Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s–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, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.
OMG, I LOVED THIS BOOK! I could simply end my review here and you’d get it! This book just became my favorite Sci-Fi novel of all time. Like several of Brandon Sanderson books, I purchased them all over the past few years because, you know, I heard it was good or heard of this Sandy guy. Then, like a rebel, I was despondent about it. Was I stupid!! I read Mistborn, Steelheart and Skyward recently. Although Steelheart was ok, Mistborn and Skyward became my two favorite books of all time. And Skyward nails the top spot.
Just for reference, I rarely, if ever, get emotional when reading a book. Skyward hit a nerve and truly dug deep. I read the 500 pages novel in 2 days, and that was probably because of the weekend chores I had to do, otherwise it might have been a one-sitting kind of thing. It wasn’t the amazing world Sanderson built, nor the unexpected plot that got me. It was the main character, and to top it off, Sanderson took the 1st person approach for the story where we’re always experiencing the story through Spensa’s eyes. We truly sense her pain, her disappointments, her struggles and her victories. It felt personal and emotional. Anyone who has struggled with tremendous obstacles, or felt out of place (the third wheel) will GET that story and walk in Spensa’s shoes, along with dealing with the narrative at a profound level.
From a technical standpoint, the world building (and magic/technology) sat quietly in a corner and sometimes reminded us of its presence through carefully placed maps, schematics of ships and hints at other extraordinary elements to support the story—which is typical of a Sanderson book—but never took the main stage and was appropriately executed.
Some reviews or taglines in the covers mention the non-stop action and amazing plotting of the book and yes, there is that too! But the characters and the growth (and losses) they experience through this book made me put the novel at the top of my favorites. Sanderson nailed the human part of going through such a crisis as an impending alien invasion, and enhanced it with crazy spaceship fights, crazy-yet-funny AI and a world of characters and a planet we truly want to know more beyond this first novel. I literally had to take a breather after I finished this book, something that never happened before. It touched me deeply, as if I knew Spensa and lived Detritus’ struggles against the Krell with her, as a friend. For me, Skyward opened a door to the possibility of living a book on a deeply emotional plane, something I’ve never experienced before.
Bravo Sanderson. Bravo.