Starsight (Skyward, #2)by Published 26 Nov 2019
|Starsight (Skyward, #2).pdf|
|Publisher||Orion Publishing Co|
Starsight (Skyward, #2) Ebook Description
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All her life, Spensa has 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.
Spensa is sure 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.
Starsight (Skyward, #2) Reviews
I need more Doomslug in my life... right now!
One thing we tend to expect in YA is the presence of romance. There’s no real sign of it in Skyward, though. Was this your intention from the start, or did the characters just not work out that way?
It was more the characters. In my first draft, I tried to shoehorn a romance in. I like romance; you’ll find them in my adult books. But here, it didn’t fit the characters or the theme, and it felt inappropriate. This is a very traumatic time for Spensa, who’s focused in every way on becoming a pilot and finding out the secrets of her past, and romance just didn’t work. So I revised in the direction the characters demanded.
The obvious pairing was Spensa and Jerkface. That’s where I was trying to go, but it felt like a cheesy romance in the middle of an action-adventure story about finding out who you really are, and about going into battle, and all of that stress and pressure. Maybe someday I’ll release the deleted scenes and people can see how poorly it worked.
Yeah. Ok. I get that.... for the first book. But it will happen eventually right?????? Pleeeease 😩 I need this book right now.
Starsight proves once again that Brandon Sanderson is a masterful storyteller across genres and age groups, who simply excels at writing sequels.
I'm actually at a loss as to how to start or write this review without sounding like a broken record. As far as I'm concerned, Sanderson is a genius and he has never failed to deliver a captivating story, whether he was writing adult or young adult, fantasy or science fiction. And after reading so much from him and listening to him talk at signings and interviews, I honestly believed that it comes from his passion in just wanting to tell good stories. Notwithstanding the excellent worldbuilding and fantastic magic systems he is so well-known for these were, first and foremost, stories about people.
A hero does not choose her trials.
Starsight is another damn fine young adult novel by Sanderson. In Skyward, Spensa, a teenage pilot who was trying very hard to proof that she was as brave and courageous as her father, discovered some hard and devastating truths. Her character development in the first book was convincing and realistic for a girl undergoing what she had to. Spensa continued to learn and grow in this sequel, as she was thrown into a position that contradicted her nature, and the stakes were a lot higher as she became embroiled in galactic political machinations. One of the best parts of her characterisation was that the life lessons experience taught her actually stick. In short, she didn't regress to some of the silly antics that she used to do just for some plot device's sake. In a couple of early scenes, she readily told the truth about what she was trying to do even though it sounded stupid or dangerous. I really shouldn't need to mention how this was commendable, but I'm tired of how some authors make their characters lie or withhold information for the sake of creating tension or drama.
Do I even need to mention that the worldbuilding was excellent and fascinating? This is Brandon Sanderson we're talking about. From the planet Detritus and its orbital platforms to the central seat of power of the universe, the scope of the worldbuilding increased substantially in this sequel. And from the deep and vast ocean of his imagination, Sanderson created and breathed life to a myriad of weird and wonderful alien races or beings that are well-conceived and well-executed. While they may appear strange in their form, physiology, culture and philosophy, I also somehow felt that they were quite believable. It's really hard for me to explain why without giving away details. This is one of those books that I cannot reveal anything about the plot, for even the book's synopsis did not say much. I enjoyed myself immensely going in as blind as I could be, so I hoped the same experience could be had for those who read this review.
The themes that Sanderson threaded through this story are highly relevant to what we are facing in our real world; presumption, prejudices, and the inability to understand (or even accept) that which is foreign. These were not done in a preachy nor heavy-handed manner (which is typically not Sanderson's method, anyway). He was able to achieve this by showing instead of telling, and I'm positive that he just keeps getting better at it with every book he has written. This skill of incorporating the worldbuilding through the eyes of the main character extended to even the ideology or thematic commentary of the story. The realisation of certain ideas or notions hit me at the same time that it hit Spensa. And almost every time it happened, I felt the same emotions that Spensa did. If this is not brilliant writing, I don't know what is. The worldbuilding and themes were just so seamlessly melded into Spensa's character growth. I'm not forgetting the fan favourites, of course. The uber-cute Doomslug gained importance to the story, and the ship AI with an attitude, M-Bot, had some interesting developments in his 'sentience'. M-Bot's story was quite moving, and I teared up in one scene, which to me demonstrated how powerful this narrative was about an AI who wants to become more than just a programme. Frankly, it is also a bit scary as how would one really know whether M-Bot could morph into something uncontrollable.
"You've lived your whole life with autonomy. For me it's a new, hazardous thing - a weapon I've been handed with no instructions. I might be on my way to becoming something terrible, something I don't understand and cannot anticipate."
I've raved about the dogfighting scenes in my review of Skyward. While there were fewer dogfights in Starsight, there were still enough well-written and awesome action scenes to make this book an exciting and fun read. The big climax at end of this book when we reach the hallmark Sanderlanche was much bigger in scale and quite terrifying. One of the coolest worldbuilding elements in Starsight would fit right into a scifi horror movie. Sanderson's action scenes are always so cinematic and have such visual clarity. It doesn't matter whether it's a magic or space battle, you can see everything that is happening. The use of light-lances was such an inventive way of creating a more dramatic aerial battle scene. It pushes the boundaries of real flight patterns to make it more fantastical, but also seem highly plausible and infinitely more interesting.
Fast-paced and utterly absorbing, Starsight ended with somewhat of a cliffhanger, but it didn't leave me feeling unsatisfied. Although I do wish that the third book can be written soon, Sanderson has two Cosmere books to complete next which I'm even more eager to get my hands on.
With Starsight, Spensa's story has exploded into an exhilarating, high-stakes space adventure filled with the strange and the wonderful, but at the same time, remain grounded with compelling and loveable characters.
You can find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions.
I want my own cytonic hyperdrive so I can teleport to 2019 to read this book.
(Yes I know that’s not how it works)
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Book Three: ?
Book Four: ?
"A hero does not choose her trials."
Starsight, sequel to 2018's Skyward, is an amazing, non-stop exciting, massive expansion of the fascinating universe readers discovered in the previous book. In this well-crafted installment, we follow Spensa beyond her own planet of Detritus as she tries to discover more about her mysterious powers and the aliens who have imprisoned her people for nearly a century. While the sudden change in setting takes a moment to adapt to, the vast world Sanderson has created soon becomes impossible to put down. Espionage, war, politics, new alien species, and a whole lot of shocking, and moving, answers are all to be had in this thrilling, well-written continuation of Spensa's adventures.
I'll admit that I was a little put out by the fact that Spensa, within the first few chapters of this installment, would be leaving the planet and the people that I'd grown so attached to in the first book. Furthermore, once she got to Starsight, a new planet/outpost of the much larger empire that the survivors of humanity on Detritus had been left mostly in the dark about, it was hard to believe and adapt to at first. Things seems to fall into place a little to easily for her, too, but I chose to ignore those moments in the end. That being said, I soon got sucked into the story as Sanderson delivered another one of his amazing, twisting, exciting plots, revealed slowly and then all at once.
I don't want to spoil anything else, but let's just say that if you liked the first book in this series, I urge you to push through those first 100 pages of change to get to the meat of this installment. Spensa continues to grow into herself and her powers, and this incredible world and its lore get deeper and more serious than one could even have suspected in the first book (or at least I did not). (small spoilers...)[spoilers removed] and really, everything else that began in Skyward becomes so much MORE in Starsight. Hard to believe at times, but in the end, it was an absolute joy to read.