power of the world dissolves so too do the power structures that control everything. This allows us to see a little more between the cracks; to know our investigator a bit more.

Things are still very mysterious. Though huge discoveries are made through the novel, there is still so much unknown. It is probably the chief draw of the series: unlike a classic story like this where the heroes discover the secrets just in time to save the day, here humanity faces a civilisation so so far advanced that it is left scrabbling for answers. It’s certainly an interesting story to tell.

The contrast of the smallness of the world that we are allowed into: the few characters whose lives we follow, and the enormity of what is happening to the world, serves to create an almost claustrophobic intensity. This, too, increases the draw of the book.

I left the first book a little confused and unsure. I can’t say that things have massively changed since reading the second, and I certainly won’t be chasing the next (last?) book down, but I suspect I will read it, just to find out what on or off earth is going on…

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