Skyward Bound


By: Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is one of those authors I’ve always wanted to read but at the same time I look at his books and go, “Man those are long.”  So I’m happy to say Skyward (was long) but totally fun and fast and I will definitely be picking up more of his work.

Skyward is also the rare start to a series where I’m like, “Give me the next one now!”

Spensa lives in a highly militarized society. Mainly because her people have been stuck on a planet living beneath the surface haunted by aliens who attack from the sky. She longs to follow in her father’s footsteps as a pilot one of the very special breed of people that put their lives between the aliens and the citizens.

Unfortunately Spensa’s father is a pilot who chickened out during a fight, tried to run and was eventually killed. Her and her family are then tainted with the designation of coward and the Admiral is not willing to repeat the same mistake with the daughter.

So when Spensa discovers an old ship trapped in a forgotten cavern she may have found the answer to her dreams.

I thought Sanderson did a great job with the world-building, the pacing and the characters. While I didn’t always love Spensa I always understood her. M-Bot is great an AI right up my alley. As is the barest tiniest hint of a romance a little bit love/ hate to actual growth and mutual respect. Again instead of rolling my eyes I was thinking, “More of this please!”

What I really liked about Skyward however was the thoughts on cowardice and bravery and how, with actual experience, Spensa’s previously deeply ingrained views began to change. The trainee pilots for instance are supposed to go down with their ship and not eject to save themselves. There’s a back and forth on this even in Spensa’s head. She realizes that despite her bravuda and need to prove herself its hard to watch and listen to friends dying and even begins to fear her own possible death.

M-Bot’s thoughts on and decision making concerning death was also fascinating. Not so much mushrooms. He may like them but I never will 🙂

One character calls out the pro-militarization and aggressiveness of the society even while training to become a Pilot and there’s a bit about how the elite parents in society are able to have their children train for all the benefits but then pull them out before they actual fly. 

I’m leery to go full on five star A+ at the beginning of a series where there’s so much potential cause I’ve been burned before… but Skyward pretty much sits there anyway. There’s some stuff that could have moved faster and I felt one character died to soon. But it’s a great read on its own and I’m very hopeful moving forward.

Recommend: Yes. And if anyone has some favorite Brandon Sanderson to recommend I’d appreciate it!

18 thoughts on “Skyward Bound

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  1. I have never read Sanderson. And as someone who loves (or used to love) big fantasy doorstoppers I’m kinda surprised I never have. This looks like a good SF one though. Glad it was so good! One of these days I need to start his stuff…

    1. Yeah the size of his stuff definitely put me off in the past. This is fairly hefty but I will say I finished it in three days or so. So I have some more hope to tackle his bigger stuff now!

  2. Thank you for this review! I may have to pick this one up. I’m torn on Sanderson’s stuff. I liked Warbreaker, which is a stand-alone fantasy novel, but didn’t enjoy the Mistborn series. So I’m interested in reading some of his other work, but I’m not sure where to start.

      1. I think he may have written another book as a follow up to Warbreaker, but the original book is definitely a single story.

  3. Ah, this one is high on my list.
    I haven’t read any of his long books, only the Reckoners trilogy, but that was pretty good. And not long…
    Till this day, i’m intimidated by Mistborn and the likes of that 😀

  4. I’m so happy that you loved it!! I felt the same way about Spensa. I didn’t always like her, but I kinda understood where she was coming from. And a flawed character is always more interesting to read about than someone who is perfect.

    I’d recommend ‘The Rithmatist’ next, as it’s also YA-Fantasy and in some ways similar to ‘Skyward’. Also not super long, focuses on friendship instead of romance and has a great magic system!

  5. What a great review, I really, really want to read this book now. I have been aware of Brandon Sanderson books but also fell into the ‘can I read another really long book right now’ category.

    It sounds like an excellent read, I like both the cowardice / courage aspect as well as that bit of a slow burning romance. I am seriously tempted to buy it straight away he he, I may get a sample to see how much I would enjoy it.

  6. Oo, this looks really good! Spensa sounds like an interesting and relatable character and the questions posed about courage sound like a philosophical playhouse. Haven’t YET read a Sanderson, but looking forward to at least reading one in this lifetime!

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