Onward & Upward | Skyward by Brandon Sanderson Review, Aesthetic, & Recommendations

Title: Skyward

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Format: Audiobook

Narrator(s): Suzy Jackson

Run Time: 15 hours, 28 minutes

Source: Purchased

Trigger Warning(s): Death of a loved one (NOTE: If you believe I have failed to include any necessary trigger warnings, please inform me and I will add them)

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. 

Goodreads Summary

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Y’all. I am speechless. All I can say is that Skyward was out of this world! (See what I did there? It’s a space book that’s out of this world! Hahahahaaaaaaa I’m so lame…)

I took forever before finally getting to this book and I’m just left wondering why it took me so long, considering the (well deserved) hype? Because now that I’ve read it, I can 100% see what the fuss is all about. Skyward is the type of book to make reader’s eyes light up and to immediately suck them into the world. It’s the type of book that makes those of us who don’t read sci fi as much wonder why we aren’t reading more of that genre.

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  • Spensa! Okay, I’ll admit it: at first I wasn’t the biggest fan of Spensa. She and I have very different personalities and handle difficult situations very differently. But I came to understand her and view her as different from me and perhaps even “flawed” in my eyes, but still valid and good. And, in my humble opinion, that’s how you know that a hero/heroine is a good protagonist—because even if they are different from you, the author provides enough context and emotional incentive for you to understand the character and ultimately to sympathize (if not empathize) with them. Sanderson pulled this feat off with expertise and I left the book rooting for our scrappy heroine.
  • A Spunky Space Crew! One of the best things about Skyward is the found family aspect. At flight school, Spensa is assigned to a team (called “Skyward Flight”) of other new pilots and…well, let’s just say Alexander Hamilton isn’t the only one who’s “young, scrappy, and hungry.” The crew is assembled of a variety of differing personalities and perspectives and it’s wonderful to see the group mesh together and clash and eventually learn to respect each other and grow to care deeply for each other. The squad is composed of awesome and unique individuals, including…
    • Rodge (Call Sign: Rig): Spensa’s childhood best friend and the squad’s resident boy genius.
    • Kimmalyn (Call Sign: Quirk): A friendly, bubbly pilot who quickly befriends Spensa.
    • Jorgen (Call Sign: Jerkface): Skyward Flight’s painstakingly rule following wing leader.
    • Frejya (Call Sign: FM): A classy pilot with a secret rebellious side.
    • Nedd (Call Sign: Nedder): A funny pilot who’s good friends with Jorgen and Arturo.
    • Arturo (Call Sign: Amphisbaena): Skyward Flight’s fact bank and Jorgen’s other friend.
    • Hudiya (Call Sign: Hurl): A competitive, athletic, easy-going pilot.
    • “Morningtide”: A quiet pilot from a different cavern than Spensa and who doesn’t speak English.
    • Bim: A friendly, blue-haired pilot.
    • Cobb: Skyward Flight’s gruff teacher/commanding officer.
  • Sassy Machinery! I’m a STEM girl, so you know any time AI gets involved I’m gonna be all in but give that AI a quirky personality? I will pledge my soul to it. So you can imagine my excitement when MBOT, an AI spaceship overflowing with personality, showed up on the scene! I was already enjoying Skyward, but MBOT’s appearance in the narrative sealed the deal.
  • The Weird And Wonderful World! Skyward takes place far in the future, on a different planet where humans have sought refuge from an alien race called the Krell, who seem determined to destroy them. One neat thing is seeing how the world Sanderson created is built by familiar elements, like caverns and trees and humans, as well as new, unfamiliar elements, like alien species!

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  • Hmmm…Nothing? Yeah. Nothing.

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  • Have you read Skyward? What are your thoughts on it?
  • If you haven’t read Skyward, is it on your TBR?

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Lila is a 27-year-old college student studying physics and a lover of literature. When she's not busy reading or saving the world through science, Lila can be found singing jazz and blues and obsessing over hedgehogs (a.k.a. the cutest animals in the multiverse!)

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