To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

Tor. Sept. 2020. 880p. Tr $29.99. ISBN 9781250762849.
Gr 9 Up–Kira is a xenobiologist who explores the flora and fauna of new moons and planets for the Lapsang Corporation within the League of Worlds. On a barren moon, pale-skinned Kira encounters an alien artifact, a black dust that horrifyingly bonds to her skin. Kira frantically tries to adapt to the alien entity fused to her like a skinsuit, which can control her body and mind, yet also gives her powers she never could have imagined. The League of Worlds and newly discovered hostile aliens pursue her to fight for control of the entity suit, precipitating a brutal war that humans cannot win without the entity’s power and Kira’s compliance. Kira, along with the crew of the Wallfish and their captain, tan-skinned Salvo Falconi, unlikely allies who rescue her from deep space, must develop a détente with the entity, or it will subsume her and perhaps all of humanity as well. This is epic adventure is fascinating and complex. The book is written in six sections, and though over 800 pages, this is a tense, fast-paced read with nonstop action and a poignant ending.
VERDICT With a classic and well-calibrated mix of science and fiction, Paolini has moved from fantasy to sci-fi with a book that will appeal to sci-fi lovers everywhere.

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