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CYTONIC by Brandon Sanderson


From the Skyward series, volume 3

by Brandon Sanderson ; illustrated by Ben McSweeney

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-399-55585-5
Publisher: Delacorte

The third episode in the Skyward series sees red-hot space pilot Spensa Nightshade coming into her full powers as she battles both pirates and space monsters in a strange interdimensional nowhere.

Leaving her ongoing feud with evil galactic overlords on temporary hold back in the somewhere, Spensa passes through a portal to a realm where time and memories tend to slip away, bits of landscape randomly snipped from reality float like islands around a distant sunburst—and teeming hordes of disembodied, malevolent entities called delvers are relentlessly hunting her down. Fun as all the space-opera elements are, though, they continue a trend from the preceding volume in deadening the efforts of Spensa and sidekicks old and new to establish personal identities or backstories, wrestle with inner demons, or, in the case of the AI M-Bot, practice insults and deal with newly discovered emotions. A few wild aerial dogfights and larger battles later, however, Spensa has come into her cytonic superpowers, found out some crucial things about the delvers, and made her way back to the somewhere. Now for those overlords….McSweeney contributes a map, lovingly detailed sets of spaceship plans, and galleries of the multispecies cast members. Wild diversity of intergalactic body types notwithstanding, human members seem uniformly White.

More terrific combat scenes, but a bit too heavy on character development to fly at speed.

(Science fiction. 12-15)