Book Review: Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

Author: Brandon Sanderson
 Skyward #2
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 482
Published:  November 26th 2019
Source: Personal Copy
Read: November 13 – November 25, 2021 (on Kindle)
Rating: 4 of 5 stars (I really liked it)

First Sentence:
I slammed on my overburn and boosted my starship through the middle of a chaotic mess of destructor blasts and explosions.


Being the second book of the series, the blurb contains many spoilers for the first book.

As such, I won’t copy it here. You may read it here if so inclined.


“Feelings aren’t proof. Feelings are the opposite of proof.”
“Not when the thing you’re trying to prove is someone’s humanity.”

There is a certain logical progression between the books here that I quite appreciate. Skyward was fairly grounded- er, you know. For a science fiction novel involving starship fighters. It was set entirely within the bounds of a single world — Detritus — sometimes below it, sometimes above it — but always there.

In Starsight we get a glimpse of the greater universe. A look behind the curtain at who these alien ‘Krell’ are and why they are seemingly so anti-Human. Spensa travels to one of their seats of power and infiltrates a new fighter pilot program they’re kicking off. Accepting that this highly advanced society doesn’t immediately detect who she is? Well, it does perhaps require a level of willing suspension of disbelief.

It is sort of handwaved away with the technology on hand and honestly, I give it a pass because the story it allows to be told as a result is worth it. There is a theme carried throughout on understanding those different to ourselves and the misunderstandings that can occur when judging others based on our own views.

These messages while not exactly subtle aren’t at least preachy in their presentation and hey, perhaps it might be a bit easier for some to accept when using alien cultures as a proxy for the discussion. Of course, making friends with the enemy isn’t without its issues. This fact is used to leverage some tension when it comes to duty, returning to the fight with old friends against new.

Best of all though, the scale continues to progress and the Delvers — super mysterious beings from another dimension — begin to make a little more sense. Just a few more answers are given, with the promise of more to come in the third book, Cytonic. Which, I’ve already started. I knew I shouldn’t have before writing this — but I couldn’t help myself. I needed to start immediately! So it was fantastic timing on my part that it came out days before I needed it.

I wish I could claim some sort of planning on my part there, but everything has just sort of fallen into place.

As for this one though — I again rated 4 out of 5 stars (I really liked it). There was no knee-jerk ‘Must give 5!’ reaction upon the conclusion of this book as there was with the first, but nor did my interest in it wane. Rather, I think things have gotten into a steady flow and I understand what to expect if not (fortunately) exactly what.

I did for some reason have it in my head though that this was a trilogy and Cytonic the conclusion. Turns out that isn’t the case though, so even though each individual book isn’t particularly long (for Sanderson), it might end up being a bit of a commitment to get started here nonetheless!


Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.