This is one of those books, much like most of the books that I have read this year in all honesty, that has taken far too long to read. I think I started it back in June or July time. I read the first half super quickly, probably in about a week or so… and then it went on hold for a long time. I’m not sure what happened, but it did. I managed to pick it up again this week and finish the remainder of the book. Please remember in reading this that this is the second in a series and as such there maybe some spoilers ahead, more so for the first book than the second, but yeah, you’ve been warned.
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 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.
This book took the action up a notch from the first one. There was definitely a lot more action in this one than in the previous as we travelled from scientific intrigue to alien war. The first book was much about finding and assembling Themis, and the fallout when the rest of the world found out. About creating the EDC and about how and what Themis would do for the planet. The second was about the coming of the Martians… oh wait, sorry… wrong book. The second book was about the coming of the aliens that would become the harbinger of doom for the whole planet.
There were a lot of questions answered from the first book such as just who is the narrator – this man of power and influence who could organise and be involved with so many people from so many organisations. Who this new Rose Franklin is, what Alyssa’s research led to. And just what did the aliens want?
Alright so let’s just say that so much happens in this book, yet at the same time because of the narration style it feels like we’re a bit removed from it happening. Millions of people are killed and it’s told in a very matter of fact way that you don’t necessarily feel the horror of a very vast amount of people being wiped out in approximately 20 minutes flat. Some of the main characters meet rather sticky ends but again you don’t really feel the impact of that as you would in the same way if you were reading a first or third person narration. But it works here. A few times I did have to question myself as to what had just happened, but it does work.
Was it as good as the first?
I would say yes, it was. The narration style is unique, and whilst sometimes it makes it hard to read any tonal differentiation in the characters, it tells the story and it is surprisingly vivid too. My favourite character didn’t make it to the end, but I’m okay with that. She did good. I liked the new characters introduced and hopefully will get to see more fo them in the next book – which I’ve picked up straight away and hopefully really won’t take me quite so long to read.
As a quick aside: I think the other thing that I’ve perhaps found hard to focus on in this one is the time scales that things happen in. In the first I think it happened over the course of many years. This one picks up I think 10? years after the first one and then is resolved over a few days… I think. I’ve definitely found this aspect the hardest to keep up with.
The ending though to this super intense invasion… I did think it was a bit silly. But I’ll let you read that out for yourselves.
Have you read ‘Waking Gods’? If so, what did you think? What did you think of the first one?