To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

By Christopher Paolini

This book was a Hanukkah gift from my partner in 2022. He chose it because it is a sci-fi epic by his favorite author, who wrote the Eragon books, a series I never read. This book took me a long time to get through partially because it is huge, and partially because I could never really sink into it. Paolini clearly had a neat idea for a plot, and a great mind for world building, but he has no idea how to write characters. The protagonist is a shell with no personality, and her counterparts are so equally hollow that it is difficult to tell them apart. The dialogue is style-less, and the tropes are laid on thick as a goth kid’s makeup: our characters do the “you aren’t going without us” scene over and over at each new big bad; our protagonist is essentially Superman, capable of overcoming any obstacle if she just believes in herself hard enough; and the plot armor around everyone with a name makes battles a slog to read, as you have no reason to actually feel danger. I can’t say I’d recommend this book, and I will not read the sequels.