TL;DR – Rating 5/5 – To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christoper Paolini is the very definition of “go big or go home.” This starts out as a first contact story then turns into a space epic/odyssey with themes that reach as far as the galaxy but collapse down to a personal story. The charters are great, the twists are fantastic and it’s one of those hard to put down books no matter what format it comes in. Buy it, read it and enjoy it before the eventual movie ruins it.
To Sleep in a Sea of Stars Story
I’ve never read Eragon or any of the inheritance series, and the movie’s trailer didn’t move me to go see it. At the time it felt too “Lord of the Rings” wanna-be. This is not a tale of knights and dragons. This is the story of Kira Navárez, a xenobiologist part of a team surveying a new planet for eventual terraforming and colonization. It’s the far future and Humanity has spread to more than a few planets, found only one sign of actual aliens, and taking planet surveying contracts can make you good money. On the final day of the survey contact, Kira is tasked to find the reason one of their probes went offline and find an underground alien structure by accident. Letting her curiosity get the better of her she finds and bonds with something. A suit of some kind that obviously alive, and extremely protective of its new host.
The suit causes damage and tragedy but leads to galactic war humanity was not ready for and something worse. Teaming up with the crew of a cargo-hauling ship, The Soft Blade, Kira, and her new friends are put in the position of trying to stop the war before two races are completely wiped from galactic history. And just describing this story does absolutely no justice to the ride this book takes you on.
This book is epic. I’m talking Dune epic. The science in science fiction feels like something that we could eventually get to. The aliens are unique and the big bad of the whole thing is armageddon levels of bad. There are quite a few twists in this story some I didn’t see coming, some I wished weren’t so predictable. The story is told completely from the third person POV of our main character and it works for this book. It’s supposed to be the first part of the Fractalverse Series which explains why the idea of fractals as symbology kept popping up throughout the story.
The story of this particular book ended with enough room for growth, but the cliffhanger hook marks this as a bigger story. There was one bit at the end that had me scratching my head but all-in-all I’m looking forward to the next part of this story. Only because where To Sleep in a Sea of Stars had such a huge third act I’m wondering where could Mr. Polini possibly take things from here. I can’t wait to find out.