Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Book Review: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Book Review: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Published: September 15, 2020

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 878

Synopsis: Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds. Now she's awakened a nightmare. During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she's delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn't at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.

While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity's greatest and final hope...

Thoughts: Wow. So, it's been some time since I've read such an epically long book. Many years, in fact. It's a commitment to read such a long book, you know? And this book took me awhile to read -- almost two and a half months. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it, because I did, just that my reading has mostly been limited to before bed, which inherently leads me to fall asleep.

Anyway, enough of that. Let's get on to the book! Paolini is known for having previously written the Eragon book series, which I thought was good for a time, and then kind of ended not as great as I had been hoping. His writing, to me, just wasn't that amazing and was amateurish at times. But that is definitely not the case here! It's very clear that Paolini has matured as a writer. If you asked me whether I thought this book was written by the same person, I'd probably say no. I went into it wondering if his writing style would have changed, and I was pleasantly surprised. 

Now, as I said, this book is long. But it's a complete story! This isn't the first book in a planned series (at least not for now), so you're not committing yourself to multiple huge tomes. In reading the afterword, he wrote it with the intention that each part of the book (three) were meant to sort of represent a trilogy, which totally makes sense. 

So I've been pretty effusive so far, so why does this book get a 4/5 and not a 5/5? I think for me, personally, I just have a hard time caring about a lot of straight action. While I understand that battles are often necessary to stories, that's where I get super bored and just wish those battles would be over. There are a few different battle-type sequences in this book, and those just lost my interest a bit. It also felt like a very technical book at times. It was very much embedded in the science part of science fiction. It definitely showed that he did a lot of homework to make this book feel realistic. But, at the same time, I felt like it could've used a little more emotion. While I liked Kira as a character, I also felt a little removed from her at times, if that makes sense. 

In any event, if you're a science fiction fan, you'll likely enjoy this. If you aren't, you might not, as again it is very much science fiction and not fantasy.

Rating: 4/5

Buy on Amazon 

What I'm Reading Next: Recursion by Blake Crouch

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  1. I'm looking forward to reading this, but the length is a bit intimidating. It seems like a good one to take on vacation... Whenever those happen again. :)

    1. Yeah I think I went in not knowing the length and then was like why is the % on my kindle going up so slowly... then realized it was over 800 pages. I'm not sure I would've read it right now if I had known! But I'm glad I did, so there's that. :)