A REVIEW OF: To Sleep In A Sea of Stars - 3.5 Stars
The old Bait & Switch.
To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a primary example of a bait and switch. . . Which I didn’t mind in the slightest. Why? Because the thing that changed was the genre —- i.e. Sci-fi into Fantasy. If you have ever read a classic fantasy or played a D&D game you might notice this book is a carbon copy-paste of some of the most timeless fantasy tropes.
Our heroine gains a strange power that brings the forces of evil after her and sends her on a quest. This adventure includes unlikely allies and an adventure to retrieve an ancient artifact to defeat the said evil. While Mr. Paolini masterfully keeps the veneer of hard scientific theory it is underpinned by his background in the fantasy genre
I suspect most people will enjoy the worldbuilding and masterful interweaving of hard-science elements at the level of a casual reader. Look, I am dumber than a rock and I could understand the Markov Limit and Subliminal Space Travel Theory. Well done, Mr. Paolini! However, what I loved about this novel was the banter and quiet moments between the crew of the Wallfish. In those moments I felt like I was a part of the crew and I loved it.
I loved listening to their teasing and all the juicy secrets of their lives. I’m a Robin Hobbs mega fan and character development is my jam. Which brings me to my dislike. . . I just couldn’t care two sh*+$ for the protagonists—I can’t even remember her name as I type this and I don’t want to get up to find the book. . . My main issue is twofold:
While she is thrust into extraordinary circumstances it is hard to believe her almost seamless change from Xenobioligst to savior of the universe.
My second issue is that the most interesting thing about her is her alien companion, Soft Blade. If I were to recommend a change to Mr. Paolini it would be to slow down the plot (maybe break this story into two) and hone in on the protagonist's struggles.
Lastly, I have to give praise for how Mr. Paolini navigates the line between scientism and science. In the modern age, more and more sci-fi works are taking on a worldview in which science is paramount to a religion. I found that while the characters had their differing views on life and beyond that there wasn’t the same type of dogma of scientism that is present in other works.
Overall: 3.5 stars - I liked it and would recommend it to certain audiences.
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Live long, and May the Force be with you! Izaic Y
P.S. That saying is purposefully wrong ;)