Title: Skyward (Skyward #1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Release Date: November 6th 2018 from Delacorte Press
Narrator: Suzy Jackson
Audio Book Time: 15 hours, 8 mins
Goodreads Synopsis: 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 defense 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.
NOTE: If you are curious of which Sanderson books to start with, this a fantastic place to start 🙂 This isn’t in his Cosmere universe. Although it is in the same world as one of his novellas, I don’t know which one but this is its own series.
You guys know that I am a die hard Sanderson fan and have been since reading Mistborn clear back in 2011. I have read nearly all of his stuff and in my house, his books are a big deal. I was especially excited that this was a new YA book from him and his major dip into science fiction in a novel. So I got the audio book for this one and listened to a lot of it in one day and guys…this is AMAZING. I can comfortably say that this is my favorite YA book he’s written to date and it is a funny, thrilling and refreshing science fiction book. Here are five reasons why you need to experience this book:
- Space battles!: Normally I don’t much science fiction in general, but this is so cool. In this world, humans inhabit a planet called Detritus, where people learn to be pilots to fight against the alien Krell and have been for several decades. The space battles in this totally give me Star Wars vibes and they are thrilling and exciting every single time. Sanderson talked to real pilots for his research, so you learn how they do maneuvers, strategies and other flight mechanisms. Also, if you get the physical or eBook copy, there are illustrations by Ben McSweeney that show the map of the planet and the different ships 🙂
- Spensa Nightshade: Our protagonist Spensa has grown up with everyone looking down upon their family after her father supposedly deserting a battle. She knows in her heart that he didn’t do anything, so she is prone to aggression and anger towards others. She’s been belittled, rejected and bullied by others with her dreams of becoming a pilot and learning the truth about her father. But when she gets to flight school, things quickly unravel and it’s not the outcome she expected. This girl is strong, determined and good natured towards those who support her and fight for her. Her character arc really meant a lot to me and I think we can all relate to someone who is trying to achieve their dreams, no matter what happens. She’s one of my favorite characters created by Sanderson so far.
- Talking Space Ship: Oh yes there is a talking space ship in this novel and MBot is amazing. I won’t say much about him other than he doesn’t quite know how to handle some human responses and acts like a funny know-it-all. His banter with Spensa is pure gold and I need more of him 🙂
- Overall Story: The way that Sanderson builds this sci-fi story is so cool! Even though humans have inhabited this other planet, they still have knowledge of our world now and the references to that are fun. It’s also cool to see humans on a different planet and the things they have to live off of. Now without any spoilers, he sets up the sequel in quite the awesome way that he usually does and I didn’t expect the ending to happen the way that it did. While the wait for the next one will be hard since the ending was so good, it’s always worth the wait.
- Well Developed Side Characters: I think I loved or loved to hate every side character in this novel. Sanderson truly ups his game for giving us fleshed out side characters, like Spensa’s grandma, Cobb the flight teacher (a fun crochety old man), Admiral Ironsides as well as the other teens that Spensa meets. Everyone is funny, smart, quirky or strong in their own way and I think many of you will find some great side characters to get attached to.
Overall: While I did have a tiny bit of time to get used to a straight sci-fi from him, since he dominantly writes fantasy, this was such a breath of fresh air with its humor, creativity and strong themes of strength, love of family, believing in your dreams and staying determined. Like I mentioned, this is a fantastic place to start with his books and it’s his best YA series opener to date 😀
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it? What other books by him have you read? What other YA sci-fi books would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!