Sunday 14 May 2023

CBR15 Book 19: "To Sleep in a Sea of Stars" by Christopher Paolini

Page count: 880 pages
Audio book length: 32 hrs 29 mins
Rating: 4 stars

#CBR15 Passport Challenge - Different genres (Sci-fi)

15-word review: Kira touches the wrong alien artifact and things escalate wildly from there. Excellent audio book.

The audio book, which even listening at x1.5 speed felt like it lasted approximately forever, is narrated by Jennifer Hale and she does an amazing job. I was surprised to see, that with the exception of this and the upcoming follow-up (the book is set in the same universe, not sure if it's a sequel, prequel, or companion novel), she has only really narrated a few books (although she appears to have done voice acting in cartoons for years). I'm not sure I would have kept going with the book if not for her pleasant voice and ability to make the story come alive. Even so, when I had about 20% of the book left, I did the thing I often end up doing, which is read the rest myself, since I just want to get to the end.

Outland is the fantasy/sci-fi/all-thing-nerdy shop in Oslo where I help chair the monthly book club. This was the book selection for March, and it feels like I spent much of the month getting through it. I was rather skeptical to when it was first announced. Can't say I was terribly impressed with Eragon when I read it back in the long long ago (I don't seem to have a record of when I read it, but it will have been before 2007), and the book was also absolutely massive. Still, I was pleasantly surprised.

Was the book at least 150 pages too long? Yup. Did the spaceship crew that end up sort of adopting Kira feel like the cast of Firefly? Yeah, a bit. Was Gregorovich the ship mind the most awesome character in the entire story? You betcha. This is one of the areas where Hale's narration just elevated the story. Her depiction of Gregorovich is pretty much one step away from completely unhinged the whole time, and helped really establish him in my mind (which is ironic, since he's a disembodied voice on a ship). 

I didn't really think I'd enjoy this much, and am glad to have been proven wrong. I'll probably end up checking out the next Fractalverse novel as well. 

Judging a book by its cover: I like this cover, with the person looking like they're taking an elegant dive into water, but instead of water, she's surrounded by stars and floating in empty space. The neon blues also look really good. 

Crossposted on Cannonball Read

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