What’s this? A sci-fi adventure? Written by Brandon Sanderson? Hell yeah! What could go wrong with that? This must be the greatest novel ever written!
Skyward was an odd experience. I almost immediately became enraptured in the story, so much so that I had a hard time putting it down. But then, once I did finish it, I practically forgot about it immediately! It was as if the book had deleted itself from my memory entirely! For a while, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to review the book!
But then I remembered that I could just read it again. So, as infuriating as it was, I went through the entire book again for the sake of this review. Was it worth it?
This is a very typical young-adult novel. If you’re familiar with those kinds of books, then you’ll more than likely be able to predict each event well before they happen. It is solid, mind you, but it is pretty predictable.
After a brutal galactic war, most of which has been lost to history, humanity has been pushed to the brink of extinction. A large group finds themselves trapped on Detritus, a desolate world where they are kept for years by their ancient enemy, the Krell. But after a large aerial battle, dubbed the Battle of Alta, humanity finally has a foothold to fight back against their enemies.
In the midst of that battle, our main character Spenza’s father had apparently deserted, branding her the daughter of a traitor. Determined to prove her father’s innocence and overcome a lifetime of struggles, Spenza forces her way into the Pilot’s Academy to join the fight against the Krell. But the list of obstacles blocking her way is vast, and none of them will be easy to overcome. Will Spenza claim the stars, as her father had always wanted? Or will she prove all her nay-sayers right and become a coward?
Again: the plot of this book is highly predictable. There are a few interesting twists here and there, which I shall leave unspoiled. Certain characters are such clear red-herrings that they may as well have not been red-herrings. The answers to the stories many mysteries are satisfying but easy to see coming. You can very easily predict what will happen and when it will happen from the moment you pick up the book.
Unless you’ve never read a book like this before. Which I find highly unlikely.
That’s not to say the plot is bad, though. Far from it! The characters are all cliche and predictable, yes, but they’re all well-executed and likable! The pacing is super slow, yes, but it is perfect, masterfully building the story, world, and characters without ever feeling like it’s dragging its feet! The dialogue is snappy and witty, with each line perfectly encapsulating that character’s personality and struggles, even if some of the jokes do fall flat on their faces. The ending is cathartic and satisfying while still setting the stage for the books to come.
This definitely isn’t a perfect book. It’s cliche, it’s predictable, and it can be pretty forgettable. But it is enjoyable from start to end! I think that it isn’t Sanderson’s best work, but it certainly isn’t his worst. If you’re a fan of his, or you just want to enjoy a good sci-fi book, then I’d recommend checking this one out.
Just try not to forget about it once you’re done. Like this idiot did.