Although the title - To Sleep In a Sea of Stars- did not immediately grab my attention, the first page of the book did. Everything about this futuristic setting seems so believable despite the incredible world-building details of author Christopher Paolini. The dating relationship of Kira and Alan has been complicated by their planet travel and the amount of time that people must by in cyro. Kira, an employee for seven years who has spent at least half of that time in cyro, finds herself missing human companionship. Interestingly, reading this book during the 2020 Corona virus pandemic has made Kira's emotions all the understandable to readers of all ages. The subtle touches of planet Earth humor add to the empathy that one will have for Kira: the H.R. department is incredibly slow out in space stations as well, and Kira and boyfriend Alan want to be together as a married couple.
The suspense builds immediately in this book. It is their last night together before cyro and a new assignment, but Alan proposes. The couple agrees that they are ready to hang up their promising careers and important positions and apply to be colonists in one of the new space settlements. Suddenly, some security concerns in another location interrupt the final party of Alan, Kira, and their coworkers. Kira's background and expertise make her the logical choice, according to the boss man. It should be routine, but of course, is not. No one will be able to resist reading on to the next chapter as flesh eating dust ooze (which sounds like an oxymoron) attacks Kira.
Not only did I want to know what happened to Kira, but I also wanted to know if there was anything significant about Alan's skin which never tans. I do not think of myself as a science fiction fan, but this book could single handedly change my mind. I was not a fan of Paolini's previous books, so my reaction to this one surprised me. To be honest, it is more of a 4 and a half stars for me. It seems a little lengthy. Also, for parents of middle school aged students who love this author - the curse words in the book definitely put it in a category for older readers than the middle grade-and-up category that loved Eragon.