Published: September 15, 2020
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 32 hr 29 min
My Rating: DNF @ 58%
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a brand new epic novel from New York Times bestselling author Christopher Paolini.
Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds.
Now she’s awakened a nightmare.
During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.
As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.
While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope . . .”
I had such high hopes for this book. Alas, it was not to work in my favor. Having read nearly 60% of this book I feel that I can give a proper review and share my likes and dislikes.
Starting off, this book was intriguing and had a constant sense of discovery. Or should I say, believable, somewhat scientific discovery. I enjoyed it for the first 30% and despite not loving any of the characters, I thought it would be a solid enough book. But oh, I did not realize how tedious this story would become.
The thrill of alien discovery was short lived. Kira Navarez is bonded with a mysterious xenobyte while surveying the planet Adrasteia. The xeno forms a protective skinsuit of sorts, but it can also be used as a weapon on purpose or even if the inexperienced host becomes upset. This results in the death of her fiance, and several other team members. She undergoes a battery of tests by the military so that they might determine whether the xeno is infectious and she’s kept in quarantine. Until tentacled aliens they call “jellies” attack. And then the jellies attack other human settled planets. It’s pretty bad and gets worse when another alien species called Nightmares start attacking humans AND jellies.Thus begins the interspecies war.
It’s bad, but I’m even bored typing up the most basic plot summary. This should have been an exciting, action packed book that I adored but it so was not. It was tedious and mind numbing and after a particularly boring card game between Kira and Captain Falconi, I decided I’d had enough. For goodness sake, even the dialogue was dull and Lord knows there was far too much of it. Ceaseless droning and I didn’t care about ANY of the characters despite the authors efforts to flesh them out and make them likable.
This book just did not work for me and I’m tremendously disappointed because I’ve spent a year looking forward to it. The characters never had more than surface level interaction and emotion, leaving me feeling underwhelmed even after what should have been impacting events. The death of Kira’s fiance Alan left me(and apparently Kira) feeling nothing. I quit before I had to suffer through another lengthy space journey where Kira couldn’t be cryogenically frozen and spent hours listening to Bach and being hungry. I’ll be honest, I’m glad I don’t have a physical copy of this book because then I’d have to find someone to give it away to. I was not excited to spend another 10+ hours on this audiobook and now here we are.
I will also note, since this is an audiobook review, that the narration was fine. It wasn’t spectacular and it wasn’t terrible – solidly middle of the pack.