Skyward, review: an overview of the Brandon Sanderson series

Skyward, review: an overview of the Brandon Sanderson series

Skyward, review

With the arrival of the volume Cytonic - Confront the Fear by Brandon Sanderson, the third chapter of the young adult Skyward saga published in Italy by Armenia, we sum up a magnificent, pressing and full of surprises sci-fi adventure: that of Spensa Nightshade , a young starfighter pilot who, with his secret skills, could overturn the fate of his population on the chessboard of a war capable of subverting the entire universe. Waiting for the fourth and final volume of the saga started by Sanderson in 2018, let's clarify the novels published so far and why they should not go unnoticed.

Unbridled action aboard a starfighter…

Spensa Nightshade's space adventures begin in Skyward - Conquest the Stars, Brandon Sanderson's young adult novel that opens the saga. Here, on Detritus, an inhospitable planet on which humans have managed to escape from the attacks of the Krell aliens and to form a new society, lives Spensa Nightshade: a young woman who has always dreamed of becoming a starfighter pilot, like her father was, to defeat the Krells who impose their brutal rule by attacking humans daily from the skies of Detritus. Zeen Nightshade, however, seems to have fled during one of the most decisive battles, disappearing and leaving a mark imprinted on Spensa forever like fire: that of "daughter of the coward". Training on the fly, boarding a starfighter and fighting the bloodthirsty Krell could thus be an opportunity for Spensa (code name: Turbina) to prove how much everyone is wrong about her and her father, showing their courage. .| ); }

The structure adopted by Brandon Sanderson even looks like that of a video game, in which we - through the direct experience of Turbina - are catapulted into lively and exciting clashes planes starting "from below": from the meager existence that the protagonist leads among the caverns of Igneus, the underground city of Detritus, despised and avoided by anyone who crosses her; passing from pilot training (a sort of "command tutorial"); up to the unbridled clashes aboard the Spensa starfighter against the Krells, in a whirlwind ascent to the battle and the final revelations. The action and the pressing dangers of Skyward - Conquest the Stars, on the other hand, are not synonymous with lack of depth: here you don't just shoot. The Sanderson saga begins with veiled allusions to certain secrets that the protagonist (and we with her) will be determined to solve, if she really wants to save her people and free them from the Krell yoke and, along the following novels, the mysterious element- adventurous is constantly offered, always alive and present, obtaining in return the maximum attention of the reader.

... and the "cytonic" mysteries to be revealed

To the cytonic powers of the protagonist (which are not, however, its peculiarity, but also characterize other individuals in the universe), another element is added that is easy to question: M-Bot, a highly advanced astrofighter that Spensa discovers in an unexplored cave on Detritus, equipped with an AI able to communicate but almost completely oblivious to its past. Where does it come from? What was his mission and that of his previous pilot? Who was able to build such a technological and intelligent ship? And why does M-Bot appear to have anything to do with cytonics? A prerogative, that of inserting mechanics related to the unveiling of one or more mysteries, which should never be missing in a sci-fi work and that Brandon Sanderson cleverly exploits by inserting with cunning veiled references to all those eschatological questions and the origins of existence that inevitably arise when we speak of the universe.

To evolve is to understand and embrace change

Starsight - War in Space, proceeds more gradually: after a more relaxed start, it once again manages to propose the frenetic action that characterized Skyward and, at the same time, to outline a story that, following the maturation of protagonist, is in turn more mature. Here, in fact, Spensa travels to Starsight, a planet colonized by a supreme force called Superiority and on which the most disparate alien races live, including the Krell. Human beings are bitterly fought by all other races and so Spensa arrives on the spot in the guise of an alien aided by M-Bot. His undercover mission, however, tears his beliefs apart like a flash in the sky: those who have always attacked humans are but a small group that follows orders, but Starsight is actually populated by people who live, laugh, they suffer, love and fear just like humans. And the war fought so far is therefore just a senseless madness involving millions of innocents, in which Turbina is no longer sure she wants to participate.

With Cytonic - Face the Fear the sci-fi setting meets tones and more adventurous and exploratory atmospheres, with the arrival of Spensa in Nowhere: realizing that she cannot go home yet, the young pilot goes to the only place where she knows she can finally find answers, although it is probably the most dangerous place in the universe, especially for a cytonic like her. Here he will experience different landscapes, adventurous vicissitudes, the encounter with pirates and new alien races, but above all he will touch the drama of the choice: putting oneself, one's desires and one's happiness first, or suffering and suffering in an attempt to to fulfill one's duty to try to save millions of lives? The third volume of the Skyward saga reconfirms itself as whirlwind and full of action, although full of reflective ideas on change, on its acceptance, on how evolving can be so painful, but also necessary to progress.

In conclusion: Skyward and the others

From reading the three novels published by Armenia, we have drawn a conclusion: Skyward is a beautiful saga to read. This happens, among other things, very smoothly, thanks to the language that Brandon Sanderson adopts, simple, fast, devoid of pomposity, with periods that naturally follow the rushing flow of events without stumbling over words. You could find yourself, therefore, completing the reading of the volumes faster than you would have believed! If that's still not enough, let's imagine Skyward as a fantastic sci-fi adventure that takes its cue from the "others", shaping a new work: there are aircraft that whiz and fight on Detritus or in space, as in Star Wars; there are the variegated cities, alien races of innumerable shapes and colors, technologies and multiform natural scenarios as in Valerian; there is contact, on a psychic-dimensional level, with a dangerous alien intelligence, "almost in a swarm", as in The Expanse.

Fresh, turbulent, fast, touching: the novels of Brandon Sanderson's Skyward series bring a sci-fi product that knows its stuff to the young adult scene. deserves great attention. In addition, the Armenia edition, which demonstrates excellent editorial care (except for small typos here and there) and a graphic choice for the evocative and appropriate covers, with colors that recall the mysterious beauty of distant galaxies: side by side the 'one to the other, the volumes really create a great visual effect. Finally, an element, certainly interesting and very useful to the reader, are the illustrated pages containing the drawings of the various aircraft models, maps of the areas explored by Spensa and comparisons between the various alien creatures that populate this universe.

Skyward - Conquer the Stars

Click here to buy Skyward - Conquer the Stars on Amazon: Spensa dreams of becoming a starfighter pilot… just like his father. But it is precisely the shadow of her father, accused of betrayal and disappeared into thin air after a last battle with the alien Krells, which prevents her from realizing her dream and revealing her gift to everyone. However, things are about to change. On Detritus, all the boys her age are training for war against those bloodthirsty aliens who have destroyed our spaceships and are holding them hostages on that bare planet. But someday, up there in the sky, things will take a new course. Spensa will understand that things are not as everyone believes and even his father, in reality ..

Starsight - Mission in Space

Click here to buy Starsight - Mission in Space on Amazon: In on a desperate mission to steal the hyperdrive technology of the Krell, the shellfish-like invaders who threaten to destroy the besieged human colony on Detritus, Spesa holographically takes the purple-skinned UrDail guise and infiltrates a krell pilot training program, intended for to the "lower species". At this point, the young woman discovers that the purpose of the training is to exterminate humans, considered in some environments an irrational and aggressive species (having triggered three interstellar quarrels in past centuries). This is only the first in a series of disturbing revelations. But Spensa also discovers something about herself and will travel to the far reaches of the galaxy if necessary to save humanity…

Cytonic - Face the Fear

Click here to buy Cytonic - Face Fear on Amazon: On a desperate mission Superiority, the ruling galactic alliance, determined to subdue and suppress all humans, has started a war across the galaxy. And Spensa has seen the weapons she intends to use to end it: the eradicators. These are ancient and mysterious alien forces that can wipe out entire planetary systems in an instant. Spensa knows that, regardless of the number of Rebel Defense Force pilots, there is no way to defeat these predators. But the young heroine is a cytonic. She has already faced an eradicator and found that she had something extremely familiar. And, perhaps, if she can understand her nature, she could become more than just a pilot in the ongoing war. She could save the galaxy. The only way she can find out who she really is, however, is to leave everything she knows behind and enter Nowhere, a place that few return to.

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