Starsight Review

Starsight Review | Brandon Sanderson

After being introduced to Brandon Sanderson’s writing with Skyward, I was looking forward to seeing where the adventure went next. So today, buckle up because we’re in for a heck of a ride – here’s my review on Starsight.

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Publisher: Gollancz | Date: 2019 | Genre: Science Fiction | Buy it here*

Plot: 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.

Starsight Review

Starsight Review

I kicked myself for leaving Skyward on my Netgalley shelf for so long. The only advantage is I didn’t have to wait too long until I could continue the adventure in Starsight.

Starsight has a different pace and feel compared to Skyward. Rather than following Spensa as she tries to prove herself to her friends and family, this book looks at a much bigger picture as she tries to prove all of humanity to the rest of the galaxy, who strongly believe humans are too dangerous to be left unchecked.

I commented on the character development in the first book, but Spensa transforms further this time. Impersonating a different species to infiltrate – what she believes – is her enemy’s base, she must learn patience, learn to stop comparing everything to human standards and learn to trust others. She pulls it off: Spensa uses logic, friendship, loyalty and honour to fight this war rather than going in all guns blazing. She learns the importance of being part of a team and the strength it gives not fighting alone.

I love Spensa’s character in Starsight. You are with her every step of the way: she knows she isn’t perfect; she knows she messes up; knows she is out of her depth, but she cares and she tries, and the reader is rooting for her throughout.

As before, the secondary characters are strong as well. M-Bot continues to be entertaining, with the dialogue between him and Spensa helping cut through some otherwise tense situations. Various species make up Spensa’s flight this time: small gerbil-fox like creatures lead by the poetic Hesho; Morriumur – a diode that technically hasn’t been born yet (it’s complicated!); and Vapor – a smell rather than a physical being. Then there is Brade – a “pet” human who may or may not be an ally.

 “There was this one time,” I said, “when he was processing a self-diagnostic, and didn’t say anything for a whole five minutes. It was pure bliss.”

“You know,” M-Bot said, “that I’m programmed to be able to recognise sarcasm, right?”

“The joke would be wasted if you weren’t.”

The plot follows Spensa for 90% of the book, with a couple of interludes coming from Jorgen’s perspective. I’m not sure what they added to the plot, but feel it set things in motion for the third book and acted as a reminder that Spensa’s old flight are fighting their own battle while she isn’t there.

Set on an unfamiliar planet with unfamiliar species means Starsight is an imaginative and fun book. The plot builds with tension climaxing neatly towards the end: an attack on the humans tests Spensa’s loyalties of new and old when a creature with the ability to destroy planets is thrown into the mix. The detail of the planets, the threats, the species, the enemy all work to create an engaging and gripping tale that makes you feel you are being flung through space and right into the centre of this political struggle.

As always when I love a novel, I’m finding it hard to articulate how good it is. Spaceships; wars; strong characters; gripping plotline; increasing tension; and a ship with a bad attitude who only wants to know if he is alive or not.

What more do you need from a book?

Grab your own copy!

Are you a Brandon Sanderson fan? Have you been reading this series?

Also in the series:

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20 thoughts on “Starsight Review | Brandon Sanderson

  1. Great review! Completely agree with your thoughts on the secondary characters. I might have even liked this new bunch more than her friends in the first book.

    Would mean a lot if you could check out my review of Starsight as well!
    letstalkcinema.movie.blog/2020/04/26/starsight-skyward-2-book-review/

    Liked by 1 person

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