Narrator: Suzy Jackson
Series: Skyward #3
Published by Audible on November 23, 2021
Genres: Science Fiction Fantasy, Space Opera, Young Adult
Length: 13 hours, 15 minutes
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Spensa’s life as a Defiant Defense Force pilot has been far from ordinary. She proved herself one of the best starfighters in the human enclave of Detritus and she saved her people from extermination at the hands of the Krell—the enigmatic alien species that has been holding them captive for decades. What’s more, she traveled light-years from home as an undercover spy to infiltrate the Superiority, where she learned of the galaxy beyond her small, desolate planet home.
Now, the Superiority—the governing galactic alliance bent on dominating all human life—has started a galaxy-wide war. And Spensa’s seen the weapons they plan to use to end it: the Delvers. Ancient, mysterious alien forces that can wipe out entire planetary systems in an instant. Spensa knows that no matter how many pilots the DDF has, there is no defeating this predator.
Except that Spensa is Cytonic. She faced down a Delver and saw something eerily familiar about it. And maybe, if she’s able to figure out what she is, she could be more than just another pilot in this unfolding war. She could save the galaxy.
The only way she can discover what she really is, though, is to leave behind all she knows and enter the Nowhere. A place from which few ever return.
To have courage means facing fear. And this mission is terrifying.
Cytonic is the 3rd full length novel In Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward series. Just a note – there are 2 novellas between Starsight and Cytonic, which I highly recommend you read before you begin Cytonic or you will spend the entire time wondering what is going on with Jorgen, FM, Rig and all the rest of Spensa’s friends and family.
Spensa is in the nowhere, the space between, where Cytonics pull their power from and how starships travel throughout the galaxy. It seemed like a good idea at the time to step through the portal to the nowhere since she basically had an army after her. Now she is stuck in this strange place with M-Bot, who might just be a little mad at her and are those some pirates about to kidnap her? Well this place isn’t anything like I thought it was going to be.
Spensa grew up on all her Gran’s stories from the old world and now it feels like she is in one. On a heroic quest to discover the secrets of the past, figure out what the Delvers are and somehow figure out a way to get back to her crew on Detritus. Good thing she found this nice cytonic Chet to help her on this epic quest and show her the lay of the land or is that too good to be true too.
I almost always have a great time in Sanderson stories. There is always some new revelation or world building or story facet that just amazes me. Cytonic has that as well. It is a slower moving story from the others in this series in that there are not nearly as many fights or training. But there is a great story of a girl on an adventure to truly discover who she is as she makes some very hard life choices. Spensa has come a long way from the girl that said “I’ll make a pile of everyone’s skulls, then stand on that to help me behead the people who were too tall for me to reach”, in Skyward. She has grown from a bundle of anger and bravado to a genuine person who wants to do the right thing, the hard thing, but is also loving this adventure and wondering if she really wants to leave it to go back to war and fighting.
Sanderson characters always become so real to me. They are imperfect people, finding strength when it is most needed and sometimes falling short of the people they hope to be. Even side characters that don’t get a lot of page time feel real. I enjoy all the wisdom presented either from a AI system that is figuring out feelings or a little fox man busting out some serious knowledge on life and choices. I enjoy it all, the worldbuilding especially. Sanderson stories always have rules to the universe and he lets you in on their secrets one sweet reveal at a time.
Another great addition to the Sanderson library.
“I’m not exactly a “there are nuances to this situation” type of girl. I’m more of an “if it’s still moving, you didn’t use enough ammunition” type of girl.”
“I could be afraid, then become courageous. I could be small-minded, then come to understand. I could be selfish. Then move beyond it. I could start as human, then allow myself to become something more.”
Suzy Jackson, I honestly cannot say enough good things about her and her narration of this series. She is a perfect fit to the story and I love how she brings every character to life. Her voice really adds to these books and they are better for her performance of them.
Listen to a clip:
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I own the beginning of the series so someday. I want to get to some of these authors you enjoy the most.
Sanderson is my top Fantasy author. He builds great stories with a lot of layers.
I really need to get back to Sanderson. I have the first two books in this series on my shelf just waiting to be read. I am so glad you enjoyed this one!