I read the first book from the Themis Files trilogy a while back, and I might’ve said (or I might not) that it’s one of the writing styles you either get on with … or you don’t.
The book picks up ten years after Sleeping Giants left off; the giant robot left by an alien race, and commandeered by a collective of Earth’s scientists and the military, has become something of a global celebrity (parades, tours, that kind of thing …), though very little is known about the race that created of this.
And this lack of knowledge becomes a bit of a stumbling block when another robot appears in the middle of London, and lays waste to half the city within the space of a minute. And from then on, it just gets worse: twelve more giant robots materialise in the most densely populated cities on the planet, while key members of the planetary defence force struggle to mount a response …
Like Book #1, Waking Gods is told through a series of reports, conversations, email messages between two (sometimes three – which can get confusing people), news broadcasts, even chatroom messages. This sometimes makes it hard work to keep track of what’s going on, but it does make it feel as though you’re right in the thick of it with the characters. There are no descriptions of surroundings, no omniscient viewpoint to tell you how the characters are feeling; but that doesn’t seem to make it any less of a great read. Some of the dialogue comes across as unrealistic because every so often, the reader needs something explaining that you character wouldn’t take time to do if the world was coming to an end.
Likewise, sometimes I missed exactly what was happening because there was no description of what the person was actually doing, just the dialogue while he/she is doing it. Fortunately, the next chapter usually clues you in to the outcome.
As I said, this kind of writing is an acquired taste, and since this is the 2nd book from the series that I’ve read, then it’s a safe bet that I’ve acquired it. I dunno, there is something experiencing the affect that an invasion has on individuals rather than a global-spanning perspective … seems to give events a strangely intimate sense of terror.
Very cleverly done.