Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
Publication date: 6 November 2018
Genre: Young adult science fiction
Page count: 510 pages
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.
Welcome to my stop on the Skyward blog tour! Brandon Sanderson is one of my absolute favourite authors, so you can imagine how excited I was to read is first science fiction novel. Check out my review below, and don’t forget to take a look at the other posts from this tour!
Brandon Sanderson is an author I trust completely. I will buy every single one of his books because I know I will like them. When I heard that he was writing his very first science fiction novel, I was so incredibly excited. My expectations for this novel were sky high (heh) and I have to say that Spensa and the gang absolutely smashed those expectations.
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.
I cannot tell you how much fun I had reading this book. In many ways it felt a lot like reading another of Becky Chambers’s marvelous Wayfarers novels — Skyward is uplifting, hopeful, and shows how one person can change the world.This ridiculously fun take of the classic school narrative was so incredibly fun and felt so fresh and new. In flight school, the social outcast Spensa forges amazing friendships, both with other girls and with boys in her class — something I always love to see in books — and the relationships between Spensa and her friends are one of the most delightful aspects of Skyward. Her overall story and treatment by the community, the cultural aspects of a military-controlled community at war, as well as they mystery behind what really happened to her father, all come together to create an unputdownable book. When I read the last page, all I wanted to do was flip back to the beginning and start again.
Spensa is a brilliantly crafted character — to me, she’s the perfect YA heroine. Her story arc and character growth are astonishing. In the beginning of the book she is brash and selfish, filled with a rage that comes across as an unwavering swagger. She’s so confident that she will prove she’s the best of the best, but is quickly put in her place in flight school. Sanderson strikes the perfect balance of a naturally talented character and the need to actually learn a highly complex skill like flying. Her journey feels so incredibly realistic and I loved reading alongside her progress.
Spensa is a great character, but many of the side characters manage to be just as well written as our heroine. Kimmalyn is a stand-out character for me, as well as Hurl. Both female pilots have so much personality and have such a fantastic, but wildly different relationship with Spensa. My favourites character, however, was M-bot. The less said about him the better, however I think readers will absolutely fall in love with him like I did.
Sanderson proves again and again that he is one of the best storytellers in the business, and Skyward is no different. The perfect blend of humour, action, and heart makes Skyward an unforgettable tale. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the series!
Want to try Skyward for yourself? You can find it at the following sites (affiliate links):
Have you read Skyward? What did you think? Is it on your TBR? Let me know!