Title: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
Author: Christopher Paolini
Narrator: Jennifer Hale
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 32 hours 28 minutes
Published: 2020, Tor
My Grade: 4 out of 5
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’m really glad I listened to this book rather than worked my muscles out while holding this brick of a book for countless of hours. I’m not sure how I would have perceived the story, had Jennifer Hale not narrated it. She was brilliant with her many different voices for all the characters. They really came alive.
But of course, she’s not the only one who needs to get credit for this incredible story. I have to admit that I haven’t read too many science fiction books yet, but this one felt original. And it felt legit. Paolini’s take on futuristic science felt realistic, he addressed the question of speeds faster than light and how that didn’t mean you could travel in time. Like with any magic system, he put the limitations on science and did it really well. I really enjoyed that nothing seemed exaggerated. It just was.
The book contained so many characters and they were all interesting and contributed to the story. I felt sympathy for all of them because they all felt real. They had their backstories and stayed true to their goals.
Even if Jennifer Hale was a very good narrator, I sometimes had difficulties following. But I think that has more to do with the fact that I’m not very used to listening to fiction. Last summer, when I started listening to books, I only listened to facts, mostly science but some economic and psychology books. I hope I get used to it soon. I really enjoy listening to someone tell me the story. Also, I just got a bike and can’t really read a physical book while riding, haha!
It was a long book, and maybe it could have been a bit shorter, but I can’t really say which scenes felt unnecessary. But my overall impression was good. And listening to Paolini himself read the after words, I could really feel his relief after the struggles that were this novel. It was inspiring. I wouldn’t put it among my favorites, but it was definitely a four out of five.