Author: Brandon Sanderson
Released: November 6th 2018
Skyward is the first novel in a new series by Brandon Sanderson. It’s a young adult science fiction novel, so it’s quite a bit different from everything else he’s done. Still, the novel sold like crazy back when it came out in the fall, and for good reason.
Sorry in advance if any of what I say next sounds a tiny bit robotic. I swear I wrote a review for this book months ago when I read it, but I can’t seem to find it. So I’m writing up another review, because it’s going to drive me nuts if I don’t.
Skyward is set on another planet, where the people living there are constantly besieged by an alien race that they’ve never actually seen before. The attacks force them to live underground or in secure structures. Thus limiting where they can live and build. It also keeps them from leaving this relatively resource-limited planet.
Skyward was an absolutely brilliant read. I love seeing authors reach out of their comfort zones, and that’s exactly what Brandon Sanderson did. But he proved that he’s more than capable of writing an enchanting novel with a science fiction twist, and a young adult appeal.
The world these people live on sounds so painfully desolate. I can only imagine the desperation they must feel to get away, yet they don’t even have the option to do just that. It does seem like the upper-class people live better lives than the poorer (who naturally live lower down in the earth), but I’m also not terribly surprised by that fact either. It just goes to show how much this civilization can stand to improve.
Spensa was the perfect main perspective for this novel. She’s driven, she’s strong, and she’s been through hell and back. And all of that before the novel even really got going. It was through her we saw the biggest differences between classes. Through her we saw the prejudice of her people. Through her we saw just how hard it is to make it when others drag you down.
There were times where Spensa’s situation truly made my eyes mist up a little bit for her sake. It’s hard not to feel for her, while seeing her get kicked down again and again. But she always got back up. It’s inspiring, actually.
As for the aliens…I’m intrigued by them. I sort of love that nobody had actually ever had the opportunity to study them, not even a corpse. It raised so many questions in my head, and those questions only gathered in number as time went on.
I think the AI in this novel was particularly iconic. They had so much personality, even if they were just a tiny bit broken from time to time. It probably didn’t help (or is it hurt?) that they were being influenced by Spensa’s quirky nature.
Also, while I’m at it: they need to make a Doom Slug stuffed animal. Last I checked they had made pins and the like, but I want a stuffed animal. I’d totally buy one. Nobody else would get it, but that’s alright with me.
The final battle scene in this novel was what really got to me though. It was so well described, I could practically picture it happening. It was dramatic, gave Spensa a real chance to shine, and it even gave us answers. In short, it was perfect.
I can’t wait for news on the sequel. Right now I know it’s going to be called Starsight, but that’s about all I know for the moment. I’m afraid to go looking for too much information right now, as it’s just going to make me anxious for more.