A review of To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, by Christopher Paolini

I really enjoyed this book. It was a creative, interesting, epic, space drama. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Definitely would recommend. 

In the beginning I was somewhat dismayed with the ‘horror’ like content. I’m not into scary things, they tend to mess with my sleep far too much…. Needless to say, this book did give me plenty of restless nights. But the tone tamed itself down after a bit, and I probably became a little used to it. And once into the ideas of the story, the content became less unexpected.  

I found the story to be quite creative, and unlike anything I could recall reading/seeing. (Though on one hand in the beginning; I also had this sense of deja vu I could not shake about having already read this plot. Or watched it. But over time I became convinced I had experienced nothing like it previously. (Xeno take over, covers body like suit, protects, works with/communicates with human inside xeno ‘suit’…. finding alien structure seems to trigger an ‘alert to aliens. Brings on alien attack. ) Which, is a pretty great accomplishment, to have a new idea. 

Will likely be an epic movie, some day, and I look forward to seeing it realized that way.

**** mild spoilers ahead ****

Likes:

  • Great cast of characters. Each individual, with enough personal baggage to be individual, different, and have distinct personalities. Along with their own character arcs, growth, and stories to move through.
  • Well developed alien beings. Each was unique in very creative ways, enough detail given to have a clear idea of their appearances, thinking styles, communication means, home planets, back story, etc. Along with their own needs, desires, feelings, character arcs, growth etc…. Without it feeling like a constant info dump. Well placed information for the reader.
  • Excellent world building. from the variety of ships, to the space travel science, the alien space crafts, the alien technology, and alien species interactions. 
  • I really enjoyed all the members of the crew of the Wallfish. They were a great bunch, with excellent, interesting dynamics. The addition of the Entropists was fascinating.
  • Gregorovich, the ship mind. Great character. Well developed. Left me wanting more though, because I was fascinated. 
  • Loads of action. It just never seemed to stop with this plot. Sometimes it was hard to keep track of, and remember everything.

Mixed Feelings:

  • I would have liked to know more about the Entropists & their science. So much was alluded to, but never delved into. They definitely had all the secret sauce. 
  • I had an idea about where the story was headed at the end. I was partially right. I felt that Kira would command the Corrupted back into line, and moreover, erase them. After all, she was their source [mother], and their being a portion of the Seed – it would make sense that she would have control over them. I would have preferred a different end, in that respect, with a more firm removal of their existence, making ‘all right with the universe’ again. 
  • And in that regard, I had mixed feelings about the path the last part of the book took, with Kira’s direction, after killing Ctein. But that’s a personal preference.
  • I would have liked a more tidy closure with Kira and Falconi. Something closer to a happy ending. She deserved a happy ending, more than any cast member in this story. 
  • Minimal use of made up words, and kept to a minimum of unpronounceable nonsense.

Didn’t Like:

  • At one point shortly after Kira lost her arm, [time frame felt like within a day or two], and much energy had been spent on dealing with the emotions and thoughts of Kira and the loss of her arm – there was a typo in the book where she’s in a discussion with Falconi, and it clearly says “she wrapped her hands around the warm mug….”  A poor oversight by the editors to have missed this. 
  • Cliff hanger ending regarding the unaccounted for Seeker, and 7 Corrupted missives out there in the universe.
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