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Review – To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

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9/10
9/10
  • Writing - 9/10
    9/10
  • Development - 9/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 9/10
    9/10
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To Sleep in a Sea of Stars: A Space Opera Like No Other

 

Christopher Paolini, famous for his Inheritance Cycle series (Eragon), is back again. Only this time around, he’s decided to approach the world of science fiction. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is his latest novel, and it is a heavy novel full of speculative science fiction and space opera elements.

There was a time when Kira Navarez was content with her job. But all of that was before she came into contact with an alien artifact, a moment that will forever change the course of human history. Now she’s a the forefront of war, and desperately trying to find a way to bring it to an end – before the human race pays the price.

It is fascinating that Paolini chose to switch genres for his latest foray into the literary world. Having read all of the Inheritance Cycle, and now To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, I can honestly tell you that it was the right call.

Paolini’s writing style is perfectly suited to the world of science fiction. That goes doubly so for space operas. It’s like he was born to write the epics, all while portraying the best and the worst that humanity – and aliens – have to offer.

Writing

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher PaoliniWow. Can I just start by saying that? I went into To Sleep in a Sea of Stars with high expectations, and yet I was still blown away by what I found here. Kira’s journey is intense and expansive, bringing an entire universe to life alongside her.

It isn’t just Kira that brings the story to life though. There are about a dozen secondary characters, and honestly, they’re just as well thought out and charming as Kira is. At times, it even feels like they carry the story for her.

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a true science-fiction epic. I don’t just mean that it is grand in scale (though there is that). It’s also a massive book. It clocks in at eight hundred and eighty pages, and it makes the best use out of each and every one of those pages.

This is a book that is lush with details. That probably isn’t too shocking, given Paolini’s writing style. The number of details are much better suited towards the realm of science fiction, as Paolini uses it to describe a world full of technology, aliens, and other mysterious elements.

It’s broken up into several parts (with the first part being available to preview on BookishFirst), and honestly? Each part almost feels like it’s own cohesive story. It could have been two or more novels, but instead, we got one massive beast. I’m not going to complain about getting more for my money.

Development

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a novel that has its ups and downs. Both in terms of pacing, and in terms of emotional levels. There is a lot that goes on within these pages (obviously), and it wouldn’t have made sense if it was all action.

Paolini wrote in time for characters and readers alike to ingest what has been happening. He also takes plenty of time to set the scene, both in casual settings, and the action-packed ones. It’s an interesting balance, but it’s well-suited for this novel.

Every passing chapter seemed to increase the scale and scope of this story. To be clear, that isn’t even remotely a bad thing. Though, surprisingly, how…expansive everything got towards the end. Just one more surprise, in a series of intriguing twists.

All things considered, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a cohesive and fascinating novel. Every little detail enriches the world and makes it feel more plausible and real. All while discreetly setting the stakes.

Conclusion

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is nothing like the novel I expected it to be. It was better. This is a space opera like no other and is going to sit on the top of my favorite space operas for years to come. I highly recommend it to anybody looking for a dive into that particular genre. Or even just those fans of Paolini’s that want to follow him on his latest adventure.

Normally, a massively marketed book like this ends up feeling like a bit of a letdown. Like it never stood a chance of living up to all the hype generated by the public. I don’t feel like that was the case here. I’m tempted to say that the opposite is true, but I don’t want to go about an accidentally encourage over-hyping, for obvious reasons.

One other note, before I end my review. Sleep in a Sea of Stars is one of those novels that brings with it many memorable quotes. Funny comments, shocking revelations, and even lines that truly hit home. Those are the moments that are going to stick out, even years from now.


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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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