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 is book 2 in the SKYWARD series by Brandon Sanderson and jumps forward full six months after the conclusion of the first book.
This one certainly has a lot more variety within the plot and isn’t so centred around Spensa’s flying and ship-building/repairing abilities. Readers finally get to meet the aliens accused of oppressing the last of the human race and it turns out they’re not at all what Spensa expected.
There is still a decent amount of flight training and team building in this one, so fans of the star fighting and flying aspects of SKYWARD will be very happy. However, Spensa seems to have matured significantly within the six months between books and she can look at the unexpected situation she finds herself with slightly more patient and even temperament than we’ve seen.
The aliens we meet are unique and diverse in their physical forms, but unfortunately, there isn’t much distinguishable between their cultural differences at this point. This could be due to the nature of the political system they share. The different races seem to be glazed over, with only minor differences developed and a strong focus on the physical differences making them feel less tangible or fully realised. Hopefully, the next books—and novellas—rectify this with some more details. Considering they’re supposed to be at war with humanity you’d think we’d get a little more than one species that look like crabs and dislike aggression… Another alien species, which was perhaps the most unique and interesting one has a fascinating reproductive process that I don’t know if I’ve seen before. Spensa had a few moments of insight with two of these aliens where we got to peek into their independent culture, but not enough for me to come away with any real understanding of them.
The main antagonists are The Delvers (who we kind of get a glimpse of in the first book) were, dare I say… a letdown? Throughout the story Spensa is told that the Delvers are the universe’s greatest enemy, for all life forms, and that their return would be the end of everything. The build-up for their return was forced onto us for so many chapters that when they finally arrived and what resulted after was just disappointing. It seems like Sanderson was going for a ‘we’re not so different after all’ type moment, but for me, it fell flat.
Sanderson’s writing is, as always, faultless. He’s a master of his craft, however, there is something about STARSIGHT that feels hollow. It doesn’t have the same life I hear people rave about when it comes to his fantasy series (which I have yet to read for myself).
Overall the plot and character development are rather basic but enjoyable. You’ll find no deep dive into the human condition or extraterrestrial relationships, or ground-breaking SciFi literature here. The pacing is slow and every revelation was obvious. As interesting as it was, it also falls under the same category as a movie you put on while you’re bored that you could stop halfway through without ever needing to know how it ends because you weren’t that invested. But it was still a good story if that makes sense?
I may also be sour because my man M-bot isn’t present for a lot of the story. His innocent, quirky humour was a large part of what I enjoyed about the first book and I missed it dearly in the moments he was absent.
I could be in the minority with my opinions here, so let me know how you felt after reading it and what Sanderson’s book is your favourite!
RATING – 3/5 stars
Author – Brandon Sanderson
Publisher – Delacorte Press
ISBN – 0399555811
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