Look, I don’t know how he keeps doing this! My first impulse upon finishing Starsight was to give it five stars, but I’m glad I held off just because I want to really preserve the sanctity of that five-star rating, so people know I mean business when I do use it. It’s been a month since I finished this book, and it’s faded a bit in my memory since, and now that the book high is gone, 4.5 stars rounded down to four does seem accurate. It’s very close to a five star read, though. Sanderson just has such a good instinct for when to move a story to the next level. I’ve read almost all his books at this point (just a few holdouts!) and I’ve read a shit ton of fantasy and sci-fi, and an even more shit-ton of just books in general, and it still managed to surprise me where this story went, and how quickly it went there.
If you liked the first book, chances are you will like this one even more, because everything great from that book is still here, plus he added more great stuff and took it all up to the next level. (This is really hard to talk about without spoiling either book.) He also toned down the thing that brought Skyward down for me a little, which is that Spensa was at times slightly irritating as a character, though still very easy to root for. She’s more mature here.
- Takes the worldbuilding to a new really cool place.
- Adds a lot of intriguing characters. This is a very vague thing that I’m saying here because again, trying not to spoil.
- Widens the scope of the story in a really cool way while maintaining focus on character.
- Advances all the arcs of the characters whose arcs needed advancing.
- Leaves us in a really cool place for books three and four. Just the right mix of resolution and things being left up in the air.
I liked Skyward a lot, but it didn’t leave me as excited about the rest of the series as this book has. Can’t wait for the next book in [checks State of the Sanderson for possible pub dates] 2021-ish.