Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.
It is a wonder to read a young adult book written by Brandon Sanderson. I could get back to my own reading pace and be surprised that I am accustomed to reading a longer and bigger book because of the same author. This novel is set in a different tone. The main character, Spensa, dreams to become a pilot because his father was/is once a pilot. I almost spoil everyone! But entering a flight school wouldn’t be easy for her. The reputation of her family, the hate from the higher-ups, the discrimination among their people in regards to their job is unexpectedly unbelievable. Those points are based on my observation because the culture of the humans here living on a different planet is that when you are a pilot you are a proud member of the society. Look it as, if you are a doctor, everyone thinks highly of you. I think it has the same analogy in this book.
So, why Pilots? Not healers? The Pilots here are not just navigators in the open air. They are also fighters who fight the unending war between an unknown forces in the sky who keeps on dropping huge bombs that could destroy the humanity in a second – another factor why they need a Pilot is because they are also the ones who collect resources from the sky that they need in order to construct and build an aircraft.
Spensa’s story doesn’t start easy for her. She had her difficulties in Flight School. It’s not her abilities and capabilities on navigating and learning, it is because of the circumstances that have been laid out to her in order to live and be able to be a student at the same time. What I like about Spensa is that she is a strong independent girl who believes in her own perspective and stands on her own convictions. You could perceive her a little bit aggressive or at times morbid and descriptive on her threats but she’s a wonderful character to love in Skyward.
There are actually a lot of characters in Skyward. I won’t mention them since I would like the readers who will be reading the book for the first time to enjoy the moment of getting to know them. BUT. Beware: Not every one of them stays. It hurts. It will slowly hurt reading a book where you are invested in a team then slowly, one by one, is getting fewer. I could feel the emotions of a flight when they lose a member, I could feel the grief of not just an instructor but also a father in them when someone dies. IT. IS. PAINFUL.
Skyward surprises me more than once. This book is not just a fast-paced science fiction book. It has a touch of a little bit of fantasy that I think needs to be discovered in the sequel. One thing that I’m sure of when it comes to Brandon Sanderson: You don’t know what’s coming and you will just applaud how awesome he is to plot an amazing book that will break borders in literature.
MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!
Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s Soul, Mistborn: Secret History, and a brand-new Stormlight Archive novella, Edgedancer.
Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.
Brandon was working on his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. Tor has published Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy and its followup The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker, and The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; 2009’s The Gathering Storm and 2010’s Towers of Midnight were followed by the final book in the series, A Memory of Light, in January 2013. Four books in his middle-grade Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series have been released in new editions by Starscape, and his novella Infinity Blade Awakening was an ebook bestseller for Epic Games accompanying their acclaimed Infinity Blade iOS video game series. Two more novellas, Legion and The Emperor’s Soul, were released by Subterranean Press and Tachyon Publications in 2012, and 2013 brought two young adult novels, The Rithmatist from Tor and Steelheart from Delacorte.
The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings. The Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.
Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.