Book Reviews

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel

If you fall in love with someone, there’s a good chance the person won’t love you back. Hatred, though, is usually mutual. If you despise someone, it’s pretty much a given they’re also not your biggest fan.

Well, I fell in love with this book. It started off slow but then it grabbed me in a whirlpool and I could not escape. It’s got everything a true sci-fi fan will love! Massive mecha robots, buried secrets from an ancient and possible alien civilisation, science and military battles between countries. It’s an unusal book in the sense that it’s been written as a series of reports and interviews numbered ascending but with missing pieces. The most important pieces at least.

It all starts with an US Government project that uncovers a piece of a foot buried deep underground which reacts to iridium – a very rare heavy metal. Using this, they identify a hand with long slender fingers, legs, arms, a torso and eventually a head. All the pieces form a huge (gigantic actually) figure of a female warrior armed with a shield and sword. They call her Themis.

Themis was one of the Titans, daughter of Uranus and Gaea. She was the human-like representation of the natural and moral order. The name derives from the Greek word meaning that which is current and contemporary. According to Hesiod, she was the second wife of Zeus, a marriage that helped the supreme Olympian to stabilise his power over all gods and humans. also represents the law and undisputed order, the divine right. She was the goddess that created the divine laws that govern everything and are even above gods themselves. In general, Themis had three subsistences; goddess of natural order, which manifested through the Hores (the Hours), meaning the seasonal and never-ceasing rotation of time; goddess of moral order, manifested through Eunomia (fair order), Deke (trial) and Erene (peace), which were the utmost characteristics of the society, and through the Moires, which represented the destiny of every human being; and finally, goddess of prophecy, shown through the Nymphs, as well as the virgin Astraea.