To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini · Book review

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⭐⭐⭐ ½

⚠️ This review contains spoilers!

The book wasn't horrific (I finished reading it!), but I've definitely read better sci-fi.

I was a huge fan of the Eragon books as a kid so I was interested to see what Paolini had come up with next.

In Eragon, the dude bonds with a dragon (which makes him OP and very unique), runs into some elves and dwarves, and then has to save the world from evil.

Switch genders, replace dragon with magic spacesuit, and have aliens instead of fantasy characters and it's the same sort of thing.

Things I didn't like:

  • I love sci-fi because it feels realistic - like humans are going to get there in 100 or 500 years. Unfortunately I didn't really get those vibes from this book. It felt a bit too fantastical. In a way the suit the main character obtains just feels like magic powers that help propel the plot by getting her out of sticky situations
  • The above-mentioned suit makes the main character seem like an invincible Mary Sue who can get out of any situation. She suddenly gets strong like halfway through the book and turns into a killing machine
  • Her main personality trait is that she's a xenobiologist. Paolini loves to bring up every two seconds how she's so interested in studying the foreign environment around her but can't stop because she's saving the world
  • Main character's original boyfriend's only purpose is to die immediately and then she spends the rest of the book thinking about him. Felt very shallow. You could also see the second romance coming from a mile away, and it felt pretty cringe, like he was the only option on board and she just went with it
  • There was a character very similar to Angela from Eragon (the eccentric / mysterious cat lady) who I think was originally based off of Paolini's sister. I guess it's supposed to be a nice nod to previous fans but it did feel out of place and overall unnecessary to the plot.
  • So much travelling back and forth between locations. Honestly the characters spend sooo much time on the ship, it really doesn't help to bring out that sci-fi feel i.e. exploring different societies and cultures in depth (we do get to see a bit of it among the aliens but I would've loved to see more, even among the humans)

I will admit the one thing I didn't see coming was how she suddenly turned into Mother Earth at the end of the book, which conveniently does away with the second cringey romance which was nice. Again though it's kind of just making the character super OP (like she just builds a space station out of magic basically) and doesn't really feel sci-fi.

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