Skyward

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
268 0
Skyward
Age Range
12+
Release Date
November 06, 2018
ISBN
978-0399555770
Buy This Book
      
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 her father's--a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa's chances of attending flight school at 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.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A Superb Foray Into Sci-Fi
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Sanderson raises the YA sci-fi quality bar in this high-flying story of human survival, friendship, legacy, loss, and confronting enormous odds.

“Sometimes, the answers we need don't match the questions we're asking." … "And sometimes, the coward makes fools of wiser men.”

Deep in the semi-protected caverns of an alien planet under siege, a colony of humans struggle to survive. In order to ensure that survival, they recruit and train pilots to combat the enigmatic alien force that would see them eradicated. With their population dwindling, they’ve been forced to take on and activate unprepared cadets fresh out of school. And a girl named Spensa aims to be one of those recruits. There’s just one problem with her ambitions… She’s the daughter of a notorious “coward”—a pilot who supposedly abandoned his team in the middle of a historic battle. It’s from almost solely her perspective that we’re introduced to the planet of ‘Detritus,’ and the cast system of unwitting crash descendants who have been isolated from the rest of humanity.

Despite (and/or perhaps because of) growing up in abject poverty and culturally enforced ridicule, Spensa has an incredibly strong force of will. Not much by way of grace or social intelligence, but plenty of determination… along with a temper, cleverness, and nigh-grandiose aggression level unmatched by any of her peers. It’s her against the world AND the decimating alien force. Yet she refuses to be deterred, regardless of the cost. Downtrodden tomboys everywhere will find her both inspirational and easy to relate to. And those living in the shame shadow of a close relative may find in her a champion.

Note: From the moment she suggested her overprivileged flight leader’s callsign be ‘Jerkface’, this reader was sold on her.) >.>

"You get to choose who you are. Legacy, memories of the past, can serve us well. But we cannot let them define us. When heritage becomes a box instead of an inspiration, it has gone too far."

I’d describe this a medium sci-fi. Far-flung futuristic to be sure, but still paying respect to the realm of plausibility. The worldbuilding is satisfyingly solid, unfolding at a pressingly organic pace while our heroine navigates her world as she understands it… and gradually pieces together the many aspects she either didn’t realize or that were deliberately hidden from her. The inclusion of black-and-white ship schematic sketches, along with concisely described maneuvers, bring a welcome cinematic quality to the storytelling. And the political, bureaucratic, and cultural nuances are flawed and incuriously bias enough to be wholly believable.

I adored M-Bot. As an A.I. character, he was broken and humorous—unwittingly mysterious for all his missing memory and ability to create new subroutines. (And what’s with that quirky obsession with fungus?) I particularly appreciated that he grew and developed (or perhaps regrew) throughout his time with Spensa, to the point where she clearly began to rub off on him.

"A pox of unique human diseases--many of which cause an uncomfortable swelling--come upon you!"

M-Bot and Spensa’s relationship is endearingly special and robustly human. An aspect I rarely see pulled off with Artificial Intelligence when it is represented—as it is admittedly difficult to strike a believable balance between inorganic sentience and budding emotional comprehension. Sanderson’s handling worked beautifully for me:

"But my subroutine that can simulate appreciation . . . is appreciative."
I nodded.
"That's kind of what it does," he added. "Appreciate things."
"I would never have figured."
"It can appreciate something at a million times per second. So you could say your comment is likely the single most appreciated thing you've ever done."

Dear Mr. Sanderson,

Thank you for doing the sci-fi genre justice within the YA realm. I haven’t been this invested in –or pleased with—a space-faring story since Ender’s Game. I eagerly await the next installment.

Sincerely,
Angela N. Blount
Callsign: Mayhem

Favorite Quotes:

* "But it's a natural outgrowth of the totalitarian need for absolute power over those who resist her--the very example of the hypocrisy of the system. Defiance is not 'Defiant' to them unless it doesn't actually defy anything."

* "It always seemed to me," she said, "that a coward is a person who cares more about what people say than about what is right. Bravery isn't about what people call you, Spensa. It's about what who you know yourself to be."
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

On the Come Up
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers...
Spin
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord's (aka DJ ParSec) career--and life--has come to...
Leah on the Offbeat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best...
The Brightsiders
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out,...
IMG_4918.jpg
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The black X of the Aramach Rebels marks the...
City of Beasts
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
"If you see a beast, and you have the...
The Grace Year
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden....
The Fractured Empire
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Ceithren Empire is finally at peace, but for...
The Survival List
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sloane Weber is devastated when her older sister dies...
To Kill a Kingdom
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This action-packed YA debut pits a deadly siren princess and...
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA fantasy...
Kingdom of Souls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay. The...
A Warm Friendship
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
"This heartwarming story deals with friendship, empathy, caring, nurturing and...
The Rift
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
As corporate greed is pitted against supernatural forces, two young...
Abraham Lincoln: The Making of America #3
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
The third installment of the Making of America series, Abraham...
Tiger Queen
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold,...

Latest Member Reviews

Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
"INTO THE CROOKED PLACE is an engaging YA fantasy that follows five characters on a quest of aligned goals- even..."
To Kill a Kingdom
 
5.0
"TO KILL A KINGDOM is a wonderful YA fantasy about a siren and a pirate. Told in alternating points of..."
The Rift
 
3.3
"THE RIFT is a unique YA fantasy that takes place on Black Water Island, a place prized for the herd..."
The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
 
3.3
"THE BEAUTIFUL takes place in New Orleans, primarily following a young woman, Celine. Celine fled France after a terrible event..."
 
5.0
"Eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson goes to Madrid, Spain with his family in order for his mother to reconnect with the country..."
Glow of the Fireflies
 
3.3
"GLOW OF THE FIREFLIES is a YA fantasy that follows a teenaged girl, Briony, who has no memories from before..."
Creep
 
3.3
"CREEP is an interesting YA thriller/horror that follows an incoming high school freshman, Olivia (Liv). Olivia lives in a small..."
 
4.0
"EVE OF MAN by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher is the latest in YA dystopias. In the story, a phenomenon of..."
 
4.7
"Sam Jones and Zoe Miller are seniors in high school, but they've never had a reason to communicate during their..."
 
4.7
"Michigan Manning just wants to play hockey. Unfortunately, the high school she attends in the upper peninsula of Michigan has..."
When You Ask Me Where I'm Going
 
5.0
"WHEN YOU ASK ME WHERE I'M GOING is an absolutely gorgeous collection that reaches to touch the soul. In poems,..."
A Match Made in Mehendi
 
4.0
"A MATCH MADE IN MEHENDI is a light-hearted contemporary romance. Simi aspires to be an artist, but right now, she's..."
The Survival List
 
4.0
"A worthy read. The Story: Sloane is dealing with her sister's suicide when she finds a list her..."
I'll Give You the Sun
 
5.0
"I’ll Give You the Sun is a masterpiece of the Young Adult genre, perfectly incorporating the feel of what it..."
A Treason of Thorns
 
4.3
"A TREASON OF THORNS is a dark and enchanting YA historical fantasy. Violet comes from a long line of Caretakers,..."
The Girl The Sea Gave Back
 
4.3
"THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK is a stand-alone companion novel to THE SKY IN THE DEEP. A historical fantasy..."
Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls, #1)
 
4.0
"KINGDOM OF SOULS is a dark epic fantasy that follows Arrah, a girl whose mother is the Ka-Priestess and whose..."
The Missing Season
 
3.3
"Urban legend in the town of Pender has it every October the Mumbler snatches a kid. Local authorities brush the..."
Tell Me How You Really Feel
 
5.0
"3 Reasons TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL needs to be on your shelf immediately: 1.) The spot-on comparison:..."
Nightingale
 
4.0
"Amy Lukavics is one of my favorite horror writers. All of Lukavics's books are a little odd (in the best..."