Review – Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

My journey of exploring more science-fiction continues with Skyward. It didn’t give me quite the punch that I was expecting from a Sanderson novel, but the character development and dynamics made up for that. I had a blast reading it and flew through these pages. I gave it a rating of 4.5 stars.

Skyward is the story of Spensa, whose father betrayed the colony and died when she was only 7. As the traitor’s daughter, she goes through life being looked down upon by pretty much everyone. Spensa is determined to get into flight school and become a pilot to fight the aliens that are constantly attacking the planet, together with her best friend Rodge “Rig”. All to show that she is not a traitor. That she is not a Coward like her father. Corrupt politics throw Spensa of her path and she has to find a way to live through flight school in the circumstances that are given to her.

So far, I had only read the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, but as I wanted to branch out to more science-fiction, I thought this would be a good choice. I’m already familiar with his writing and, with it being YA, it should be relatively easy to follow. This was also the pick for our book club for September so I’m looking forward to discussing it more with my bookclub friends.

“We must not cower in the dark because we’re afraid of the spark within us. The answer is not to put out the spark, but to learn to control it.”

The plot didn’t make quite the impact I was expecting from a Sanderson book (but maybe the sequels will get me there). Don’t get me wrong, there were still a lot of interesting things going on, but no major reveals that blew my socks off. It has some great battle scenes and lots of intrigue where you don’t really know what’s going on with Spensa and with the Krell’s motivations. And also, the search to find out what really happened with her father all those years ago. At the end it still leaves you hanging a bit as I didn’t get the big reveal yet. I’m sure that will be explored more in the sequel, but for now, this book on its own gives me the feeling like it’s more of a prologue to the series. What we were missing in plot reveals, was made up for by the great character development in my opinion.

I have similar feelings about these characters as I do with the Nevernight characters: You don’t want to get too attached to them, because you never know who is going to make it. So basically, people die. It is handled in a great way though, where the grief of the remaining characters is manifesting in different ways and it was touching to see how they all dealt with it differently. I really came to like everyone in Spensa’s flight. There was a moment with a slumber party kind of thing that was very touching. It was beautiful to see them al come together as a flight. Now there’s also a ship with its own mind: M-bot. They are my favorite and they play quite a big role in the general story. I still have so many questions around them and their origins, but they are great so far. They have a great sense of humor and a weird obsession with mushrooms. Spensa’s class of pilots has some interesting individuals in it. They all bring their own strengths and views to the team. I especially liked Freja “FM” ’s views on the world and I believe that they can play a big role in the following books. But I’m basically thinking that of all of Skyward Flight. Jorgen “Jerkface”, Hudija “Hurl”, Arturo “Amphisbaena”, Ned “Nedder”, Kimmlayn “Quirk”, Magna “Morningtide”, Bim and Spensa “Spin” make a wonderful team together.

I Enjoyed this book a lot, but it didn’t quite give me that punch to the guts that I was expecting from a Sanderson novel, so I gave it a rating of 9/10. I think this novel did a great job of setting up the story to expand even more in depth, worldbuilding and character dynamics in the second book. I’m looking forward to seeing what else is to come.

Let me know what you thought about this book, because most of the ratings I’ve seen on Goodreads by my bookclub friends have been just 3 stars.



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