Skyward by Brandon Sanderson – REVIEW
Spensa’s world has been under attack for hundreds of years. An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Humanity’s only defence is to take to their ships and combat the Krell. Pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race.
Becoming a pilot has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring above the earth and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with that of her father–a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa’s chances of attending Flight School at slim to none.
No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is determined to fly. And the Krell just made that a possibility. They’ve doubled their fleet, which will make Spensa’s world twice as deadly . . . but just might take her skyward.
“You get to choose who you are. Legacy, memories of the past, can serve us well. But we cannot let them define us. When heritage becomes a box instead of an inspiration, it has gone too far.”
I’d never read any Brandon Sanderson until I requested an e-ARC of Skyward on NetGalley after seeing it was the first book in a new YA sci-fi series. I’ve always been intimidated by his other books as they look like a huge commitment despite hearing so many people rave about them. After reading Skyward though, I’ll definitely be starting the Mistborn trilogy which I’ve had on my TBR pile for months. I fell in love with this story after only a few chapters and can’t wait to re-read a finished copy as soon as possible. I’ve read more science-fiction than ever over the last year and this has to be my favourite alongside the Illuminae trilogy.
“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 was fantastic – it was well-paced, engaging and funny. I’m a huge fan of training sequences so I loved reading about flight school and Spensa’s turbulent training to become a pilot. Slowly adding layer upon layer, the author creates a world that is fully fleshed-out and believable. Themes such as bravery, glory, and legacy are beautifully interwoven into the story and I particularly enjoyed the exploration of the tremendous influences a parent’s decision can have on a child. Once I was fully involved in the plot, I couldn’t put the book down, and the ending has me desperate to read the next book and learn more about this unforgettable world.
“I was a warrior, as Gran-Gran had taught me. And the warrior’s way was not to run from failure, but to own up to it and do better.”
My favourite thing though was the brilliant characters, who were skilfully portrayed and memorable. I loved Spensa’s belligerent attitude, anger and stubbornness, especially when she interacted with Jorgen and Cobb. The dynamics between the pilots were complex and believable, and the growing friendships were realistically written. My favourite character though was the incredible talking spaceship Spensa discovers (and Doomslug of course). Its dialogue was hilarious and I loved the quirky characterisation. As you can probably tell, this book was just so much fun and one I would recommend wholeheartedly. I actually have two signed copies and two themed book boxes pre-ordered which surely illustrates the extent of my love for this incredible book.