Reviews for To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A curious scientist stumbles on mysterious ruins in the opening chapters of this science fiction epic. Things are really turning around for Kira Navárez. A xenobiologist, she’s finishing up a stint doing research on the large moon Adrasteia with a small team of other scientists, and her boyfriend, Alan, has just proposed to her. Instead of continuing to spend months apart, working on different planets and waiting until they can be together, they'll be able to ask their employers to make them part of a colony as a couple. As Kira performs a few routine last-minute checks before their team leaves the system, something strange catches her eye. She decides to check it out, just to be thorough, and finds herself in the middle of an ancient structure. When her curiosity gets the better of her and she touches a pedestal covered in dust, a bizarre black material flows out and covers her entire body. She passes out as she's being rescued by her team, and when she comes to, she seems to be fine, and the team reports her findings to the government. But soon a kind of strange, alien suit takes over her body, covering her with black material that lashes out violently against Alan and the other scientists, forming spikes that jump out from her skin. A military ship comes to collect what's left of the team and investigate the reports of an alien discovery. When an alien species attacks the ship, presumably because of Kira’s discovery, Kira will have to learn to harness the suit’s strange powers to defend herself and the rest of the human race. Paolini, best known for the YA epic fantasy series The Inheritance Cycle, makes his adult debut in another genre that welcomes long page counts. This one clocks in at close to 900 pages, but the rollicking pace, rapidly developing stakes, and Paolini’s confident worldbuilding make them fly by. Perhaps not the most impressive prose, but a worthwhile adventure story. A fun, fast-paced epic that science fiction fans will gobble up. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
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Bestselling YA author Paolini (Eragon) ventures into the realm of space opera with a satisfying, far-future epic that questions what it means to be human. Upon discovering evidence of alien life during a survey mission, xenobiologist Kira Navarez expects her career to skyrocket—but a single mistake has disastrous repercussions as an alien organism bonds to her body, forming a second skin. Political frustrations between Earth and its colonies across the galaxy brew in the background as Kira and the alien organism, which calls itself the Soft Blade, enter biocontainment aboard a United Military Command ship. As unfeeling doctors conduct invasive tests, a new species of aliens, dubbed Jellies, attack the ship, drawn by the Soft Blade. The quick-moving plot becomes somewhat formulaic as Kira is rescued by the Earth spaceship Wallfish and slowly finds her place among its misfit crew. Together, they follow clues from the dreams Kira shares with the Soft Blade to find a way to broker peace between humans and Jellies. Kira’s tedious inclination to wallow in guilt gives way to some satisfying character development as Paolini builds to a thrilling finale that more than makes up for the predictable midsection. The high-stakes quest and developing bonds of found family make for a fun epic grounded in an earnest exploration of human consciousness. (Sept.)


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

The author of the YA phenomenon Eragon crafts a first adult novel featuring Kira Navarez, who's thrilled to be given the opportunity to explore a new world—a far-off planet that looks ready to be colonized. But there she finds a relic that transforms her life even as it poses a monstrous threat to humanity. With a whopping two-million-copy first printing.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A curious scientist stumbles on mysterious ruins in the opening chapters of this science fiction epic.Things are really turning around for Kira Navrez. A xenobiologist, shes finishing up a stint doing research on the large moon Adrasteia with a small team of other scientists, and her boyfriend, Alan, has just proposed to her. Instead of continuing to spend months apart, working on different planets and waiting until they can be together, they'll be able to ask their employers to make them part of a colony as a couple. As Kira performs a few routine last-minute checks before their team leaves the system, something strange catches her eye. She decides to check it out, just to be thorough, and finds herself in the middle of an ancient structure. When her curiosity gets the better of her and she touches a pedestal covered in dust, a bizarre black material flows out and covers her entire body. She passes out as she's being rescued by her team, and when she comes to, she seems to be fine, and the team reports her findings to the government. But soon a kind of strange, alien suit takes over her body, covering her with black material that lashes out violently against Alan and the other scientists, forming spikes that jump out from her skin. A military ship comes to collect what's left of the team and investigate the reports of an alien discovery. When an alien species attacks the ship, presumably because of Kiras discovery, Kira will have to learn to harness the suits strange powers to defend herself and the rest of the human race. Paolini, best known for the YA epic fantasy series The Inheritance Cycle, makes his adult debut in another genre that welcomes long page counts. This one clocks in at close to 900 pages, but the rollicking pace, rapidly developing stakes, and Paolinis confident worldbuilding make them fly by. Perhaps not the most impressive prose, but a worthwhile adventure story. A fun, fast-paced epic that science fiction fans will gobble up. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Paolini's first foray into adult science fiction doesn't do anything by halves. This is a massive work of space opera with a deep history and complex mythology, epic in scope and packed with action. Kira Navárez, a xenobiologist exploring a new planet, stumbles upon a piece of alien technology that upends human-settled space and sends her on a quest across the galaxy in the company of a scrappy group of traders and a possibly insane superintelligence, all in the middle of an interstellar war. Humanity's first contact with aliens could spell extinction: the stakes don't get any higher than this. The concepts in this book aren't all that original, but the book is not derivative: this is Paolini's love letter to the genre. The skills honed in his YA fantasy series, Inheritance (Eragon, 2003), are on full display here in his vibrant world building, especially in the mythology of the alien tech. Paolini populates this universe with a large cast of interesting and relatable characters, and mostly avoids reductive good guy/bad guy dynamics, lending the story a sincere emotional depth. Highly recommended for fans of James A. Corey's The Expanse series and for fantasy fans willing to try space opera.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Paolini's first novel since 2011 is a major departure, and those who grew up on his Inheritance series will be eager to see what he does in a novel sans dragons.

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