The Brand New Series

528 pages

English language

Published Dec. 22, 2019 by Orion Publishing Group, Limited.

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4 stars (1 review)

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.

2 editions

A fun YA hard science fiction yarn

4 stars

I greatly enjoy Brandon Sanderson's fantasy novels. His world-building and magic systems always have an interesting logic - balancing a power's advantages against its limitations or disadvantages. I always feel that those rules would translate directly into a well-tuned RPG.

"Skyward" is the first Sanderson science fiction I've read, but it won't be the last. It's a hard sci-fi YA adventure with a teenage girl protagonist who makes mistakes and embarrasses herself but has you cheering her on every step of the way.

The technology and action scenes are convincing, and I enjoyed the way Sanderson went into some detail about how the spacecraft and their weapons worked.

Overall the plot was a little predictable but didn't detract from the fun of the story, and the final revelation was a good surprise and set-up for the sequel.


  • American literature