Title: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
Author: Christopher Paolini
Publication Date: 2020
Publishing House: Tor Books
Eragon was published when I was in middle school and that book along with Inkheart and a few Tamora Pierce books really got me into reading as a kid. As a adult when I found out that Paolini had an adult sci-fi book coming out I knew that I had to read it.
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…
This book is a lot to take in. Paolini did an insane amount of research for this book and it shows in the writing and the science. This story is beautiful and bloody, heart wrenching and a bit punny. Having reread all of the Eragon books last year during lockdown and then this book in 2021, I could really see Paolini’s progressions as an author. Also, there are some nods to Eragon and some other nerd stuff in this book. They aren’t overly obvious but they are nice to catch.
What I loved about this book is the world (universe?) building. The whole of the Milky-Way Galaxy is the stage with specific planets and stars being the sets. Also, the science is so well done. Jurassic Park and The Martian are two of my favorite sci-fi books, they aren’t perfect but the well done science helps to make the story that much better. To Sleep is the same way. Am I going to pretend that I understand the theories of faster than light travel, not in the slightest. I am going to applaud an author that did their best to explain it both as part of the story and in the appendix, yes. And I do understand it the general idea.
Kira Navárez goes through some rough times in this story. She is a scientist at heart, someone who wants to learn and explore. Her discoveries in the pursuit of science thrust her into roles that she never wanted to be in and thus never prepared for among all her learning. Despite some early set backs and some massive blunders, Kira does her best and follows through to fix, the best she can, the events that she helped put in motion.
Kira is not alone on her journey across the galaxy. She falls in with the crew of the Wallfish. They aren’t pirates but they aren’t always honest in their business dealings. Be that as it may, Capitan Falconi is loyal to his crew and they are loyal to him and each other. There is also Gregorovich, the slightly mad but wonderful ship mind.
I highly suggest this book for those that enjoy science fiction, that enjoy space stories and science along with some fantastic world building. Even if books about dragons aren’t your cup of tea, this book is completely different and worth the read. Enjoy the adventure and I’ll see you in the comments.