I enjoy doing book reviews for BookTrib.com. It's definitely a site to check out. They usually send me mysteries and thrillers. (You can find my reviews here.) But it was really fun to scratch the itch I have always had for terrific science fiction.
Christopher Paolini's "To Sleep in a Sea of Stars." is just such a book.
Here's how I started my review:
First-contact stories in which humans encounter alien intelligence for the first time have always been the stuff of science fiction. Go back to War of the Worlds in 1897. Fast forward to 1974’s The Mote in God’s Eye by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven, the standard-bearer for great first contact novels. What defines such a story? Authors stir their vivid imaginations into a stew that includes big ideas about life itself and what it means to be human. They add fascinating characters, wild action, plot twists galore and at least a measure of scientific plausibility.
Christopher Paolini aims high in To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (Tor Books) and has crafted a tale that deserves to join the upper echelons of first contact novels, framed around a protagonist you’ll never forget, both for who she is and what she becomes.
You can read my full review here.