To sleep in a sea of stars by Christopher Paolini
Pan Macmillan, 2020. ISBN: 9781529046519.
(Age: Adult/Young Adult). Highly recommended. Christopher Paolini, author of the much beloved young adult Eragon series, appeals to a different target audience with his adult debut To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. This is a science fiction novel of truly epic proportions. At almost 900 pages, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a serious (and weighty) undertaking that may intimidate some fans. However for readers determined to tackle this behemoth, an enjoyable space opera awaits.
Kira Navarez is a xenobiologist living approximately two hundred and fifty years in the future. Happy, newly engaged and working in her dream occupation, her life is interesting and fulfilling. Kira is completing an assignment on the moon of Adrasteia when she uncovers an ancient and mysterious relic. What she has found will have consequences that will change her life and the galaxy as she knows it forever. Kira has discovered that humans are not alone in the universe and that she is now at the centre of a war for the very survival of her species.
To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a hugely complex and multi-layered story. Paolini worked on the novel for almost a decade before its release, a fact that is evident in the level of world-building and characterisation achieved. It will tick the boxes for any fan of hard science fiction as well as those who enjoy action, adventure and many, many human emotions. While certainly not a quick or always easy read, this novel highly recommended.
Themes: Space, Space Travel, Planets, Astronauts, Aliens, War, Solitude, Identity, Humanity.