Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson

Summary:
Spensa’s life as a Defiant Defense Force pilot has been far from ordinary. She proved herself one of the best starfighters in the human enclave of Detritus and she saved her people from extermination at the hands of the Krell—the enigmatic alien species that has been holding them captive for decades. What’s more, she traveled light-years from home as an undercover spy to infiltrate the Superiority, where she learned of the galaxy beyond her small, desolate planet home.
Now, the Superiority—the governing galactic alliance bent on dominating all human life—has started a galaxy-wide war. And Spensa’s seen the weapons they plan to use to end it: the Delvers. Ancient, mysterious alien forces that can wipe out entire planetary systems in an instant. Spensa knows that no matter how many pilots the DDF has, there is no defeating this predator.
Except that Spensa is Cytonic. She faced down a Delver and saw something eerily familiar about it. And maybe, if she’s able to figure out what she is, she could be more than just another pilot in this unfolding war. She could save the galaxy.
The only way she can discover what she really is, though, is to leave behind all she knows and enter the Nowhere. A place from which few ever return.
To have courage means facing fear. And this mission is terrifying.

Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson

Review:
Cytonic is the third installment in the Skyward series. So, I won’t go into too much detail with the summary considering that there would be major spoilers for the first two books.
We’re once again following Spensa, who sort of disappeared at the end of the Starsight. We follow her to where she disappeared and in this place, we discover lots of secrets. Considering this is the third book in the series, it felt like it was mostly a build-up for the fourth and final book. While we did get to see Spensa reappear, and we got to see some familiar faces while she was disappeared, it felt like this book was a fact-finding mission all to work toward the final whatever it may be in the final book. I’m certainly not upset about that, but I still missed the crew from the first book being all together. Spensa is mainly on her own, aside from M-Bot (who I still love with my whole heart even though he was mildly annoying in this book), while she’s on her mission. I definitely think there was so much character growth for her in this story because of the things she experienced. Part of that is also absolutely because she’s on this particular mission by herself. She learns more about her cytonic abilities as well as details about the enemy, but most of all, she really dives deep at times and learns more about who she is and what kind of person she wants to be.
Overall, this was another stellar installment of this series. I love Spensa and M-Bot. I love Doomslug. I liked the new characters well enough, but like I said above, I miss the original Skyward Flightcrew being all together. Even though this book felt like it was all leading up to the big resolution that has to be coming to the conclusion, I really appreciated the way this story took the time to develop Spensa on her own as a character. I think because her mission was solo, it really allowed for some focused character development. But I’m incredibly eager to see the team back together again in book four.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Skyward Flight: The Collection by Brandon Sanderson & Janci Patterson

Sunreach (Skyward 2.1)

Sunreach by Brandon Sanderson, Janci Patterson

Summary:
Read FM’s story between Starsight and Cytonic.
When a planet-destroying Delver suddenly appears in the sky of Detritus and vanishes just as suddenly, FM knows that the last free human society got lucky. Her Skyward Flight companion, Spensa, figured out how to draw this Delver away, but it won’t be so easy next time.
The forces of the Galactic Superiority will be back—and if the Defiant Defense Force can’t figure out a way to escape the planet, humanity’s destruction is only a matter of time. Spensa’s mission to infiltrate the Superiority unveiled the secret to their hyperdrives—a cytonic slug species called the Taynix. Now FM’s flightleader, Jorgen, has found a large group of Taynix hiding in the caverns far below Detritus’s surface.
FM and Jorgen must work together with the engineer Rig to awaken the mysterious alien Alanik and unlock the powers of the Taynix, or humanity will be trapped. With Spensa’s friend Minister Cuna of the Superiority stranded at the outpost of Sunreach, they need to figure out how to rescue her—or the Superiority government will be in the sole clutches of those who want to wipe out Detritus once and for all.
Review:
Sunreach follows FM alongside the ending of Starsight. I really liked this insight to another character in the Skyward world. FM was always an interesting supporting character, but I really enjoyed being in her head. I really felt like we got to know her better. I also especially liked that we got a bit of romance in this novella. There are little bits and pieces taken from the first two books that push the plot forward in this story and I really enjoyed seeing those pieces finally come together.

ReDawn (Skyward 2.5)

ReDawn by Brandon Sanderson, Janci Patterson

Summary:
Read Alanik’s story between Starsight and Cytonic.
“Don’t trust their lies. Don’t trust their false peace.” That is the warning that Alanik of the planet ReDawn gave the human pilot Spensa after Alanik’s ship crash-landed on Detritus. While accepting an invitation to meet with her people’s enemy, the Galactic Superiority, Alanik heard Spensa’s cry for help across the vastness of space, and she used her cytonic powers to hyperjump her ship to the source of that cry. What she found there was a shock—a whole planet of free humans fighting against the Superiority. Were they the allies her people desperately needed?
When she recovered from her injuries and met the friendly humans Jorgen and FM of Skyward Flight, she found that her warning to Spensa had gone unheeded by the government of Detritus, and they were considering a peace overture from the Superiority. Now having returned to ReDawn, Alanik is dismayed to learn that her own people are falling into the exact same trap.
The faction in ReDawn’s government that wants to appease the Superiority has gained the upper hand. With Alanik’s mentor, Renakin captured, she has no one to turn to but Jorgen, FM, and their friend Rig. An ancient technology may have the power to save both of their planets from disaster, but can they discover its secrets before it’s too late?
Review:
This one was a little bit harder to get into because we’re following the alien, Alanik, that we met in Starsight. So, we’re mostly unfamiliar with her world. I thought the world building was well done. I could only sort of picture her world considering she’s from a gas planet and some of it just didn’t make any sense to my brain. I did really appreciate this new perspective though. We’re seeing another species and how they’ve been treated by the Superiority and the things that are happening politically because of that treatment. I liked, much like the first novella, how the plot tied together with the wider series. I thought it was interesting and engaging.

Evershore (Skyward 3.5)

Evershore by Brandon Sanderson, Janci Patterson

Summary:
Read Jorgen’s story along with Cytonic.
With the government of Detritus in disarray because of Superiority treachery, and with Spensa still away on her mission in the Nowhere, Jorgen must work together with the alien Alanik to pick up the pieces. They intercept a strange transmission from the planet Evershore and its Kitsen inhabitants, who say they have some of Jorgen’s people and want to return them—but can the Kitsen be trusted? And can Jorgen learn to master his increasingly erratic cytonic powers before they spiral out of control and destroy all hope of forming an alliance against the Superiority?
Review:
Jorgen’s story was probably my favorite of the three novellas. I love Jorgen and I really liked being in his head. It was interesting to see inside his head after seeing him through Spensa’s eyes for two full books. I think he’s an excellent leader and this novella only showed that further. Like the first two novellas, I especially enjoyed how the plot tied to the rest of the series. I liked being on another new planet and seeing Jorgen learn about things I won’t specify because of spoilers. I am absolutely excited to see how these three novellas will be tied into the events of books three and four in the Skyward series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

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GoodReads Summary:
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. 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 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)Review:
Starsight was everything I never knew I needed from this sequel. I went into this book without reading the synopsis so I really didn’t know what to expect from the story aside from Spensa being her sassy headstrong self. I was given so much that I never could have imagined.
I am in awe of Sanderson’s writing. It’s fast paced, but not rushed. The suspense and build up before finally giving us answers is so well done. We’re kept on the edge of our seat right up until the very end.
In this second book, Spensa goes on a spy mission. I really loved getting a chance to see more of the world (well universe) that this series takes place in. We’ve left the planet where Spensa’s people are being contained. A prison of sorts. She takes the place of another and goes to the Krell to train as a pilot for them. Her mission is to find something that will save her people. But she realizes that everything is not what she thought it was.
I’m going to try to do this without too many spoilers, but I will say that if you haven’t read the first book, you should read the review for that here, instead of this review.
With Spensa on Starsight, she meets all sorts of new alien species. She forms a new flight crew. I loved them. But I found myself missing her human squad from the first book. Though, I did really like the few chapters we got that let us know what was going on back on Demetrius. I thought her new flight crew were beyond interesting. She was learning about new alien species as well as how the Krell work and trying to find their secrets to take back to her people. Spensa’s whole view of the world has changed. She doesn’t know what’s true or who to trust, aside from M-Bot of course.
I love M-Bot, though I wish we’d gotten a bit more of him. I thought the conversation of whether or not he was ‘alive’ was really interesting. I’m also still so curious about why certain things are hidden from him. There are gaps in his memory and I’m dying to know what they are and why he wasn’t allowed to remember them.
Now that I’ve had a little time to gather my thoughts about this book, I’ve realized that there was no mention of certain events after a certain crash landing and I’m a bit upset about that. I’m so curious about the person who’s place Spensa took. We’re given so little information about her and what’s happening while Spensa is on her spy mission.
Overall, this book was a wild ride. There was action and politics, suspense and secrets. I loved it and Spensa and all the new characters we met. That ending is going to drive me wild though especially with a release date of 2021 for book three.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Summary:
Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s-a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa the daughter of a coward, her chances of attending Flight School slim to none.
No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.
Review:
It feels like I finished this book forever ago, but it was only last week. I haven’t been able to sit down and write this review until now. It’s a busy time of year, but also, I just haven’t known what to say about this masterpiece that is a YA science fiction novel. Brandon Sanderson is a very widely known and well-loved author. It’s a name I’ve heard time and time again the longer I’ve been involved in the bookish community. So, when I? saw this book at Barnes and Nobel, I thought I’d give it a try. I found a beautiful signed copy and the synopsis sounded interesting enough. I put off reading it for almost two entire months. Until I saw that one of my friends on Twitter had bought it and several other friends replied that they owned the book too but hadn’t read it yet. This is when I popped in and said, “Buddy read anyone?” So, a huge thank you to Alana @ The Bookish Chick, Rae @ Thrifty Bibliophile, & Steph @ Books in the Skye for choosing to buddy read this book with me. It was my first ever buddy read and I had so much fun reading together and discussing this story as we made our way through the pages. I’m so happy to have found you guys as friends and I’m excited for more buddy reads in the future.

“Claim the stars, Spensa.”

Now to talk about the book. I loved it. I really just absolutely loved it. I feel like this is a case of having nothing to say about a story other than, “I loved it, it was so good. Please read it now.” Because I’m really not sure what else to add. So I’ll be basic and talk about basic story concepts.

“Is anything fair?” He smiled. “Death is. He treats us all the same.”

The characters were great. Spensa was entertaining, slightly annoying, relatable, and an interesting perspective. I think she was a great voice for this story. She had something to prove and though she doubted herself at times, she wasn’t going to give up.
I loved all the other kids in her flight school class. They all just added unique and distinct personalities to the story. I grew to love the characters I hated at first and I think that says so much about an author’s storytelling skill. Jerkface is the one I grew to love. He’s so complex and interesting. I’m happy to say that Spensa quickly learns that there’s more to him than she thought.

“So willing to seize the stars with one hand and shove them in your pocket.”

I think my favorite character is tied between Kimmalyn and M-Bot. Kimmalyn is funny and sassy and I found myself laughing out loud at her parts of the story. The same goes for M-Bot though. I’m a totally sucker for anything related to artificial intelligence, so the minute M-Bot popped into the story, I knew he was going to be one of my favorite parts. There’s just something about technology trying to understand the complexity of human emotion that I really enjoy. M-Bot ended up really hitting me in the feels which pleasantly surprised me.

“I’d let you read the seven thousand pages I wrote, but I am programmed to avoid making humans feel inferior for their incredible weirdness.”

The setting was also incredible. I love space, so it’s not really a surprise that I liked the world this takes place in. Though I’m dying to get the second book that won’t be released until November of 2019 so that I can learn more about the world. I’m wondering how much we’re going to learn about the world that Spensa lives on. There are other communities that are lightly talked about, but I want to know more. I also can’t wait to learn more about outer space around the planet they live on.

“It’s not your fault you’re a bloodthirsty ball of aggression and destruction.”

The story progresses nicely. I love books that take place in school settings. I genuinely enjoy getting to see characters learn their skill rather than just seeing them know everything already. I think it makes the characters more well-rounded. Getting to see them before they think they know everything is always fun. I think Skyward was full of excellent world building. It created so much suspense and anticipation for the next book. I’m interested to see how these characters are going to behave and grow now that they are no longer students and with all of the new information they’ve learned about their enemies.

“It can appreciate things at a million times per second. So you could say your comment is likely the single most appreciated thing you’ve ever done.”

Overall, this is one of my favorite reads of 2018. I think you should all give this book a try. Brandon Sanderson wrote an incredible story that was entertaining and full of characters that I’m now fully invested in. I actually already ordered some of his other books so I can see if I enjoy his adult novels as much as this one. So, if you’re the opposite of me and you’ve read his other series, give this one a try for sure!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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