Book Review: Skyward

SkywardSkyward by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not, as a rule, a cryer. Call me emotionally stunted, call me cold, but tears seldom try to trickle from the corner of my eyes. (I can’t even remember the last time I cried, honestly.) And yet when I got to the climax of Brandon Sanderson’s latest book, I got choked up. No, I didn’t cry, but I got the closest I’ve come in several years at least.

It’s that good.

Brandon has always excelled at writing satisfying endings of books. It’s been a strength of his for as long as I can remember, going right back to the days I was in his writing group and hanging out in his basement each week. His beginnings are solid. His middles are fine. His magic systems are awesome, but I really feel that his endings are what set him apart from the crowd. Managing a really satisfying ending is no small feat. Getting your readers to really invest in a character or group of characters so that when it all comes together, it feels right? That’s tough.

Usually, you can see a good ending coming in the distance. “Ah,” you’ll say. “That’s how the author could get the hero out of this mess.” And it’s no shame when that actually happens. But really incredible endings leave you guessing right until the end, and then when it all comes together, you’re stunned that you didn’t see that loophole of a happy ending to begin with.

Skyward is the sort of book that makes me want to go back and rerate other books I’ve rated, just so I have space at the top of the scale for me to give it a better rating than anything else I’ve read this year.

It’s not a literary book. I don’t mean that. Does it hold up against The Handmaid’s Tale, another book I gave a perfect 10/10 to this year? Well, no. But it’s not fighting in the same ring, so you can’t hold that against it. Skyward is a YA Science Fiction book about a girl who dreams of being a pilot, even while her entire society is telling her she can’t be. It’s post apocalyptic. It’s fast moving. And it has flat out the best ending I’ve read in a long time.

I don’t know how I can recommend it any more to you. I don’t think I need to describe the characters and the premise. Pick it up and read it. Give it to your friends as a present. Anyone who’s remotely interested in Sci-Fi would love this, I think.

10/10. Must read.


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