Published: November 26, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: Skyward #2
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 461 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 5.0/5.0
All her life, Spensa’s dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she’s a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing. The rumors of his cowardice are true—he deserted his flight during battle against the Krell. Worse, though, he turned against his team and attacked them.
Spensa is sure that there’s more to the story. And she’s sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars—and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.
But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself—and she’ll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to.
New Brandon Sanderson is always a joy to crack open. After a slightly ehhh start I ended up loving Skyward and Starsight continues doing everything exactly right. A few plot twists, expanded world building, and awesome characters makes this a perfect read. The best part is, even though this is young adult, Sanderson always makes it enjoyable for any age group.
This book very quickly turned my expectations upside down. It starts off with the anticipated escalation with the Krell forces and Spensa’s growing concern that the eyes are more dangerous than she thought but then a ship crash lands on Detritus. Inside the ship is an alien girl headed towards Starsight, the Krell space station where she will join their military. This is the perfect opportunity for the humans to infiltrate and hopefully learn the secret for the Krell hyperdrives so that they may escape their prison planet. Only problem is, Spensa is really not the best candidate for spycraft and M-bot has capabilities none of the other ships possess, including being able to put a hologram over Spensa so that she looks like the alien girl. Spensa goes and she surprisingly doesn’t get caught right away and joins their pilot program. She meets alien peoples from all over the galaxy and learns some valuable lessons. And also that the Delvers (the eyes) are quite dangerous and it is feared that they will enter this world again and destroy planets.
The plot was great and I’ve only given you the most basic of spoiler free details so you can enjoy the adventure for yourself. Spensa has great character growth and her beliefs about the world are shaken – these people are just like her, they’re not monsters but only doing what they think is best to protect themselves from the “human scourge”. It’s much less clear who the bad guys actually are and ultimately, it comes down to politics and the lust for power. There’s plenty of action and page-gripping scenes where you’re just UNCERTAIN and CONCERNED! It’s just great. 10/10, much plot.
Overall, I think this was actually better than Skyward, mostly because I struggled with Spensa’s brash ridiculousness for so many pages in the first book. This book begins with her in her more settled, self-assured state and she’s much more likable than she was in the first little bit of Skyward. I continue to love Doomslug and I’m SO EXCITED THAT I HAVE A DOOMSLUG BOOKMARK. M-Bot is pretty cool too and he retains his robotic snark. I would highly recommend checking out the audiobook, as the narration is spot-on and does the book credit – it’s even better than in print. Sadly, I don’t think the third of the four planned books is due out until 2021 based on the State of the Sanderson newsletter sent out at the end of the year.