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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

All her life, Spensa’s dreamed of becoming a pilot and proving herself a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned there were crushing. The rumors of her father’s cowardice are true—he deserted his Flight during battle against the Krell. Worse, though, he turned against his team and attacked them. Spensa is sure that there’s more to the story. And she’s sure that …

Starsight

by Brandon Sanderson

Overall Book Review:

Brandon Sanderson delivers another fast-paced adventure in the second installment of his four-book Skyward series. Sanderson is known for his world building and his characters, and those are the strengths of this book as well. Spensa, the main character, develops and grows throughout the course of the story, and continues to be relatable and easy to root for. The secondary characters were also entertaining and dynamic, if not as well-developed as in Skyward. Sanderson also explores the scope of the world much more in this book, which was fun to experience. Topped off with several excellent starfighter battles, a few serious themes, and ever-increasing stakes, Starsight is an exciting sci-fi adventure.

Unfortunately, there were a few things that didn’t work well in this book. There were several plot points that felt unrealistic or forced. The pacing also felt off occasionally, usually moving quickly but dragging in places. Finally, this book was wildly different from the first book in the series, which felt somewhat jarring.

Overall, a fun and exciting story that will appeal to both girls and guys but doesn’t quite measure up to the first in the series.

Content Analysis

Profanity/Language: 7 mild obscenities.

Violence/Gore: A multi-page spaceship battle; a sentence description of an alien corpse; characters are killed in a fantastical manner; a character is injured in a starfighter crash, mention of blood; a character makes a few hyperbolic statements imagining the cries of her enemies, imagining their corpses, etc. (meant to be comical); several characters are killed in a piloting test; character hallucinates walls covered in blood; characters debate exterminating an entire sapient species; a multi-page space battle scene; an alien creature kills multiple characters, destroys property; multi-page scene where a character is shot at and chased; a character shoots down a ship filled with civilians; a character threatens others with a gun; a character shoots a gun at other characters. (Note: Violence is not gory; deaths are from shooting down of ships.)

Sex/Nudity: Characters kiss briefly; mention of a character’s breasts (non-sexual).

Mature Subject Matter

War; death; spying; inequality based on species; artificial intelligence.

Alcohol/Drug Use

None.

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
2
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
4
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
1
10

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About the Reviewer

I was homeschooled from kindergarten to grade 10, which gave me a love for reading. Growing up books were an integral part of my life, and I’ve always been able to make time to read. I’m most widely read in YA fiction, but fantasy is becoming my favorite genre. My free time not spent reading is mostly spent outdoors camping, riding a bicycle, or otherwise enjoying nature. I’m also a science nerd with a special interest in entomology.