It started as a routine job surveying plant life on a newfound planet for Kira Navárez, a xenobiologist, but her plans for a future are dashed and she is thrust into the middle of an intergalactic adventure where the fate of humanity rests in her hands.
Christopher Paolini’s adult debut is easily the most accessible TOME of sci-fi I’ve ever read. The science is solid enough that the speed of space travel and tech is believable, but not so complicated that it’s hard to understand. While a whopping 825 pages (there are several appendices as well), the story is sectioned into 6 arcs that split the narrative into more manageable chunks. The pacing seemed slow while I was reading,but it was actually very well managed - I was just overly eager for the resolution several hundred pages ahead of the end. There was never an info dump, but I was never confused about how the world worked or why things were happening. And of course, Paolini’s writing is so smooth and easy to consume, I absolutely flew through this book.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. The world is so interesting and I love that there are so many possibilities for future books. The human society/structure is very well done. I found their actions compelling and familiar to the structures I know now. The aliens in the book are also intriguing and their interactions with humanity are incredibly interesting. I adored all of the characters so much and I desperately want to read more about them. While all of these make a great and fun book, the thing that is blowing my mind hours after finishing is Kira. I really enjoyed her character, her development, and how she handles being thrust into such an absurdly daunting task, but she is utilized in a way I’ve never read before (and that’s all I can say without spoilers - sorry) and I hope Paolini sticks to it for future books in this world.
I would highly recommend this to someone who wants to get into sci-fi but doesn’t know where to start, anyone who likes expansive worlds to imagine, and anyone who just wants to have a good time in space.