As a proud member of the book community, I am well versed in the art of watching reading vlogs by booktubers I admire and love. It’s so cool to be able to see someone’s reactions and thoughts as they are reading a book, and I was like – why can’t I do that? Obviously, I don’t want to show my face and push myself into a dark pit of disastrous commitment by starting a YouTube Channel — but why can’t I still do a reading vlog style blog post? So here it is!
The book in today’s revolutionary blog post is none other than To Sleep In A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini. This is a big book. It is bigger than The Priory of the Orange Tree at 880 pages and that’s utterly terrifying. But my boyfriend is a HUGE fan of Paolini and kept asking me to try and get an ARC. So, I reached out to my editor goddess at The Nerd Daily and managed to snag an eARC of the sci-fi beast and it basically became my goal to read it ASAP to review, so that my bf can read it straight afterwards. I honestly didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but here is are my thoughts as I read the book – I hope you enjoy my rambles 🙂
NOTE: this is a non-spoilers post so if you are interested in reading this book you can continue!
DAY 1: August 29th
I have read the first chapter of this thicc book. So far, it’s very interesting, there was a lot of new lingo for me to get my head around. Our main character is a scientist with specialist knowledge and such so it’s a bit of a culture shock. We meet her love interest and they have these beautiful plans to change their lives and stop hopping from one planet to another through their work. It was super nice and wholesome, and there is TOTALLY gonna be something sinister or problematic that happens to totally ruin their plans. I then realised that I literally knew nothing about this book going in so I read the blurb after finishing the first chapter and now I have a better idea of what I’ve gotten myself into.
DAY 2: September 1st – 15%
I had been finishing a couple of other books before continuing onto this one so I spent a few hours reading this book. I read up to 15% in my eARC and HOLY SHIT, a lot has happened since Chapter 1 – way faster than I anticipated. So far it has been adrenaline-filled and suspenseful although I found some of the action scenes kind of hard to follow or understand. I would skim without thinking then realise – oh, I don’t actually know what happened, let’s go back and reread that paragraph lol. Our protagonist basically makes a huge alien discovery and we start to see more aliens in the story which is super scary and omg SPACE IS SCARY.
I genuinely have no idea where this book is going to go and by my calculations, I’m only just over 100 pages into this book. Wtf does the rest of the 700 odd pages have for me? IDK. So far, it’s made me feel so many emotions; hopelessness, utter sadness, weirded out and shock amongst others. I’m quite excited to see where this goes. So far the only qualm I guess you could say is that the romance has been quite clunky and I personally just hate the usage of ‘babe’. Big nope for me haha.
DAY 3: September 2nd – 25%
I’m finally a quarter in! The story has progressed so far since I last updated and more anticipation and action is happening. I’m really enjoying this but also realising that I should try and read this book in small bites. It has been quite exhausting to read because the writing hasn’t been as digestible. Adult books definitely use more brainpower when it comes to reading but I’m finding that since I hit the 20% mark, the writing has gotten easier to read. This could simply be that now I have adjusted to this massive new world and understand the protagonist a bit more or just that the author’s writing has progressed and I’m definitely enjoying this more as I continue to read it.
It baffles me that I’m only a quarter into this book (roughly 200 pages), it feels like I’ve read quite a lot already but this is a BIG book.
DAY 4: September 3rd – 35%
I didn’t spend a whole lot of time reading today but the 5% I did read was pretty good, things are developing rapidly and I’m starting to notice the weird pacing. One moment it’s a bit slow and another it’s frantic and I kind of like that this book is keeping me on my toes. We are starting to see and learn more about side characters and honestly, my favourites so far are the Entropists! These guys seem SO cool and I want to see more from them.
DAY 5: September 7th – 50%
So I took a few days off of reading this because 1. I was getting a lot of migraines and 2. I started reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and it was so addicting that I had to keep reading and finish it (spoiler non-spoiler: it was a 5-star read). 3. I also haven’t been super motivated to keep reading this book. Like, it’s such an interesting story but I can definitely understand whether reviewers of this book came from when they said how frantic and up and down the pacing at the beginning is.
Anyhow, I picked it up again and managed to get to 50% finally (the page count of a normal book). Shit really went down, I was talking about slow pacing before? I guess I’ve finally hit the point where are starting to go full steam ahead. I’m definitely feeling more motivated to keep going and finish this asap because I did not see some of these plot twists coming and while reading, I actually laughed so hard at a bit about Newts (you’ll know if you read it). It was SO funny, the best kind of sci-fi humour there is so that made me pretty happy.
DAY 6: September 8th – 63%
For some reason I thought the pacing would get much faster and it has a little bit but it is still taking me so long to get through the book. Some crazy plot twists have occurred that are still mind boggling and I’m just super intrigued to see where this book is going…
DAY 7: September 9th – 100%
So…I don’t know how I managed to do it but I read the rest of this book in one day. I had this idea that I was actually closer to the end than I thought because I found out that a chunk of the book at the end are a bunch of scientific reports and papers that I don’t really care about. So as I neared 80%, I thought, the end is coming, then as I got to 90%, I was like, it is ending now right? Then the book itself finally ended at 95% into this eARC.
I have to say that overall I did enjoy this book. There was a lot to it and I think I’ll talk more about it “in-depth” in my review but I was enjoying many parts of this book. It was very plot-driven, with some wild pacing but somehow retained some great character development and depth. For most of the book, I didn’t care much about the protagonist, but as I continued, I got more attached and the ending kind of annoyed me a bit? But I also saw the value, in that Christopher Paolini is creating something bigger. This is not standalone, this is just one instalment in a massive Fractalverse (as it’s being called). I also probably don’t like the ending as much because one of my favourites characters…didn’t do so well.
I definitely have questions about this world and I might consider reading future books, depending on how chonky they are because despite the book never necessarily having parts that aren’t important, it was too long in my opinion. He could’ve definitely cut down on some parts. Certain bits; I skimmed, I won’t lie, and I much prefer his “normal” writing style compared to the excerpts within the book that felt like he was trying to include more prose and ‘beautiful’ writing than was necessary. It felt more jarring than intriguing.
But yeah, this was a beast and I’m so proud of myself for finishing this. It was so intimidation and quite mentally exhausting to read but overall quite enjoyable. I’ll be reviewing it soon on The Nerd Daily then on this blog. I think my biggest takeaway from this is now I know the distinction between Science Fiction (sci-fi) and Science Fiction Fantasy (SFF) and I’ll talk more about it in my review.
If you’ve stuck around for this long and read my rambles, thank you! Let me know your thoughts on this type of blog post; would you prefer a version like this but with spoilers so I can chat more about the book as I read? Are you looking forward to this book?
Until next time,