To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
Audiobook narrated by Jennifer Hale
When I heard that Christopher Paolini was publishing a new book this year, I knew I had to read it. Getting an advance copy of the audiobook was a pleasant surprise. Narrated by Jennifer Hale, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is definitely worth listening to. Ms. Hale is an extremely talented voice actor, and I can’t believe this was her first audiobook. She gave life to dozens of amazing characters, and her narration brings the book’s main character, Kira Navárez, to life. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (TSIASOS) is such a complex task for a narrator and she nailed it.
I did not expect the newest book from New York Times Bestselling author of Eragon to be an epic science fiction novel. I rarely read science fiction, so I have no books to compare TSIASOS to, only tv shows and movies. (I happen to love sci-fi movies and television shows.) I could easily see this book turned into a television series much like James S. A. Corey’s The Expanse Series, which was produced for the SyFy Channel and now airs on Amazon Prime.
If anything, TSIASOS has made me realize that I’ve neglected an entire genre, and I intend to rectify my mistake, starting with author James S. A. Corey. If one author can inspire an avid reader like me to give an entire genre a chance, that’s quite an accomplishment. Thats why I love authors who step outside familiar bounds and it’s why I didn’t balk when TSIASOS wasn’t another fantasy book for young adult readers.
TSIASOS has the same feel as The Expanse tv show, with a main character who is relatable and sympathetic, surrounded by a stellar cast of supporting characters. Ms. Hale gives each of these characters their own voice, and handles the complex dialogue with effortless skill.
It has the scope and complexity of Battlestar Galactica, aliens reminiscent of the 2016 movie Arrival, an impressive ship mind that feels similar to the Pilot on the television series Farscape, and the wonder of the 2014 movie Interstellar.
The writing is beautiful, and is often deep and philosophical. I could choose a dozen quotes from throughout the book, all of which are profound. There’s hope, wonder, and perfectly placed humor amid a story of space exploration and the sudden appearance of alien life. Kira Navárez is a Xenobiologist on an uncolonized planet when she stumbles across an alien relic. Her greatest discovery becomes a horrifying nightmare as the relic comes to life and bonds with her. Her discovery leads to first contact, but it isn’t the peaceful revelation she’d hoped for. It begins with violence, and soon humanity faces war among the stars.
This will be the first book where I highly recommend reading along with the audiobook, or reading the book first and then listening to the audiobook version so you can fully experience it in all its grandeur: the narration is phenomenal. I prefer audiobooks, but rarely do I think that the audiobook is necessary. I’ll compare it to reading a screenplay vs seeing the film. You can do both, obviously, but the film is the essential piece. With TSIASOS, the audiobook is essential. It includes original music, phenomenal narration, and an interview with the author and narrator.
I cannot wait to get my hands on the hardback copy I pre-ordered, and reread it. I can’t wait to have a copy in my hands to see all the artwork and maps. I highly recommend both the book and the audiobook to anyone who enjoys science fiction, epic space dramas, or the wonder of space exploration.
Click here to visit the Etsy store where you can purchase two stunning prints inspired by the book:
Click here to download your own mobile or desktop copy of this stunning wallpaper inspired by the book designed by Immanuela Meijer: