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To Sleep in a Sea of Stars // by Christopher Paolini // narrated by Jennifer Hale

I have a lot of thoughts about this book and I have been dreading writing this review because I was worried I would not be able to put my thoughts into words as eloquently as I have seen so many other reviewers do over the last view weeks. But tomorrow is pub day (SO EXCITING) so it is time to get this done!


Ok. Now that I’ve gotten that out, I can go into the actual details of why. I don’t think there was anything I would’ve wanted differently about this book honestly. The writing, the world-building, the character development, the science, the audiobook production, you name it – I love it all. This book is about space settlement and exploration, relationships, deeply personal human strength, wonders, politics, war, and nightmares. It has so many different topics it touches on in amazing detail yet it does so without drowning or overwhelming you with it. It is a long story – or rather experience, especially if you are listening to the audiobook – but when it is over, you find yourself missing your crew and the adventures you went on together.

TSIASOS is split into into three parts: Exogenesis, Sublimare, and Apocalypsis. The last of these takes up the most room in the story. He sometimes writes rather lengthy chapters but if you are not a fan of that, he does split up his chapters into parts as well so it never feels like you’re stopping in the middle of something where it will make be difficult to orient yourself later.

While this book is not written as a first-person narration, it is written from the point of view of one character: Kira Navarez. Sometimes I am rather skeptical when a male author writes such a large book from the view of a female character. If you read enough books, eventually you may understand why. It can feel really awkward sometimes. But that is not the case with Paolini. I know not everybody agrees with me but for me he created a wonderful character that drew me in right away! Kira is such a strong female role model that was really easy to picture in my mind. A biology nerd! In space! Yes please! What I really loved about her though was that she was not a perfect person. Not at all. She could be scared, indecisive, doubtful, stubborn. Hell, she brought a whole alien species down onto humanity! But she was also loyal and loving and daring and brave and determined and sincere! And all that together created a character that was perfect for this mission.

But this was not just about Kira. Paolini also created a wonderful crew to stand by her side. I loved all the characters that he sent with her. They were such a variety of personalities that brought so many different kinds of relationships to this story. What I liked a lot was that this was not a story about romantic love. Yes, there were bits here and there, of course, because every good epic has relationships of all kinds in it, but there was no romantic love interest of Kira’s that was the focus of this book. This was about Kira’s love for humanity as a whole and that made this book that much better. But back to the others! Not only does Paolini give us a beautifully developed main character, he also gave us a crew and worlds full of people that are so well thought out that it is hard to believe they are not real. Every single one of these people I could imagine in real life because their thoughts and actions and emotions just made so much sense in these situations. They felt so natural.

Now, I have to be honest, I would not be able to tell you how diverse this lineup is overall. I very much struggle with remembering little details in my reading that are not repetitive (talk about a challenge at a job with lots of regulations and protocols!) and that is exacerbated when I am listening to an audiobook since I am not looking at the words myself. So I would not be able to tell you the race, nationality, etc. of each character specifically or how many of each are represented, but I did enjoy listening to how certain nationalities would tend to settle in specific areas or the times when a crew member spoke in Korean. I also liked the fact that LGBTQIA+ characters were mentioned but that their existence was not something that was controversial, just a part of life like it should be.

So the length of the book is something else that has been a topic of disagreement among reviewers it seems. Whether you will like that or not will depend on what kind of books you enjoy, in my opinion. I loved it and would have loved to have several hundreds more pages but that is because I love the kinds of details he put in this story. There was a lot of action going on that is obviously very exciting, but there are also sections that are rather slow. This is where the relationships are built, where we learn about the science and technology, the backgrounds of the characters, the details about space exploration and colonies. This is what makes a good book a great one to me. It is what makes it possible to imagine the world that he built as if it was real and tangible, a place you and I could visit. Characters that we may meet someday. So if that is what you are looking for in a good book, then this will be just right for you. But if you prefer action-packed and fast-paced all throughout, then this is probably a little too drawn out for you.

Since obviously just having this giant book is not enough, Paolini blessed us with a great addendum as well. Here you get to enjoy a lecture from the UMC Naval Academy on ship-based combat in space, an excerpt from the Entropic Principa on space travel, a terminology section (I see what you did there, Paolini! ~~~), and a timeline. This us helpful throughout the book if you need a refresher on a certain term. I have to be honest, I am bad about not reading afterwords and acknowledgements, but I am glad I did this time. He gave us some interesting bits about his writing life that just made me so nostalgic for Eragon again. What rounds out the book so well after all of that is the beautiful cover as well as the artwork throughout the book. There is just so much work that went into this book and I appreciate every little detail of it.

So if you are ready for an epic space opera about aliens and artifacts, love and hate, trust and betrayal, science and new religions, triumphs and incredible heartbreaks, civilian and military combat, and politics and humanity – then this is the book you do not want to miss out on!

About the Audiobook:

Jennifer Hale – wow. She deserves more than just a sentence tacked onto the end of a review about her being a great narrator. Jennifer Hale is


There really is no other word for it. As soon as the audiobook was over, I tweeted about how I had to find every other book that she has narrated because I just needed them all in my life. And you know what she said? (Yes, she answered me and I totally fangirled over it) This was her first ever audiobook narration! WHAAAT?!? I know she has great experience with narrating shows and video games and the like, but it still blows my mind that her first ever audiobook was more than 32 hours long and that she did had me mesmerized the entire way through! I know y’all probably think I’m exaggerating but I really did enjoy her narration that much. She pulled me into the story so deeply that it was disorienting to leave it sometimes. She has an incredible range of voices (50 characters!) and her little sound effects were so fun! I have been listening to other audiobooks on a faster speed lately but I listened to this one on normal speed the entire way through because it just would not do it justice otherwise. It would have been a shame to miss out on her talent by rushing through and to be honest, this book also had way too many details for me to listen faster. A nice bonus with the audiobook was that we got an interview between Christopher Paolini and Jennifer Hale at the end.

Thank you to the author, publisher, NetGalley and BookishFirst for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. This is truly now one of my all-time favorites and I am so glad I was allowed to be a part of this before publication. What a dream come true after growing up with Eragon. Also, after several weeks of wondering, I finally found out the other day that this will be a series and that we will get many more stories set in the Fractalverse. I cannot wait!