Adventure and Heart

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themadwordsmith Avatar


To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a sprawling, epic space opera that delivers on its promise of adventure and heart.

At 800 pages, this is a behemoth of a book which will require a considerable investment of time and attention from the reader. That said, the pacing never lagged for me. From the second the alien dust seized Kira's feet, this story grabbed me by the throat and never let go.

When we meet Kira, our plucky protagonist, she is a scientist living a comfortable life in a research station on an unexplored planet, facing no greater challenge than doing her job and planning her wedding. This characterization struck me as somewhat unrealistic, because whose life is this idyllic? Certainly not mine! Thankfully, Paolini wastes no time plunging his characters into the inevitable danger of space exploration and the stakes only increase thereafter.

One thing Paolini does well is create memorable characters. From Gregorovich the ship mind to Itari the Jelly, each character is distinct and relatable (even when they're antagonistic). Importantly, Kira remains likable and empathetic in spite of the extreme transformation she undergoes.

For a book of this scale, I was impressed by how seamlessly multiple complex ideas were woven into the plot. From philosophy to religion to science, this book covers it all without ever losing its entertainment value. In the end, this is simply a great story and I loved every page of it.

Thank you BookishFirst and Tor/Forge Books for the ARC of this book.