Title / Skyward
Author / Brandon Sanderson
Publication Date / October 2018
Series or standalone / Skyward trilogy
Page no. / 528
Overall Rating / ★★★.5
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Goodreads synopsis: Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul
This is the first book in a new YA science fiction trilogy. Before reading this I had read 11 books by Brandon Sanderson, so it is safe to say that I am a fan of his writing, although I wasn’t a fan of the start of his other YA series, The Reckoners. I thought this was a solid introduction to this world and characters. What I enjoyed most about this book was the setting. Humanity is trapped on a planet called Detritus. While most people live underground in caverns, some cities remain above ground. Attacks from the Krell, a mysterious alien race, are almost constant and humanity must train up young people as pilots to maintain the fight against them. Their training in the flight school takes up large part of this story. From the beginning I was immersed in this world and thought it was one of the main strengths of this book. I haven’t read a lot of science fiction this year so it was great to be back in a space setting.
Sanderson has once again created a vivid and complex world with an interesting history to it. I never felt bogged down by the information and there wasn’t any info-dumping. Information about the world is slowly released throughout the 528 pages at a pace that keeps you hooked. One final thing that did frustrate me a little was the constant talk of bravery and cowardice. In this world pilots that eject after being shot down are called cowards and, rather stupidly in my opinion, are not allowed to fly unless reserves are needed. Firstly that is not cowardice and secondly, surely you need all the pilots you’ve got? The idea of the defect is also kind of absurd to me. While these elements did detract from my overall reading experience, I did still really enjoy this book.
While I thought the characters were well written overall, I did have a few issues with them. First of all, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the main character, Spensa. She is immature, very quick to anger and kind of aggressive. I found her to be quite a frustrating character, although she did get a little better toward the end of the book. The other characters are well written, if a little underdeveloped. All of the characters are quite formulaic in terms of the YA genre. Despite the issues I had I did become invested in them and Sanderson did a great job at developing the relationships between the characters. This is uses a first person narrative which works well with the story, although I think I would have liked some other perspective to get a wider look into this world.
Skyward contains a fast-paced and entertaining story that is easy to get into. The plot is a little shallow to begin with, to allow you to get used to the world and the characters but it does pick up later on in the book. Some of the flight school and battle sequences did get a little repetitive at times. Having said that, I did really enjoy this book while reading it.
Overall I thought this was a great introduction to this new YA trilogy, although I am coming to the conclusion that I prefer Sanderson’s adult books. Right now I’m undecided on whether or not I’ll continue with this trilogy – I’ll probably decide closer to the release of the sequel. Have you guys read this book? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.