The Brand New Series

528 pages

English language

Published Dec. 22, 2019 by Orion Publishing Group, Limited.

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4 stars (10 reviews)

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.

2 editions

Fun yet formulaic YA scif

3 stars

This was the first Brandon Sanderson book I've ever read and it was fine.

He's an excellent writer and the story was engaging. The ending left me wondering whether or not I'd read the next one.

This is a very "Hero With a Thousand Faces" story. Spensa, a young woman drawn to her destiny to become a pilot, is haunted by the shadow and mystery of her father's actions as a pilot.

As the story unfolds the perspective widens. And then, towards the end, the perspective gets wider than anyone thought possible. That's also where the book lost me: I am uncertain whether I like the world this story was building towards. There's nothing wrong with it, maybe just not my cup of tea.

A fun YA hard science fiction yarn

4 stars

I greatly enjoy Brandon Sanderson's fantasy novels. His world-building and magic systems always have an interesting logic - balancing a power's advantages against its limitations or disadvantages. I always feel that those rules would translate directly into a well-tuned RPG.

"Skyward" is the first Sanderson science fiction I've read, but it won't be the last. It's a hard sci-fi YA adventure with a teenage girl protagonist who makes mistakes and embarrasses herself but has you cheering her on every step of the way.

The technology and action scenes are convincing, and I enjoyed the way Sanderson went into some detail about how the spacecraft and their weapons worked.

Overall the plot was a little predictable but didn't detract from the fun of the story, and the final revelation was a good surprise and set-up for the sequel.

Exciting story and good world building

4 stars

This is the first from this author I have read, and I enjoyed it immensely. A coming of age story about a girl fighting hard to be a pilot in her planet's defence force. A broken world fighting against an unknown enemy. Mysterious powers and aliens. Can't wait to read the next book.

Review of 'Skyward' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This was a very enjoyable read. I approached it as a standalone novella, yet was surprised to see it's a full length novel (~500 pages) and the first in a series. This means there's more cool things to see in this world. It's among the few Sanderson sci-fi works I've read so it's good to see he can also excel here as he does in fantasy. The characters were cool (especially the ship!) and the plot, though at times predictable, is paced perfectly. This will be a series to look out for.

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  • American literature