TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by Christopher Paolini (Excerpt)

Tor Books is thrilled to be publishing Christopher Paolini's adult debut novel, TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS (on-sale 9/15), and I am equally thrilled to be taking part in the serialized excerpt campaign!

TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS is the story of a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet where xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic that thrusts her into the wonders and the nightmares of first contact.

“Jesus, someone help her,” Alan cried.

“Watch out!” shouted Seppo. “That thing on the floor is moving! Shi—”

“Sickbay,” said Fizel. “Get her to sickbay. Now! Pick her up. Pick—”

The walls swam around her as they lifted her. Kira felt like she was being strangled. She tried to inhale, but her muscles were too cramped. Red sparks gathered around the edges of her vision as Alan and the others carried her down the hallway. She felt as if she were floating; everything seemed insubstantial except the pain and her fear.

A jolt as they dropped her onto Fizel’s exam table. Her abdomen relaxed for a second, just long enough for Kira to steal a breath before her muscles locked back up.

“Close the door! Keep that thing out!” A thunk as the sickbay pressure lock engaged.

“What’s happening?” said Alan. “Is—”

“Move!” shouted Fizel. Another hypo pressed against Kira’s neck.

As if in response, the pain tripled, something she wouldn’t have believed possible. A low groan escaped her, and she jerked, unable to control the motion. She could feel foam gathering in her mouth, clogging her throat. She gagged and convulsed.

“Shit. Get me an injector. Other drawer. No, other drawer!”


“Not now!”

“Doc, she isn’t breathing!”

Equipment clattered, and then fingers forced Kira’s jaw apart, and someone jammed a tube into her mouth, down her throat. She gagged again. A moment later, sweet, precious air poured into her lungs, sweeping aside the curtain darkening her vision.

Alan was hovering over her, his face contorted with worry.

Kira tried to talk. But the only sound she could make was an inarticulate groan.

“You’re going to be okay,” said Alan. “Just hold on. Fizel’s going to help you.” He looked as if he were about to cry.

Kira had never been so afraid. Something was wrong inside her, and it was getting worse.

Run, she thought. Run! Get away from here before—

Dark lines shot across her skin: black lightning bolts that twisted and squirmed as if alive. Then they froze in place, and where each one lay, her skin split and tore, like the carapace of a molting insect.

Kira’s fear overflowed, filling her with a feeling of utter and inescapable doom. If she could have screamed, her cry would have reached the stars.

About the Author

Christopher Paolini was born in Southern California and has lived most of his life in Paradise Valley, Montana. He published his first novel, Eragon, in 2003 at the age of 19, and quickly became a publishing phenomenon. His Inheritance CycleEragon and its three sequels—have sold nearly 40 million copies worldwide. This is his first adult novel.

About the Book

by Christopher Paolini

Kira Navárez dreamed of finding life on new worlds.

Now she has awakened a nightmare.

While exploring a distant planet, she discovers an alien relic that thrusts her into an epic journey of transformation and discovery.

Her odyssey will carry her to the far reaches of the galaxy.

Earth and her colonies are on the brink of annihilation.

The will to survive.

One woman.

The hope of humanity.

This epic novel follows Kira Navárez, who, during a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, finds an alien relic that thrusts her into the wonders and the nightmares of first contact. Epic space battles for the fate of humanity take her to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and, in the process, transform not only her ― but the entire course of history.

Participating Blogs

Tuesday, 5/26
Between Dreams and Reality
Books, Bones & Buffy
eleven thirteen pm
Moonlight Rendezvous
Nurse Bookie
SciFi Chick
The Nerd Daily
  Wednesday, 5/27
The Mary Sue
Book Briefs
Bookish Bliss and Beauty
DMCI Reads
For the Love of Words
Novel Heartbeat
Reading Reality
Simone and Her Books
The Qwillery
The Reading Corner for All
  Thursday, 5/28
Den of Geek
Beauty in Ruins
Flames Rising
Polish & Paperbacks
She Reads with Cats
WTF Are You Reading?
Amanda Bradburn
A Book and a Cup
Required Reading


  1. Wow, that is a great excerpt. Now I want to read the book! Thanks for sharing~

  2. I have to say, these three excerpts were not at ALL what I was expecting from this book! I'm even more curious to read it now...

  3. […] and guests this month included an excerpt from TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by Christopher Paolini, a guest post from Dean Wyant (PSI-WARS) on Visions, Reading, Inspiration […]


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