Skyward is a YA Sci-Fi novel by Brandon Sanderson, the first in a series of the same name. The story is set on a planet a group of humans crashed landed on years ago while escaping the Krell, a mysterious alien race who continually attacks the planet, forcing the humans to live underground. The story follows Spensa, a teen with dreams to follow her late disgraced father as a pilot to help defeat the Krell, and the obstacles she has to overcome to get there.
WHAT I LIKED
I really enjoyed this book. The setting and history of the human/Krell conflict Sanderson has created is fascinating, and as the story progressed I found myself eager to learn more about what happened and how they ended up where they were. Nothing turned out to be what it seemed on the surface and that was something I really enjoyed about the book.
Spensa is a great protagonist, it didn’t take long for me to warm to her and I felt frustrated along with her when she was continually blocked from pursing her dream of being a pilot. I liked that she wasn’t perfect, and wasn’t automatically amazing at flying and said and did things which were wrong to do, it made her a more realistic character. M-Bot was a really entertaining take on an AI character, and I loved seeing his character develop throughout the story. I also really enjoyed the other character’s in the Skyward crew, even Jorgen by the end, who I found to be a really irritating character at first, and I quickly became emotionally invested in their survival.
The overarching mysteries surrounding who the Krell are and why they keep attacking the planet as well as what really happened to Spensa’s father were plotlines which kept me guessing right until the end, and the big twist and reveals were incredible and nothing I could have worked out myself. I love a book that can completely surprise me like that.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
There is very little I didn’t like about this book. My only significant criticism was the middle of the book, which felt extremely repetitive with a very similar formula of the group training, a sudden Krell attack, something bad happening, then repeating again and again. However, I can understand why this was necessary and intentionally done for the reader to understand and question what later becomes a significant plot detail alongside Spensa and the rest of the team, though I did find it difficult to motivate myself to keep reading at times before I realised this. Apart from that though, there really isn’t anything else I can think of that I didn’t like.
Overall, I would rate this book 4.5/5 stars. I absolutely loved this book and I can’t wait to pick up the sequel Starsight, which, lucky for me, releases later on this month. If it wasn’t for the repetitiveness in the middle which made it difficult for me to keep reading, the book would have easily been a 5/5.
This review was posted as part of Sci-Fi Month, an event which takes place throughout November and is hosted by imyril at One More and Lisa and Dear Geek Place. There’s still time to sign up and join in if you’re interested!