Series: Skyward #1
Written by: Brandon Sanderson
Published: November 6, 2018 by Delacorte Press (Random House)
Synopsis: Spensa's world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what's left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa's dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with that of her father's—a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa the daughter of a coward, her chances of attending Flight School slim to none.
No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.
Many of you probably know that I am a huge Brandon Sanderson fan. I was late to the game with him but when I fell, I fell hard. He's one of my favorite authors and he is a total auto-buy for me. So when I heard he was coming out with a new YA science fiction I had to read it. But surprisingly I didn't read it as soon as it came out. And honestly, I wish I had because this book was amazing.
For one thing this book had that classic Brandon Sanderson plot development. He's such a master at crafting a story that pulls you in and takes you for a ride and this book was no exception. For the word go this book was a thrilling adventure. I wouldn't say that it's necessarily a very creative story. The character with something to prove because of their parents so they go to a school to learn to be a pilot is a pretty common trope but in Brandon Sanderson's hands it was a non-stop thrill ride. I'm usually good at solving twists but with his books I am proven wrong time and time again. With this book, I thought I had everything all figured out and he threw another surprise at me. A surprise that has me excited for the next book in the series.
The other thing I love about Brandon Sanderson is the worlds he creates. Seeing his take on hard sci-fi was honestly amazing. I know he can write science fiction and this book certainly proved that. It had a classic science fiction feel to it. There was a colonized planet with people who had established their own civilization, technology, alien races you didn't know much about, and artificial intelligence. And it all worked together to craft an engaging world that I think we are only just learning about. Sanderson always puts a lot of details into his worlds and because of that they really come to life.
However, I think my favorite thing about this book was the characters. I instantly connected with Spensa. She's such an incredible sasspants. She's the kind of character who goes from zero to super dark and intimidating at the drop of a hat. But her taunts were so poetic I just couldn't help but love them and her. The thing with Spensa though is that you wanted her to succeed. You wanted her to overcome adversity and get the opportunity to prove herself. You rooted for her, at least I did. Plus she had really incredible development. The Spensa at the end of the book was much smarter but just as badass. And the secondary characters were just as good. The best is definitely M-Bot. I love a sentient AI with a sense of humor and he's up there with AIDAN.
Plus, there were some really great relationships in this book. So much of this book is about friendship, teamwork, and family. Spensa had a really interesting family dynamic. She idealized her father who was deemed a traitor by her community which made her and her mother an outcast. She doesn't have the best relationship with her mother but you can tell they love each other. But I think the most interesting dynamics were with her team of pilots. Being an outcast she is definitely trying to get them to accept her and treat her like one of them but at the same time she has to navigate the societal dynamics of their world. There is definitely a haves and havenots society here and Brandon did not shy away from showing that. He really explored the idea of privilege and what that means in the face of war. Which made the team coming together in the end all the more interesting. And I loved so many members of her team. Seeing the camaraderie that they establish was one of the best parts of this book. And I love that they gave their flight leader Jorgin aka Jerkface a lot of crap and he definitely deserved it. He and Spensa's dynamic was one of my favorites. I particularly loved it because he didn't feel the need to make it romantic. That's right you guys! This book didn't have any romance. It totally could have and maybe book two will but here all we had was some good old-fashioned teamwork and budding friendships.
Everything about this book made me so happy. It was a completely amazing read with a thrilling plot, fascinating world, and likable characters. It had everything I expect from a Brandon Sanderson book and everything that I look for in science fiction. I wish I had read it way sooner because it was so freaking good. I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorite books of the year.
I give Skyward by Brandon Sanderson 9.5 out of 10 stars
Have you read Skyward? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!