The only thing Spensa has ever dreamed of is becoming a pilot. Her father, who was also a pilot, was branded a coward and shot down during battle. On Spensa’s planet, being a coward is the worst possible crime, since fighting the alien Krell is the main purpose of the their people. Spensa has been scarred for life by her father’s reputation but then she gets into pilot school and begins a new life with her flight, kind of. She’s not allowed to live on base or use any facilities with the unjust reason that she is her father’s daughter. Spensa takes refuge in a cave where she discovers an unfamiliar ship with a broken wing, deranged programming and a very annoying AI. Introducing M-bot.
There is so much more to the story though! This book is so jam-packed with action and amazing characters that writing a short resumé seems impossible. Besides Spensa’s pilot training and the reparation of M-bot, she begins to discover what really happened to her father. Secrets that could change everything for her and her planet are slowly dragged out – making the suspense horrible and wonderful at the same time.
Spensa herself starts out rather unlikable. She’s arrogant and think she’s a personification of the old warrior tales her grandmother used to tell her about. She spits out threats and fire towards almost everyone but eventually, she grows. Loss and real battle experience gives her a much needed reality check and her character goes through a great development over time. Her flight mates also show real struggles and fears and not everyone is either a hero or villain – which is so refreshing in YA.
The introduction of M-bot, the space ship with the annoying AI, is a fun element that adds to the entertainment – and the mystery. Where is is M-bots from and who was his pilot? Aliens and “magic” also play small but significant roles throughout the story, in various ways. The Krell are constantly attacking and retrieving, making no sense at all, while the stars are trying to communicate with Spensa. Literally.
I’ve been intrigued by Sanderson’s books for years – especially the Cosmere universe. However, the books are high fantasy, long and some of the series aren’t even finished yet. So when I received Skyward, I thought it would be a great introduction to his writing – without committing to 30+ books – and it was a great success! It wasn’t love at first page but eventually I fell for Skyward and I fell hard. I’ve become very invested in the story and cannot wait for book two (Starsight) to be released later this year! Highly recommend this book to anyone who loves action-packed Sci Fi, space politics, character development and suspense.