Sleeping Giants

Sleeping Giants

Book one of the Themis Files

“This stellar debut novel … masterfully blends together elements of sci-fi, political thriller and apocalyptic fiction." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in the cutting-edge cadences of interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a literary thriller fueled by a quest for truth, and by a struggle for control of earthshaking power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved - the object's origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand's code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What's clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history's most perplexing discovery, and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

Sleeping Giants was published in April 2016 by Del Rey (Random House) in North-America.


Waking Gods Waking Gods

Book two of the Themis Files

“In a word, unputdownable." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

In the gripping sequel to Sleeping Giants, which was hailed by Pierce Brown as “a luminous conspiracy yarn . . . reminiscent of The Martian and World War Z,” Sylvain Neuvel’s innovative series about human-alien contact takes another giant step forward.

As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she’s dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers—and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer now than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.

Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars.

You can order Waking Gods right now using the links below.

Only Human

Only Human

Book three of the Themis Files

“Packing a surprisingly powerful thematic punch, this novel is an addictive blend of science fiction, apocalyptic thriller, and chillingly timely cautionary tale. Two (giant, robotic) thumbs up!" —Kirkus Reviews

World War Z meets The Martian in the explosive follow-up to Sleeping Giants ("One of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory"--NPR) and Waking Gods ("Pure, unadulterated literary escapism"--Kirkus Reviews).

In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. And she must pick up the pieces of the Earth Defense Corps as her own friends turn against each other.

Only Human was published on May 1st, 2018 by Del Rey (Random House) in North-America.


What people are saying

“Reminiscent of The Martian and World War Z, Sleeping Giants is a luminous conspiracy yarn that shoots for (and lands among) the stars.” —Pierce Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising

“First-time novelist Sylvain Neuvel does a bold, splashy cannonball off the high dive with Sleeping Giants. It bursts at the seams with big ideas and the questions they spawn—How much human life is worth sacrificing in the pursuit of scientific progress? Can humanity be trusted with weapons of ultimate destruction? And the biggest: Are we alone? But all that really matters is that this book is a sheer blast from start to finish. I haven’t had this much fun reading in ages.” —Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter and the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy



four stars

"This stellar debut novel—revolving around a top-secret project to assemble the ancient body parts of a giant humanoid relic buried throughout the world by aliens—masterfully blends together elements of sci-fi, political thriller and apocalyptic fiction."

"Because the novel is narrated through a series of interviews, personal journals and mission logs, the grand-scale storyline immediately becomes intimate as readers experience the historic events through the eyes of characters ..."

"Like the giant alien artifact in the story, this novel is so much more than the sum of its parts—a page-turner of the highest order!"

Read the full review on

Publishers Weekly

"[A] fascinating first novel..."

"Neuvel develops several interesting characters, particularly Franklin and cranky pilot Kara Resnik. Even the anonymous interviewer, by turns enigmatic and supportive, holds the reader’s attention."

"... this intriguing tale is entirely worthy of an adult audience."

Read the full review on

Library Journal

Starred review, Debut of the month

“A remarkable debut”

"Reminiscent of Max Brooks’s World War Z, the story’s format effectively builds suspense."

Read the full review on


Order now! Choose one of the formats below

Waking Gods, Book II of the Themis Files

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WH Smith

Only Human, Book III of the Themis Files

The Lost Files

Found in a secret government bunker, the Lost Files are a series of free, unpublished chapters that aren't essential to understanding the Themis FIles but add detail to the story.

Warning: You won't find these chapters in the books. Each is set at a different time and contains spoilers for what precedes it. Be sure to check the file's description before reading.

FILE 002

File 002

This chapter is set moments before the events of Sleeping Giants. While it does not contain spoilers, we recommend you finish the first book before reading it.

Download here in PDF, EPUB, or MOBI.

FILE 247

File 247

The events depicted in this chapter take place roughly in the middle of the first book and so it contains spoilers for the first half.

To read after Sleeping Giants, preferably before Waking Gods.

Download here in PDF, EPUB, or MOBI.

FILE 1743

File 1743

A bridge chapter set some years after the end of Waking Gods, before the beginning of Only Human.

Obviously, this one is packed with spoilers. You absolutely should not read this until you have read the first two books.

Download here in PDF, EPUB, or MOBI.

FILE 2491

File 2491


Seriously, don't even think about reading this if you haven't read Only Human. Consider yourself warned.

Download here in PDF, EPUB, or MOBI.

In the News


About the Author

Sylvain Neuvel

Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India, and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator, though he wishes he were an astronaut. He likes to tinker, dabbles in robotics and is somewhat obsessed with Halloween. He absolutely loves toys; his girlfriend would have him believe that he has too many, so he writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course). Find out more at

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