Brandon Sanderson has done it again!
This story follows Spensa who lives on a world that is constantly under attack by aliens. In this world being a fighter pilot is deemed one of the most honourable and sought after positions in their society. Spensa’s father was a fighter pilot and was highly respected until one day when she was seven he deserted and was killed forever branding him as a coward. Now nine years later Spensa is trying to step out of her father’s shadow and become a pilot herself.
This is another example of how amazing Brandon Sanderson’s writing skills are. The world was built up wonderfully and the characters are flawed and highly developed.
Spensa is another strong female protagonist that isn’t afraid to speak up and voice her opinion. She has had to overcome so much adversity in her life, always having to defend herself and work so much harder to fight for what she wants because of what her father supposedly did. Her arc throughout the storyline was wonderful to read. She starts off as this cocky, overconfident cadet who is trying to prove herself worthy to a strong, self aware, more grounded (lol) pilot. The fact that she is able to acknowledge her flaws and express her emotions showed great growth in her character.
I also quietly enjoyed Jorgan as well. I thought he was a great contrast to Spensa, he was more rigid and by the book where she kind of flew off the cuff and was more spontaneous and prone to disobeying orders. I like that we get a look into his life and how different it was to Spensa’s, seemingly being handed everything to him on a silver platter as opposed to Spensa’s battle to belong. I like the subtle shift in their relationship as the story progressed and how it evolved into a more companionable and mutually respective friendship. Though the banter between them was fun and very entertaining to read.
The fact that the flight group kept dwindling really added a layer of urgency and pressure to the storyline. Every time they took off you didn’t know if everyone was going to make it and that really kept me engaged in the plot.
M-bot added a nice spark as well. The communication between him and Spensa was witty and light in comparison to some of the darker tones that the book was evoking. The same with Cobb, he really had Spensa’s back from the start and he was a great buffer to the Admiral. He kind of acted as a lifeline to Spensa’s father and added some insight to that day he defected, I like that he still honoured his friendship to her father by being her mentor.
All in all I was very much invested in the characters and the plot. The battles and the simulation were exciting and precarious. There were definitely rumblings of political schemes in play so I can see it really evolving and expanding a whole lot more in the books to come! Some of the flight jargon and manoeuvrings slowed me down and bored me a little but the overall plot and storyline was very captivating to read!
⭐️4.5/5 stars from someone who isn’t a great fan of sci-fi this was GREAT!!