Skyward (Skyward #1) audiobook
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Although the world building and the plot are primary, I found myself recollecting how the heroine, Spensa, reminded me of an employee I once had in my bakery. Spensa is charismatic and manufactured from a wonderful assortment of vim and vigor. If youre her best friend, you need fear nothing. She is a character that will have readers screaming for more.
POV: First person.
BLUSH FACTOR: No worries here. Suitable for all ages and genders.
STAND-ALONE OR CLIFFHANGER ENDING? The main story of this volume is complete. It is clear, though, by the ending that more, much more is to come. In other words, if you read to the end of this novel, you will crave for the next.
ADVENTURE: YES, with exclamation points.
THE WRITING AND EDITING is professional throughout. I found it nearly difficult to take a break while racing through this tale. Having stated the positives, I need to balance it with my single concern that, other than the hero, or heroine, being female, much of this story did seem just a touch too familiar. Oh, and I would like to have seen more of the weak points of young Spensa, to balance her character.
About ten minutes before the start of class, three young men walked in together. They were obviously friends, as they were talking and joking softly. I didnt recognize two of them, but the one at the frontwith brown skin and short curly hairwas distinctive in a kind of baby-faced, pretty-boy way.
The guy from the test, I realized. The son of a First Citizen who had gotten free admission.
Great. We were saddled with a useless aristocrat, someone who lived in the lowestand safestof the Defiant caverns. Hed be in flight school not because of any skill or aptitude, but because he wanted to sport a cadets pin and feel important. Judging by the way the other two talked, I instantly pegged them as his cronies. Id have bet anything that all of them had gotten in without taking the test, so our cadet group had three people who didnt deserve to be there.
The tall, baby-faced guy walked to the center of the ring of seats. How could a boy have a face that was so extremely punchable? He cleared his throat, then clapped his hands sharply. Get to attention, cadets! Is this how we want to present ourselves to our instructor? Lounging about, making idle chitchat? Line up!
Kimmalyn, bless her stars, jumped up and stood at a kind of sloppy attention. His two cronies stepped over and fell into step as well, doing a much better impression of real soldiers. Everyone else just kind of
looked at him.
What gives you the right to order us around? asked Hudiya, the athletic girl from my own cavern. She stood leaning against the wall, arms folded.
I want to make a good first impression on the instructor, cadet, Jerkface said. Think how inspiring it will be when he comes in to find us all waiting at attention.
Hudiya snorted. Inspiring? Wed look like a bunch of suck-ups.
Jerkface ignored her, instead inspecting his line of three cadets. He shook his head at Kimmalyn, whose version of attention involved standing on the tips of her toes and saluting with both hands. It was ridiculous.
You look ridiculous, Jerkface said to her.
The girls face fell, and she slumped. I felt an immediate burst of protective anger. I meanhe was right, but he didnt have to belt it out like that.
Who taught you to stand at attention? Jerkface asked. Youre going to embarrass us. I cant have that.
Yeah, I said. Shed be stealing
Sanderson, Brandon. Skyward (pp. 62-63). Random House Children’s Books. Kindle Edition.
Unlike so many other Kindle books, the Audible Edition is not discounted. In fact, it is quite spendy, so I did not purchase the audiobook yet.
Four stars out of five.
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Ok, so lets address the way Brandon writes: flawless. You dont realize that you just spent 5 hrs reading his book because his prose (the way he writes)doesnt detract from the story.
Next, the story: its a fun yet oddly alien story but it comes across not quite alien. Its a great story full of mystery while engaging you in tense action.
The characters were well done and you saw more character development in main character than you would normally notice in a Sanderson Book. He is getting better the more he writes and this one showed.
The problem I have with Sanderson might not really be a problem. I hesitate to start a book of his because it is too good. Literally. I know when I start to read something of his that it will be soooo hard to read other authors afterward. This book is a good example: I just finished reading it. Do I want to jump into another book and continue reading something else? No. I want the next part of this story, or anything Sanderson really, cause its just good writing.
Sigh, I just have a love hate relationship with Brandons books. I think half the reason Patrick Rothfuss doesnt finish his series is he is taking notes from Robert Jordan: he wants Brandon to finish it for him.
Anyway, great story. Fun! Loved it overall.
Audiobook Skyward (Skyward #1) by Brandon Sanderson
This book is an incredible disappointment. Talk about completely unoriginal world, story, characters, everything. This book is Enders Game meets Divergent meets City of Ember. Not to mention the countless other works in this genre that this novel mirrors. I dont mind using same storylines but this added nothing new. It was the same story but with different character names. At about one third of the way through I lost hope that this novel was going to add any original ideas and unfortunately it held true to the end. Im burned out on Sanderson. Oathbringer was trash and now this one is too. I have loved almost everything Sanderson has written but his latest few have fell flat. Sanderson needs to add some diffferent perspectives to his team as they are allowing subpar work to be published. Sanderson is phenomenal at unique world building and having a fun twist – I felt like I read Skyward before and that was disappointing.
Audio Skyward (Skyward #1) narrated by Suzy Jackson
“When this is done, Jerkface, I will hold your tarnished and melted pin up as my trophy as your smoldering ship marks your pyre, and the final resting place of your crushed and broken corpse.”
The room grew quiet. “All right….,” Jerkface said. “Well, that was…descriptive.”
The easiest, and only, five star I’ve given this year. This book was intelligently crafted, a genuine pleasure to read and almost felt like a cinematic experience because the writing was so damn good. After her father infamously broke rank at the Battle of Alta and retreated from his wingmates who were later forced to shoot him down, Spensa, or “Spin” as she’s largely known in this book, has been branded as the daughter of a coward – a label she just can’t shake off. So despite the fact she is determined to become a pilot herself, almost everyone who knows who she is wants to stand in her way; after all, who could trust her as their wingman when her father ditched his?
Proving she isn’t a coward has become part of Spensa’s identity and this is portrayed really intricately in this book. Spensa competes for flight school knowing that only the best of the best will qualify. Whilst Spensa is a very complex and well-crafted, character equal parts headstrong, confident and defiant as much as she is strange (in a good way!), resourceful and funny that isn’t actually what made her stand out for me. What I liked the most about her character was that she actually isn’t the best at all. None of the characters really are. They are each remarkably flawed, rather than being the heroic special girl we’ve come to expect, and I absolutely adored her personality.
As a matter of fact, all of the characters in this book are developed exceptionally well. Subtle nuances between Spensa and her flight teacher Cobb (who manages to wrangle her a spot in the school) and her flight leader Jorgen (not-so-affectionally named Jerkface) make this book really special. Each of the members of the flight are interesting, have strong personalities but most importantly are really memorable – a large cast like this can be hard to identify and relate to unless they’re well-imagined and each of these characters absolutely is. I felt completely invested in each of their well-beings, spending my time torn between feeling anxious alongside Spensa that one of her crew wouldn’t make it back from a mission, the stark reality of which was perfectly captured, and wanting to throttle them myself for them making her life difficult!
Now add to that a talking ship. When Spensa is forced to live in a forgotten cave after Ironsides, the leader of the school, despises her enough to prevent her from being able to stay in the same quarters as her crew, she stumbles across a wreckage in the form of a ship. A much better ship in fact than the ones her crew are used to, particularly as it can talk. M-Bot is an advanced, personality coded, ship with the biggest attitude of an AI I have ever seen; almost every interaction between M-Bot and Spensa is hilarious. Sanderson explores the potential for AI’s to build memories, personal opinions and personalities in a fun and unique way.
Whilst all of that constitutes the necessary ingredients for a really great book, it’s perfectly achieved thanks to Sanderson’s frankly phenomenal writing. A relatively complex world filled with quite foreign concepts for some readers – flight school, alien lifeforms, artificial intelligences, the engineering behind ships and so on – are simplified just enough to make the book entirely palatable but not so far as to patronise or lessen the experience of the reader. Equally, and most notably for me, there are no conveniences within this book.
Often authors will lead you towards an upcoming death, leaving bread crumbs in their narrative for you to follow, so you know what’s about to happen. Often they will tease you with a character death, but really you just KNOW the character won’t be dead and despite being happy they’re not, you’re also pretty disappointed the author was so unoriginal. Often they leave gaping great plot holes big enough for YOU to see without even trying so God only knows how THEY missed them. Not so with Sanderson, he was utterly ahead of me every step of the way, expertly filling in potential holes, acting on his decisions regardless of whether it’s going to hurt or not and not at all finding a convenient eagle for anyone to fly off on at every turn to save the day.
This is a wonderfully created novel bursting with genuinely likeable characters and a snarky, talking space ship. I honestly don’t know what more you need.
“Just for that, I shall hunt your firstborn children and laugh with glee as I tell them of your death in terrible detail, with many unpleasant adjectives!”. “May a pox of unique human diseases – many of which cause an uncomfortable swelling – come upon you!”. – MBot.
Free audio Skyward (Skyward #1) – in the audio player below
Love this author and it is really good to see him moving into a new genre. I’ll keep it simple, engaging characters, some really good humour and an original plot even if it is a crowded area. I like to try and second guess where a plot is going and failed with this one. Yes, some outcomes were predictable but even those were executed with originality. I have to say that the real star of this book isn’t even human, he’s an AI and I really hope we get to see more of him – especially his battle cries!!
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