Audiobook Review: Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson is a supremely exciting and wonderful book! It’s an example of what young adult science fiction can do at its best. The audiobook was produced by Audible Studios, featuring narration by Suzy Jackson and runs 15 hours and 28 minutes.


In the far future, humanity had lived long among the stars until it was attacked by the Krell and forced to crash land on a planet where they are fighting for their lives. While planetary defenses exist, the Krell are a constant threat that are only kept at bay by the courage and talent of the pilots within the Defiant’s defense force. Spensa, call sign Spin, might be young and small, but she’s a force to be reckoned with and she rivals the iconic characters within the top echelons of YA fiction. As tough and savvy as she is delicate and fragile, Sanderson has created a beautifully rounded character who feels whole and complete in all of the right ways.

Several generations after humanity crash landed on a planet known as Detritus, it continues to struggle for survival even as a superior alien force looms ever present and bent on their utter destruction. Spin and her squadron are part of the newest group of cadets who are going through the training program to become pilots in the war against the Krell. Training is tough and dangerous, but the true battle is with herself and trying to navigate through the legacy of cowardice left to her by her father who had put his own people at risk as he fled a decisive battle against the Krell, which resulted in his being shot down by his own wingman.

Now, a dozen years later, Spin is desperate to discover the truth about her father while also trying to survive flight school in this futuristic coming of age story that shows what mettle and courage truly look like in the face of adversity. This delightful story is packed with adventure and suspense as Spin creates her own path, finding friends in unlikely places, and coming to terms with her own definitions of cowardice and courage.

The Skyward audiobook is especially good, featuring a powerful performance by Suzy Jackson, which is simply riveting. She is on point with every verbal nuance, ratcheting up the tension in her voice as the action intensifies and knowing instinctively exactly when to release that tension for full effect. In addition, she captures the moods, anxiety, and frustrations of the characters with ease creating an even deeper and more intense story experience that is truly engrossing.

One of the best features of this book is that it wholeheartedly embraces science and technology, using it to great effect within the story. The math, physics, and astronomical information feels subtle and natural, and the way Sanderson weaves it into the descriptions and dialog make it easy to comprehend and understand for people who may have little understanding of how g-forces work when flying at Mach 10.

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and narrated by Suzy Jackson is a wonderful book for teens and adults as it captures the very best of what science fiction has to offer. Readers and listeners will be left wanting more!

Happy listening!

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Title: Skyward
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Amazon: Audiobook Kindle Paperback Hardcover

Audiobook Publisher: Audible Studios
Narrators: Suzy Jackson
Length: 15 Hours, 28 Minutes

Print Publisher: Delacorte Press
Print Date: November 6, 2018

About Erin Underwood

BIO: Erin Underwood is the senior event content producer for MIT Technology Review’s emerging technology events. On the side, she reads, writes, and edits SF.
This entry was posted in Audiobook, Reviews, Science Fiction, Uncategorized, Young Adult Literature. Bookmark the permalink.

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