Book Review – Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Skyward (#1) by Brandon Sanderson

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 that of her father’s—a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa the daughter of a coward, her chances of attending Flight School 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. (From Goodreads)

My Rating: Five Stars ★★★★★

I finally read my first Sanderson book! Let me tell you — it did not disappoint.

I was nervous to start this because I had seen so much hype around it. Everyone seems to love it, even bloggers and booktubers who don’t traditionally enjoy sci-fi. This left me with high expectations, and I did not want to be disappointed. For this reason, I kept bumping Skyward down in my TBR. I ended up having to prioritize it in May as it was chosen for a book club I am in. I am so happy I was pushed to pick it up. I absolutely LOVED this story.

As a reader, I was immediately invested in Spensa’s story. I loved Spensa’s character because she was not perfect. I empathized with her and was angry on her behalf for the treatment she received, but I could tell some of her fundamental beliefs were wrong. One of my favorite aspects of this book was her developing and realizing everything she strongly believes may not actually be true. All of the side characters were also well written and memorable. When Spensa meets her classmates, I thought I would never be able to tell them apart. But, Sanderson did a great job giving them each their own identities. And M-Bot! M-Bot was so lovable and entertaining. If you told me I would get attached to a non-human AI character in this book, I would not have believed you. But, here we are. Cobb was an awesome mentor character. He had such a positive influence on Spensa and let the reader see a member of the DDF who isn’t brainwashed by the toxic culture of their society. Even Ironsides, our main human antagonist who is very easy to hate, had complexities that allowed me to see her side of things and understand her reasoning.

Regarding the plot, this book has a slower pace to it. Admittedly, I wasn’t enthralled by all of the flight simulation training scenes even if I understand why they were necessary. The slow build-up ends up being so worth it. As the first book in a series, Skyward’s pace allows room for world-building and gives the reader time to connect with the characters. Once this is all established, I could not put the book down. The final few chapters were exciting and thrilling to the extent that most books I have read do not achieve.

Sanderson clearly is an amazing storyteller. I am looking forward not only to continuing this series but also delving into more of Sanderson’s work (especially since he has written so many fantasy books!). Have you read any of Sanderson’s books? If so, what do you think of them? I would love to read your opinion in the comments!


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