Evershore: The Weight of Guilt and Duty

The last Skyward novella is here. With this, the series is going to go back into stasis for… I dunno, maybe a year or two. Brandon is already working on book four of the main series, so it probably won’t be long.

No wonder Spensa likes him; Jorgen’s a handsome young man.

Picking up right where Re:Dawn left off, we join Jorgen as the weight of the world is pressed down on him. In order to escape his guilt, he throws himself straight into his work to save humanity and find Admiral Cobb and Gran-Gran. This work leads him to find a transmission from the Kitsen looking for Spensa, which takes him and his friends to Evershore to establish an alliance. But can Jorgen complete this task before his emotions collapse in on him?

Of the three novella protagonists, I found Jorgen to be the most compelling by far. He struggles dramatically with his PTSD, the weight of his responsibility, and the stress of his failures. Seeing him finally come into his own, mastering his Cytonic powers and his own emotions, is incredibly compelling. Some of his scenes are among the most emotionally engaging in the entire series!

The climax of this book is easily one of the best in the series, as well. I’m normally not that into the battles of these books, but his one is amazing! Everytime the heroes come up with a plan, something immediately changes and everything goes wrong. Then they have to go right back to the drawing board. The back and forth of this battle creates an intense sense of stress and tension, even though it features the least amount of spaceship fighting in any of these books. It is incredibly engrossing.

We also get plenty of my favorite alien race in this series: the Kitsen. These adorable little fox warriors are the best! They have some of the best characters in this book, old and new. We spend enough time with them that their cities and their cultures that we genuinely care when they’re threatened.

The setting itself, however, isn’t all that interesting. In a universe filled with such vibrant and unique planets, Evershore feels pretty boring. It’s basically just Earth, but it’s populated by tiny fox people. I guess not every planet in this vast universe can’t be a bizarre adventure. It does feel a bit disappointing, though.

Antagonist-wise, this book is fairly interesting. There isn’t a character that speaks in threats and twirls a mustache. Rather, the antagonists are a lackluster military leader that puts too much weight on Jorgen and Jorgen’s own internal turmoil. It’s an incredibly interesting take on the series, which has often featured sinister aliens or otherworldly monsters.

Overall, I loved Evershore. I honestly think it might be the best story in the series so far! With one of the best character arcs and climaxes in the series, this one was an absolute delight to read! Even if the setting wasn’t all that memorable. This one was a highlight of the series, without a doubt.

Alright, that’s enough sci-fi adventure for a while. I think it’s time to get back to fighting my greatest foe.

I’m coming for you, Wheel of Time.

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