Review & Chat: We Are Satellites by Sarah Pinsker

Rating: 8.0/10


From award-winning author Sarah Pinsker comes a novel about one family and the technology that divides them.

Everybody’s getting one. 

Val and Julie just want what’s best for their kids, David and Sophie. So when teenage son David comes home one day asking for a Pilot, a new brain implant to help with school, they reluctantly agree. This is the future, after all. 

Soon, Julie feels mounting pressure at work to get a Pilot to keep pace with her colleagues, leaving Val and Sophie part of the shrinking minority of people without the device.  

Before long, the implications are clear, for the family and society: get a Pilot or get left behind. With government subsidies and no downside, why would anyone refuse? And how do you stop a technology once it’s everywhere? Those are the questions Sophie and her anti-Pilot movement rise up to answer, even if it puts them up against the Pilot’s powerful manufacturer and pits Sophie against the people she loves most.


Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance copy of We Are Satellites for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

We Are Satellites is an intriguing novel that explores the impact of futuristic technology at home and abroad. Pinsker introduces a character-driven story that nails a “family first” mentality with the complications of being left behind in a constantly progressing society.

While We Are Satellites is not a normal go-to type novel for me, I really enjoyed the entire read. Pinsker has a knack for writing characters that are relatable and you can completely empathize with, on top of providing very interesting premise. Much like our world today, if you aren’t keeping up with the technology trends at a steady pace, you can get left in the dust fairly quickly.

I enjoyed how each chapter provided multiple POVs between David, Sophie, Val & Julie. While the chapter headers were a nice add, you quickly became familiar with each distinctive voice fairly early on. I love how each character stood out from the pack, and their strengths and weaknesses were laid bare for all to see.

The idea behind the ‘Pilot’ is fantastic, and while I’m not sure having a device implanted on the side of my noggin is the best way to go, I can see why so many people would be chomping at the bit. So many times during a workday, I find myself wandering for other things to do as my mind constantly attempts to figure out how to get everything needing done, well, done.

I became quickly enthralled with David’s character (and no, NOT because it is also my name you silly gooses), but because from very early on, my heart just went out to him. I felt like no-one really wanted to listen to what he had to say, then he joins the military (soft spot there), attempts to reorient himself with society and realizes it is more difficult than he imagined. At least it ends on a good note, which I’m not sure I would’ve been in as good a mood talking to Sarah had it not LOL.

I really enjoyed We Are Satellites, and if you are looking for a futuristic, character-driven sci-fi novel with more heart than lasers, check it out. I also recommend the audio if you’d rather take that route. Bernadette Dunne did a phenomenal job capturing the true essence of each character.

Come join David as he chats w/ author Sarah Pinsker about her newest novel, We Are Satellites.

Be sure to check out the below audio excerpt, provided by Penguin Audio, and read for you by Bernadette Dunne.

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