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Waking Gods Summary & Study Guide

Sylvain Neuvel
This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Waking Gods.
This section contains 700 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Waking Gods Summary & Study Guide Description

Waking Gods Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel.

The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Neuvel, Sylvain. Waking Gods. Del Rey, 2017.

A giant alien robot appears in Regent’s Park. This robot forms a disc of light that destroys half of London. Kara Resnik and Vincent Couture are famed members of the Earth Defense Corps (EDC) and pilots of Themis, the alien robot that humans discovered and learned to control. Kara and Vincent transport Themis to London and attack the other robot. Kara shoots a giant crater in the ground, which makes both Themis and the other robot fall inside. This tight space deactivates the alien robot’s defense shield, allowing Themis to cut into and defeat the robot. Celebrating their victory while stuck in the hole in the ground, Vincent proposes to Kara.

One year later, Themis disappears while Vincent is inside the robot. Alyssa Papantoniou, a former geneticist for the EDC crew, tells the unnamed interviewer who has been documenting the events of the series that, 10 years ago, she arranged for Kara and Vincent’s egg and sperm samples to be used in a fertility clinic and now there is a 10-year-old girl in Puerto Rico with their genes who may be able to pilot Themis. Ryan Mitchell, a former pilot for Themis, writes a letter to Kara explaining the existence of her daughter. This news prompts Kara to run away to Puerto Rico to retrieve her child. Meanwhile, a total of 13 alien robots appear in different major cities throughout Earth, including one that appears in the same location in London as the year prior.

Vincent figures out how to make Themis teleport. The interviewer tells Vincent about his daughter and that Kara ran off to find her. In London, the alien robot emits a white gas that instantly kills four million people, but has no effect on a small portion of humans. This robot disappears from London after the attack and reappears in Madrid. Shortly after, the other 12 robots all begin emitting the fatal gas. The Spanish government has NATO bomb the city of Madrid before the robot can attack. In EDC Headquarters in New York City, lead scientist Dr. Rose Franklin and the interviewer discuss the recent attacks. Meanwhile, an alien robot lands in Central Park and emits the fatal gas. The interviewer tells Rose his life story, as the gas approaches the room they are in. The interviewer dies when the gas reaches him, but Rose remains alive. Meanwhile, Kara returns to New York with Eva and introduces Vincent to their daughter. They attempt to climb into Themis to escape the deadly gas, but Kara sacrifices herself to ensure that Vincent and Eva survive.

Rose inherits the interviewer’s role of documenting the Themis files. Eva wants to learn to pilot Themis, but Vincent refuses to teach her. Then, he reads a letter that Kara wrote before she died, telling him not to become someone he is not once he becomes a father. This message changes Vincent’s mind and he begins to teach Eva how to control Themis.

Rose realizes that nearly all humans are related to alien descendants that lived on Earth 3,000 years ago. She predicts that the robots have been trying to eliminate their kind from Earth, by using the gas that should affect only those with alien genetics, but then stopped when they noticed that they were killing so many humans. She plans to show the alien robots that humans can create new innovations without using any technology from the past 3,000 years. She approaches the alien robot in New York with a bacteria superbug that can affect the metal of the robot armor. However, Eva has a vision that Rose’s plan will not work, so she and Vincent teleport Themis to New York to try to save Rose. The bacteria cause the alien robot’s legs to power down and fall off. All of the robots appear in New York and then disappear. To celebrate their victory, the members of the EDC gather for a party in Themis. While they are all inside the robot, Themis turns on and Eva notices that they are no longer on Earth.

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