Let's go today to review the new work by Christopher Paolini, an American author who became famous in adolescence thanks to the Eragon Saga. Sleeping in a Sea of ​​Stars, this is the title of his new effort, is a two-volume sci-fi saga that arrived in Italy in September last year. Will Christopher be able to improve and clean up from the flaws he got with Eragon?

Christopher Paolini is known to most for being the writer of the Inheritance Cycle, a quadrilogy starring Eragon, knight of the Dragoness Saphira. A saga written during the author's adolescence that met with enormous success among the YA (young adult) audience which, according to many, ended up ruined precisely because of the maturity of the writer himself and the clichés used. It was precisely this opinion, which I shared widely, that led me to be interested in Sleeping in a Sea of ​​Stars, Paolini's second saga.

Cristopher Paolini presents the book
Christopher Paolini presented Sleeping in a Sea of ​​Stars at last year's Lucca Changes

Technical notions

Sleeping in a Sea of ​​Stars: Volume One is a 670-page science fiction novel, published in Italy by Rizzoli on 22 September 2020. The adult style is enriched by scientific terminology and explanations, the reading appears fluid and all in all smooth. The subdivision into chapters, the first single person with omniscient narrator and the distribution of information make the rhythm quite smooth, although between ups and downs due mostly to dilated and restricted narrative times.

Sleeping in a Sea of ​​Stars has been divided into two volumes (in Italy), while the original is a single tome of about 880 pages; the first volume, more full-bodied, introduces the setting, the factions and the most important secondary characters.

Sleeping in a Sea of ​​Stars: Volume 1
The cover of Sleeping in a Sea of ​​Stele: Volume 1

Plot in a nutshell

It is the last mission in space for the scientist Kira Navárez. Simple routine surveys on a planet not yet colonized. The dream of a future of love with Alan is about to come true. But on the day of departure something unexpected happens. Something terrible. Driven by curiosity, Kira stumbles upon an alien artifact. Terror invades her when the dust around her begins to move. A universal war is upon us, and Kira is drawn into the depths of the galaxy on an odyssey of discovery and transformation. You have formidable companions from your side and immense courage. But only by truly trusting herself will she be able to face the destiny she is called to and fight for her fellow men.

Second Cover

During Kira Navárez's adventure we are led to explore a vastness of systems, space stations and events; the journey of our xenobiologist protagonist begins with the discovery of an ancient alien ruin; obviously things get complicated and his life takes an unexpected turn. His only companion, whom he cannot control, will be the source of his greatest problems, while he will have to deal with who before her populated the universe and who, probably, will want to populate it later.

From here on, the spoilers begin! You can decide to support the editorial staff by purchasing Sleeping in a Sea of ​​Stars (if you were intrigued) using a link affiliated with us, by pressing Wed!

Opinions, Hopes ...

Sleeping in a Sea of ​​Stars is a novel for adults (albeit with many quotes) that breaks away from its predecessor Eragon also as a setting, moving from Fantasy to Sci-Fi. A good move, in my opinion, is to get rid of the figure of "emerging author from fairy tales”Than to try something new. Not being too used to the science fiction genre I found Sleeping in a Sea of ​​Stars: Volume 1 like a good book for adults "but not too much".

As Eragon (and a little less Inheritance) can be read and is fluent, it does not require enormous knowledge to be appreciated (usually science fiction varies from "almost science" to "a professor of quantum physics wrote it") and that's all summed up fast. In essence, the chances of it becoming a good book for the general public are there; it will then be the critical judgment of the most passionate readers to determine whether or not it will enter the libraries of "true fans".

Sleeping in a Sea of ​​Stars: Volume 2

… But also Doubts and Uncertainties

Despite this, I believe that Sleeping in a Sea of ​​Stars: Volume 1 it is a roughly fired shot that does its duty but could (and should) do better.

On the one hand we have interesting relationships between characters, inner discourses and sensitive topics; on the other we have dialogues that seem to come out of Looney Tunes and some clichés seen and overwhelmed. Descriptions suffer the same effect: sometimes they are too many, other times they are scarce; we rarely find a middle ground that satisfies the reader's imagination by "helping him to create" rather than taking him.

Basically, Paolini gave me the idea of ​​not having yet clear what kind of writer he wants to be, a bit like Balto. Neither Wolf nor Dog, he only knows what he is not. What it is matured compared to the Inheritance Cycle I do not question it, but I expected something more.

Let's see how it will turn out with the ending (in Volume 2) and what the response will be for the entire saga.