Leta’s Book Review: Skyward, Starsight, and Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson

Skyward, Starsight, and Cytonic are my first foray into Brandon Sanderson’s work. Not only did I love them for a multitude of reasons, but they also brought me back to my love of the science fiction genre. It’s taken me a few months to get through these three novels, since I had to wait for Cytonic to be published. I’d also like to point out that this is not a trilogy. If you decide to get into this series, be aware that it’s longer than three books and book four isn’t supposed to be published until 2023. I’m still salty about that, but I’m looking forward to getting to reread these three novels around that time.

I’m going to talk about the three books all together and a bit broadly, since there are so many moments that would be considered spoilers. I’ll talk about Spensa as a character and M-Bot as a “character” and how I feel about how to plot has progressed through three novels.

Since Spensa’s character arc is the most important, with her being the main character, I’ll start with her. I firmly believe she is the most realistic protagonist I’ve read about in a very long time. Her strength and arrogance from the first novel grow and mature as she gains self-knowledge and becomes a part of the larger universe. In Cytonic, I was pleased to see that she had already been changed by the events that had occurred. I’ve read too many novels where that doesn’t happen – the protagonists continue to think and act the same before and after life-altering events. Sanderson has mastered showing this development through Spensa.

M-Bot is a curious character who little is known about before his discovery in Skyward. An ancient yet highly advanced spy ship, M-Bot is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) that helps Spensa reach for the stars. He also grows as he follows Spensa beyond the restraints of the planet Detritus and into the wide universe.

The plot through these first three novels stunned me. Skyward is a look at Detritus, Spensa, and the Defiant Defense Force. Starsight took Spensa into the universe with her new-found abilities as a pilot. Cytonic took our heroine into a far-off part of the galaxy, which I can’t say much about. It was truly the accumulation of everything that had come before and continued the rise in tension beautifully.

I cannot tell you to read this enough. It’s a phenomenal story with darling characters. If you enjoy sci-fi stories, you’ll love the adventure of this world. If you aren’t already a fan of sci-fi or are looking to get into the genre, Skyward is a great way to gently make your way into it. Like high and low fantasy, sci-fi has high and low sub-genres as well. I think Skyward is a lower sci-fi that isn’t full of crazy spaceships and intergalactic conflicts. The series move towards that and gets higher with each novel, but it eases you into it instead of thrusting you into a world and expecting you to believe all the crazy physics and aliens right away.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, check it out! Sanderson is a popular author and I’m sure that these books can be found at your local bookstore, possibly indie bookstores, and at your local library. It’s a great series and I can’t wait for you to fall in love with it as I have.


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