Ah, Brandon Sanderson. Will you ever write something I won’t like?
At this point in time, I’ve probably only read about half of Sanderson’s work, but I’ve always consistently enjoyed it. I was incredibly curious to see him tackle a more YA-ish sci-fi world. I love sci-fi, but YA (or YA-themed books) are a bit of a hard sell for me. I don’t find myself interested in most of the tropes.
But I really enjoyed this book.
The world-building here is top-notch, as you would typically expect from Mr. Sanderson. Humans have retreated underground, fighting for their very existence. Aliens attack from the mysterious sky above, their motives unknown, their success seemingly inevitable.
Our protagonist is Spensa, a young woman who has to fight against the ghosts of the past to become a fighter pilot for humanity. Her character, and her development, is fun to read.
There are three elements of this novel that kept me turning the pages: The first is one of the mysteries at the heart of the novel: what happened to Spensa’s father? Every answer raises another question, leading us deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. Second was the world-building. Everything from the society to dogfights, the environment to the aliens, is lovingly rendered. It’s a joy to continue to learn more about Spensa’s world.
The final element is the “magic.” I hesitate to say much, as it gets into spoiler-y territory, but the way technology works in this story is fascinating, and one of the things that makes me most excited to dive deeper into this world.