Waking Gods is the sequel to Sleeping Giants. For anyone who missed the first book, the premise is that a young girl discovers the hand of a giant alien robot. The story picks up years later when the girl – now a grown woman – studies the robot, eventually finding more pieces scattered around the world. The balance of that book concerned finding pilots to operate the robot and then figuring out how the controls work.

This second book follows the same cast of characters as more alien robots materialize in population centers world-wide. I like to avoid spoilers, so I’ll just leave it at that.

In my review of Sleeping Giants I was pretty critical of the interviewer character who drives most of the narrative. In that book, I found him annoying. In this book, he’s been toned down a bit – this time around he didn’t seem so much of a cliche.

That’s not to say there aren’t still some weaknesses in the writing. Neuvel still has a tendency to info dump (one dying character goes out in a blaze of backstory), though it is much less obvious. The author is not shy about killing off characters – not bringing this up as a criticism, just an observation.

I gave the first book three stars on Goodreads, with the strong premise being offset by the weaknesses in the writing. While the writing still lags behind the premise in Waking Gods, the gap between the two has narrowed. I gave this book four stars, and if the trend continues, the third book in the series could do even better.