Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with that of her father’s—a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa the daughter of a coward, her chances of attending Flight School slim to none.
No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.
This was the very first Brandon Sanderson book that I have ever read. I actually own the whole Mistborn series and have some of The Wheel of Time books on Audible, I just haven’t gotten around to reading them. Everyone talks so highly of Sanderson that I think I went into this book with extremely high expectations and it honestly, didn’t deliver like I had hoped. Now, with that being said, this is by no means a bad book. I did enjoy it! I think it has an interesting premise and hopefully book two will expand on things a little more but this first book was lacking a little for me.
Let’s start without our main characters, Spensa. She is, rough. She has had a hard life being the daughter of a coward, which is basically the worst crime you could commit in this very backwards society. Even with that in mind though, sometimes Spensa just really rubbed me the wrong way. She is rude to people she doesn’t even know, she is SO aggressive with E V E R Y O N E and was just incredibly annoying. I will hand it to her though, she is the most dedicated and determined person ever. Holy cats, that girl sets her mind to something and she’ll be damned if she doesn’t see it through. One aspect of our main character that I actually liked. I rather liked some of the side characters more than Spensa. One of them being a talking slug, because how cute is that! And a talking AI ship, which is witty and sassy as hell and could literally be my best friend.
I also think the world building could have used a little fine tuning. It’s not that I didn’t follow it or understand but more like, I wish there was more detail? We’re thrown into this foreign planet that could have been described with SO MUCH more detail but with what we got it just felt like, another Earth. And that’s boring. I don’t want to read a book about a fake Earth. This one definitely wasn’t, we just never got more info than most people live underground in caves and tunnels and only the pilots live above ground to fight the “aliens”. I want to know what it looks like! I want to know what it smells like! I had a hard time envisioning this planet because of it, I could only ever imagine these things taking place here on Earth.
Being a Science-Fiction/Fantasy novel this book is over 500 pages, which is to be expected. What I didn’t expect was to be wondering why it was so long when it could have been 200 pages shorter and still accomplished just as much. There were just so many pages and pages and pages of Spensa attending flight school. Spensa going to another day of class. Spensa doing another simulation in flight school. Just, ugh, so many pages of that could have been cut out and it would have kept my interest more and still gotten the point across.
Overall I thought the story-line was pretty interesting and entertaining. There was a cool twist at the end that I never really saw coming which made the story that much better. I am intrigued to see where book two takes things so I will definitely be reading, I just hope Spensa stops being so angry all the time 🤣