Skyward Book Review

  • Jess Magee

Brandon Sanderson’s latest book, Skyward, is the newest YA sci-fi adventure that I didn’t realise I needed until now! The human race has been all but wiped out. Forced to live on a barren planet whilst a mysterious race only known as the ‘Krell’ battles them in war fought over generations, the only way to fight them is to become a pilot, the most highly accepted job in all the clans. Skyward Brandon Sanderson In this time, we meet a young girl named Spensa, who longs to join the rankings like her father once before, but his label as a coward makes it all but impossible for her dreams to come true. However, when she comes across a ship wreckage in an abandon cavern, she realises she may fly after all. Even if the ship seems to have a mind of its own. Sanderson has done it again! The storyline itself could’ve easily falter or become stagnant as we join Spensa mostly through flight school, leaving room for the story to grow stale and somewhat repetitive. However, new plot points and materials are brought in throughout these scenes. On top of this, his writing style has the rare ability to make you feel as if you are in the scene with the characters, watching it unfold with them and feeling their emotions head on. There are such a wide range of characters that everyone can find one that they agree or level with to an extent. With characters ranging from Spensa, an aggressive and talented cadet who struggles to come to terms with her father’s mistakes, to Kimmalyn, a polite and happy cadet who just so happens to be the best sniper the DDF has seen for years. It’s so easy to get attached to this team. Whilst following their training and knowing that only 1-2 cadets in each team are likely to graduate, there is so much room for laughter and heartbreak. My favourite character throughout the book is the big personality that is M-Bot, the lovable and funny ship that she finds abandoned. With one liners such as “Maybe I should start calling you a cow, since you have four limbs, are made of meat, and have rudimentary biological mental capacities.”, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with him as well. The message of this book is one I rarely see in sci-fi and fantasy, but it is one that should be brought to the forefront more often than not. It brings forward the idea of bravery, but not in the fantasy cut off the head of the dragon kind of way. Although Spensa is finally living her dream of becoming a pilot and has worked so hard against the odds to be there, she begins to lose that chip in her shoulder she once used as the forefront of her personality. The debate in her mind and with others is when is it time to say enough is enough and walk away from what you thought were your dreams? Does it make you any less brave for doing so? And since her father was branded a coward for his actions as a pilot, she wrestles with the idea of what a coward truly is and does walking mean giving up? I personally loved this book! There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t engaged with the story and the characters and there were so many emotions provoked from just 513 pages (I cried… a lot). Sanderson’s ability to tell a story whilst also making you feel like one of the team shows why he’s one of the most well-known and beloved authors in the sci-fi world at the moment. If you’re looking for action, humour, but also a little bit of a cry then I couldn’t recommend this book more!