“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.”
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
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.
WOW! This was such an incredibly good book. I am super behind on the Brandon Sanderson train. So behind that this is the first book of his that I’ve ever read, it definitely will not be the last though. I fell in love with the plot, characters, and world building from the very first page and that almost never happens.
Skyward follows a young girl named Spensa (callsign: Spin), who desperately wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a pilot. In Spensa’s world, which takes place in the future, being a pilot is the ultimate honor. However, from the minute this story starts Spensa is constantly put down because her father was deemed a coward and shot down by his co-pilot after betraying his flight crew. Her determination to prove others wrong kept me engaged from the very first page and had me rooting so damn hard for her. Without a doubt Spensa is my favorite character that I read in 2018. She’s smart, funny, competitive, so incredibly passionate, and most importantly doesn’t take shit from anyone else. She is literally everything I want to be in a person.
At first I thought going through flight school might drag the storyline on more than necessary but I was so incredibly wrong. Spensa’s fellows classmates all add so much more depth to the story. Their conversations, callsigns, and first few days in the cock pit lead to some pretty hilarious moments, and maybe, kinda, sort of a slow burn romance?!?! Which y’all know my heart and soul is READY for it. However, the real star of the story is M-Bot. If you read The Iluminae Files and loved AIDAN then move on over, because theres a new AI ship in town. M-Bot is the softest and sassiest starship I’ve ever encountered…not that there are many. And if you think I’m not going to love a freaking starship you’re dead wrong.
While the story sounds all fun it games, it also bring up the conversation of what it means to be a coward A LOT. As Spensa continues her pilot training she’s realizes that it’s not as glorified of a position as she once believed it to be and faces some pretty scary encounters with the enemy ships, called the Krell. It also deals with Spensa digging into her father’s past to try and figure out what exactly happened the day he died that made the planet deem him a coward. Which definitely kept me on the edge of my seat trying to guess what happened, and even when I thought I had it figure it out I was still blown away by the ending and in desperate need of the next book. While this book doesn’t end on a massive cliffhanger there are still so many unanswered questions that a whole year just seems like a cruel punishment to have to wait.
“People need stories, child. They bring us hope, and that hope is real. If that’s the case, what does it matter whether people in them actually lived?”
“Sometimes, the answers we need don’t match the questions we’re asking.” He looked up at me. “And sometimes, the coward makes fools of wiser men.”
“You have large twin destructor emitters on each wing, along with a light-lance turret underneath. That’s as much firepower as our larger ships. You’re a warship.”
“Clearly not,” M-Bot said. “I’m here to categorize fungi. Didn’t you listen to my last orders? I am not supposed to get into fights.”
“Then why do you have guns?”
“For shooting large and dangerous beasts who might be threatening my fungus specimens,” M-Bot said. “Obviously.”
“Then [Hurl] sat up, holding out her fist. “Not cowards. No backing down. Brave until the end, right Spin? A pact.”
I met her fist with mine. “Brave to the end.”
All in all, I am so glad I was able to buddy read this book with a few of my closest friends here in the book community, Amanda (Classy x Book Reviews), Ashely (Thrifty Bibliophile), and Books in the Skye. If you’re looking for a book with amazing world building, characters, and a plot that will keep you hooked for DAYS then don’t pass this one up!
Until next time,