Book Review: Skyward
Let me start of by saying this is a spoiler-free review, so if you haven't read Skyward, you're safe to proceed!
I've read a lot of young adult novels in my day, and my early readers have mixed opinions on whether or not my upcoming novel The Withering should be called YA or not. That being said, it's been some time since I've read a full-fledged YA novel (though I did see Mistborn in the YA section of Barnes and Noble for some reason—a bit brutal in my opinion, but I guess that doesn't surprise me).
Since my 12 year-old daughter devours books like The Lopen devours Chouta... no, that's not right. She burns through books like Spook burns through tin. Yeah, that's more accurate for sure. In any case, I'm constantly trying to score cool points by recommending books she will love. I've struck out a few times—surprisingly on books that I personally read and loved, like Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young and Seventh City by Emily Hayes—so I'm thinking she's probably just a bit too young to really appreciate those at the moment—so I've been sort of on a mission to find a good one for her.
Enter Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. Being a full-fledged Brandon Sanderson fan, I expected this book to be great, but I honestly had so much fun reading this book (boys, don't worry that there's a girl on the cover, this book is rad). It was mostly clean, with the exception of a few random minor expletives, nothing worse than what you would expect to hear (sadly) in any family film these days. There was very little romance, but it does seem like there's a slow burn romance brewing, so I'm fully expecting that to pick up steam (pun intended—sorry ,not sorry) in the subsequent books of this series.
While this is certainly more of a sci-fi book, there are definitely some fantasy elements to it as well. The themes are clear and the character arcs are satisfying. The world we get to know very quickly is small, well-thought out, and enjoyable. The premise is great, and it over delivers on its promises, by a lot. The battles in the sky are by far the most exciting parts of the book. I really had no idea one could make a battle that exciting to read, but Brandon Sanderson, so...
Then there is the sheer awesomeness of it all. I don't know how Sanderson does it, but he really has a way of putting you in his characters' shoes—or in this case, it Spensa's cockpit. He is a master at slow-building progress that somehow keeps you on the edge of your seat. The fact that it's much shorter than most of Sanderson's work means that the pace is a lot quicker, resulting in one of the most fun books I've read in a while. It's a non-stop roller coaster that definitely hits you in the feels.
Skyward gets a five out of five for me. I still haven't convinced by daughter to start it, but I 100% recommend this to anyone, but especially to younger readers who will have a blast on this ride. What are you waiting for? Fly out to your nearest book store and claim the stars!