Justin Tadlock

Skyward

Skyward book cover, feature a teen girl with a view of space behind her.

Honestly? I was a bit angry.

I was angry that the sequel to this book is planned for a fall 2019 release and wasn’t already available. That’s so effing long from now. How am I supposed to move on with my life knowing that there’s so much more to this story? Well, the first thing I done was pick up another Brandon Sanderson novel. Reading fiction by anyone else would’ve likely been a letdown after this adventure.

Skyward is marketed as young adult, but it’s better than most YA fiction that you’ll read. Spensa, call sign “Spin,” is the young protagonist and narrator of this story. She dreams of being a pilot and flying amongst the stars. There’s only one problem. Her father was a coward after deserting his team in the greatest battle for the survival of her people. She and her family were branded cowards. Her mother couldn’t get real work. Instead, they mostly relied on Spensa hunting cave rats to sell from a cart.

The last of humanity has been stranded on a foreign world for generations. They’re at war with an alien race who could attack at any moment. Spensa plans to join flight school, become a pilot, and clear her father’s name. She knew there was more to the story—that her father wasn’t a coward. But, there’s no way they’d let her in.

You’ll fall in love with Spensa’s over-the-top bravado, a persona that she has built for herself over the years of being called a coward. Her warrior’s heart filled with the great tale’s that her grandmother has passed down from old Earth. Despite the show she puts on, Spensa is an oddly-relatable character who is as flawed as us all. We all wear masks to hide our vulnerabilities.

Skyward is a story of a young girl overcoming all odds to be the hero that she was meant to be. A warrior. Defiant.

Spensa finds herself at odds with the de facto aristocracy—children born of pilots who fought in the great battle. But, she finds some unlikely friends and sidekicks along the way. She must learn to trust others after relying on her own wits over the years to survive.

Sanderson is a near-flawless writer. I only put the book down that first night because I had work the next morning. I was also in the midst of a few Christmas dinners, most of which I spent counting the minutes until I could return to Spensa’s adventure. There’s a complete story here, but Sanderson leaves you with enough questions that you’ll be the first in line in 2019 to purchase the sequel.

Hand’s down, this is the best book I’ve read in 2018. It’s an adventure that’s suitable for both teens and adults. It’s well worth every minute spent along for the ride.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 stars.

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