I had to take a few days to really digest this book, because if I wrote my initial thoughts after finishing this it would just be screaming (AAAHHH) across the screen.
I won an ARC of To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini from Bookish First and Tor in exchange for an honest review. I’m going to start off by saying that I love the Eragon series (though I haven’t read it in many years) so I was a little biased going into this. But let me tell you, this book is so good, it blew my expectations out of the water!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
“To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a brand new epic novel from New York Times bestselling author Christopher Paolini.
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 . . .”
I should have realized that this book was going to be a mammoth before I received it because, well, it’s Paolini. If you’ve read or seen the Eragon books, you’ll know. When I received the book, I couldn’t believe I was holding a 900 page monster in my hands. I was so excited!
To start off, this book is like 3 books in one. Beginning, middle, end is like book 1, 2, and 3 – which I’m not complaining about, because it was awesome! I loved the format of the book because it really helped break up the density of this story and turn it into something a little easier to tackle. In each chapter there are numbered sections which really helped me since the chapters can be quite lengthy. Instead of having to push through 50-80 pages for one chapter, I could stop at a specific section if I needed to. And the illustrations inside are absolutely gorgeous, I just wish they had captions explaining what they were depicting.
Besides formatting, the actual contents of this book are otherworldly. The plot seemed familiar at first, but then Paolini turns it on its head and sends us off in another direction. I would think I know where this story is going to go and then Paolini introduces something new that flips it on its head and makes it even better than before. I’ve always loved his storytelling and his way with words. He goes all out with this book, crafting images of beauty and horror in such an intense way. I love it.
The characters are amazing as well, in fact, they were one of the main reasons I loved it so much. Kira is a great main character because while she’s a tough cookie, and at times fearless, she’s also a great friend and very empathetic. Even though she’s been forced into this awful situation, and it definitely gets to her at times, she knows what she needs to do to help the people around her and the universe as a whole. We also have some great new characters we meet and befriend who I loved getting to read about. They were a great group to have help Kira and they helped make the book a little more lighthearted.
And don’t get me started on all the newt puns I had to deal with.
I won’t go into spoilers, as much as I want to rant about this book (in a good way), because it will just be endless giddy screaming. Especially about the ending.
I loved the way this book ended. It was beautiful and somehow fulfilling even though it wasn’t what I wanted to happen. And the last image we see actually made me tear up it was so beautiful. I could just picture it so clearly.
From a critical standpoint, Paolini brings everything a reader wants into this book: relatable yet interesting characters, stellar plot, insane action scenes, beautiful imagery, and a slight dash of fun and comedy to break up the terror of this novel. I have always loved science fiction and fantasy novels and this book is my number 1 favorite science fiction novel EVER. I can’t wait for release so that everyone can read it.
From a fan standpoint, I loved the small moments between characters mixed in with the absolutely insane battles that occur. Unlocking deadly secrets of the universe will do that though. It was everything I wanted and more from a Paolini book.
Overall, I didn’t expect anything less than // 5 stars. I knew I was going to love this book and yet it still managed to exceed my expectations.
To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini releases on September 15th, 2020. Here is a link to preorder a signed copy from Barnes & Noble or a regular hardcover copy from my local indie book store, One More Page Books.
If you didn’t see, I created a Ko-fi account! I’m not expecting anything to come from it, but if you like my content and want to me get my own domain and host bookish giveaways, I’ve linked it here! Thanks to anyone who checks it out!
If this book sounds interesting to you, check out Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir.
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