After writing probably one of the best openings to a series I’ve ever had the pleasure to read, Brandon Sanderson, made sure that I had some big expectations and loads of excitement for this sequel. What you all might be wondering is, did it meet them?
Yes and no.
The fact that I’m not sure of whether it was what I had been wanting it to be should tell you a lot about this book.
How can a single book bring you immense satisfaction as well as emptiness? As if it was enough and yet, something remains missing?
Continue reading this article to find out.
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publication date: November 26th, 2019
Main characters: Spensa; M-bot; Doomslug; Jorgen
POV: Spensa Nightshade
Sequel, number in series, or stand-alone? Sequel in four-book-series
Previous book: Skyward
Following book: Nowhere, set to be released in Spring 2021
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
WARNING, SPOILERS FOR SKYWARD #1 MAY FEATURE IN THIS REVIEW
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.
I think Spensa Nightshade is one of the most likable, fierce, and full-hearted protagonists I’ve read in a long time.
She’s hilarious, and kind; and even though she can be a little bit too aggressive and reckless from time to time, as the story moves forward, it only becomes clearer that her heart it’s in the right place.
During Starsight, for various reasons, Spensa is exposed to different realities and points of view, which broadened not only her mind, but spirit. Still developing the themes featured in Skyward, I think that in this sequel, she understood a bit better that admitting weakness doesn’t mean you are a coward, to judge less and listen more, and that there are many ways to fight evil (not only the physical sort.)
Spensa’s growth is tremendous, and what I think is the most wonderful to see, is that in this book, she tried so hard to play the enemy’s game, but even when it was her time to be benefitted from it, she decided to march on her way.
I think that it is something I admire Spensa for. Even after so long pretending to be someone else, she managed to stay true to herself.
Discussing the conflicts featured in this book, I am not sure if the author took the right decisions here.
Due to an incident I can’t explain because it’s a spoiler, Spensa is forced to deal with a situation all by herself, with only M-Bot (her intelligent and hilarious stealth-ship) and Doomslug (her pet slug) as company. And even though these were characters I loved the last installment, and which I still enjoyed and cherished in this one, it was sort of tiring to have them as only interceptors with the reader. So, in a way, the author gave us what we wanted, because after Skyward, all I ever needed was to have more of these characters, whereas reading an exceeding amount of it, wasn’t as gratifying as I had expected.
However, this doesn’t mean that Spensa was completely alone. In her head, she was the only one who she could trust but in the outside, she interacted with new characters, many species that were interesting to encounter. However, the author had me so invested in Spensa’s original friends in Skyward, that it was hard for me to focus on the new additions on the team. Instead of savoring the new characters, I was too busy worrying about Jorgen, Arturo, Rig, Kimmalyn, FM, Cobb, Nedd…
Spensa’s human friends shone in my mind due to their absence.
And I was really hoping to see more of them in Starsight.
Speaking about world-building, I think that Brandon Sanderson does a master job in developing further the human’s calamity in Spensa’s reality, expanding the reader’s view far away from Detritus and into new bases of the Superiority. What stuck with me the most about the mind of the author’s creation, was the different species we got to meet in this instalment, different ways of existing, interesting changes in the alien’s biology and culture. So many details are given, that only deepen the complexity of the universe.
What I liked a lot about this sequel, is the ambivalent atmosphere of tension and mystery that the author created through the book, we were just as clueless as Spensa, never knowing who to trust, or where to go. Following our gut to lead to the next step.
On the other hand, what I didn’t enjoy in Starsight is the slow-pace manner that the author maneuvered throughout the novel, which made the reading heavy and non-transitional at some points. Only being 460 pages long, it took me almost a whole week to complete it. My favorite parts were the interludes, in which we were bestowed upon a beautiful and endearing character who also managed to smuggle his own kind of development.
I understand that this is the second book in a four-novel series so in the grand scheme of things, I think that this sequel will be a great connection and addition to this world. But having it by itself at the moment, I feel a little bit dissatisfied and lost.
Like I might shove something to the scudding wall.
Starsight, brought us big, and shaking reveals that I was definitely not expecting while at the same time, it left us with an insane number of questions that I can’t wait to see how will the author address.
Waiting for Nowhere to come out.
I think that is all I have for you today but, if you are interested in my rants, you can follow me on Goodreads, Twitter,Tumblr, and Instagram, where I like to get a little goofier. And if you want more content about books, stay tuned to the blog!
And remember, even if sometimes feels like it, you´re not alone, there´s always someone rooting for you. But if you feel that no one out there is, I would happily be that person, here´s my email if you ever need someone to talk to, I will respond. firstname.lastname@example.org