This May Be My Favorite Scifi of the Year

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“O happy day that we should be reunited, my bothersome little meatbags!”

Ohhh Paolini, I am in LOVE……. with this book! This is what sci-fi reads are all about to me. Excellent character depth, immersive action, feelings (oh all my feels) and vast amounts of technical sci-fi jargon that make you feel just a smidge smarter when you’re done. Or possibly like you’re leaving your science class a little glazed and confused.

Yes, this was a massive book and I’m honestly thankful I was also blessed with the audio or I may not have made my deadline. I found myself reading slower than normal just to savor the writing style and nuances of the scenes. Hands down all I have for this novel is praise. The size is daunting but if you enjoy massive books that take you on journeys across the vast expanse of the stars you will not be disappointed.

Kira makes an excellent MC. She is flawed and doesn’t progress quickly in her growth. The length of this novel gives readers time to watch her emotions and decisions draw the course for her instead of having an MC that is quickly penned to become a heroine. She has some of the most realistic human reactions as well as some of the most eyebrow raising ones. Though Kira is our MC I could not help but fall head over heels for the ship mind, Gregorovich. Each side character just made me feel all the warm and fuzzy character connections right down to Mr. Fuzzypants the cat and Runcible the pig. They all have background and depth to the point you can see yourself on the Wallfish laughing at the inside jokes. There are a lot of characters in this book and it can get confusing at times. This is one reason why I didn’t rush this read. If you happen to grab the audiobook, Jennifer Hale did an excellent job keeping all of the character voices distinct throughout the narration. This is probably why Gregorovich became my all-time favorite in the end. Serious props to Hale for each persona she created in my head.

World building
You’re in space. Not only is this unbreathable void the backdrop to the fears and unknowns it is also the unfurling mystery of what Paolini unleashes on those pushing past scientific boundaries. The planets, cosmos, ships and intricacies in between are beautifully penned. You feel like you’re there. Some of the technical aspects can make the reading go slower. There are pages that lend to scientific thought, inner ship workings and lengthy history to name a few. Honestly, this is expected for a read like this. By the end you don’t even feel like you finished over 800 pages. Is it huge? Yes. Does it have slow parts? Yes? Will you remember that by the time you read the final line? Probably not unless you’re just not into sci-fi.

Dive in. Do it. Don’t expect what happens in the first 100 or so pages to be the true plot of this novel. This is not Alien. Keep going. Expect highs and lulls. For me this played out like The Fifth Element had a baby with an alien hoard set on annihilation. Add a bit of a Guardians of the Galaxy vibe and that just about hits the nail on the head for me. I loved it. Little tidbit for audio listeners. The final 2 hours are the Appendix, author letter and interview.