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Skyward

Review

Skyward

SKYWARD by Brandon Sanderson presents a new take on a fight between humans and aliens. Aliens called the Krell constantly terrify Spensa’s home. Ever since she was a little girl, Spensa dreamed of reaching the stars and becoming a pilot, just like her father. However, her whole life is overshadowed by her father’s cowardly act as a pilot, who was killed when he deserted his team. Growing up as the daughter of a coward, her chances of getting into flight school and graduating are slim to none. No one will forgive her or let her forget what her father did. Yet, she is still determined to fly, and an accidental discovery in a mysterious cavern may reveal more secrets and questions than Spensa has ever thought possible.

"SKYWARD shows Sanderson’s incredible ability to create the most amazing stories. He weaves together intricate world building...unique characters, fast pacing and action-packed dogfight scenes together to create a novel unlike any other. "

SKYWARD shows Sanderson’s incredible ability to create the most amazing stories. He weaves together intricate world building, realistic, relatable, unique characters, fast pacing and action-packed dogfight scenes together to create a novel unlike any other. Sanderson writes in such a way that planes flying around in the sky seem interesting, even if the students are just in a simulation. Everything he writes is vivid and detailed. The story he tells is thrilling, full of mystery and anticipation. The main character is someone we can empathize with, as she suffers from being an outcast and looked down upon. Through the first-person POV (although at some points, Sanderson shifts to third person), we learn more about Spensa; she is an outspoken young lady with a lot to prove and a knack for flying. Although at some points she can be frustrating, these scenes remind us that she is just human. Sanderson writes an array of different characters in SKYWARD, from the hilarious sentient-robot ship to the arrogant flight leader Jorgen --- also known as “Jerkface.” Although there are many characters in the book, Sanderson manages to set them apart, through their physical descriptions and their varying personalities. 

The plot starts off as something out of ENDER’S GAME: young children apply for a prestigious, rigorous flight school, and our main character is able to be the best in her class, breaking all expectations. Although part of this is true, it’s clear to see the flaws within Spensa, which is something I appreciated. She didn’t start off as the best, but instead, she worked to get there. The plot only begins there, as it spirals into Spensa’s past and questions that must be answered. It kept me intrigued because of its tone of mystery. The only thing I regret from the novel is how short the conclusion is; I felt like there needed to be a larger explanation to its climax, which is why I will definitely be reading the sequel to this first book. 

Sanderson is a prolific fiction writer and this novel further establishes his credibility in that field. This work is simple enough for teens to read, yet extremely interesting and suspenseful. With a surprising, shocking conclusion, this gripping novel will have you reading nonstop until the last page. 

Reviewed by Jeremy H., Teen Board Member on November 14, 2018

Skyward
by Brandon Sanderson