Cytonic (Skyward, #3) (2024)

shre ♡

357 reviews732 followers

Want to read

April 11, 2019

brandon sanderson:

me: say no more

Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)

614 reviews85.8k followers


January 20, 2022

This definitely is my least favourite of the series so far, but I did still enjoy it! It’s always nice to see the characters you know and love and be introduced to new characters as well, which is what you get from this series. The world was built up even more, and there were a lot of revelations that built upon the overall plot. But I felt like this book also seemed like quite a bit of filler. It had action, but not quite as much as the first two books. I wish the characters from the first book came into the story more. I understood them being not so involved in the second but I thought they’d be back now but they weren’t. But like I said, I still enjoyed it! The series has lots of loveable characters and is really interesting overall. I love Spensa and can’t wait for the next instalment to finish (I think) her story.

    2022-reads owned ya


435 reviews39.2k followers

April 9, 2023

1.5 I guess

    in-my-home-library science-fiction young-adult

Emily (Books with Emily Fox on Youtube)

578 reviews64.9k followers

August 20, 2023

This is officially the most disappointing book I’ve read this year…


Lia Carstairs

448 reviews2,692 followers

January 24, 2022

"Existing was pain, but it was also joy."

I feel as though I'm committing a crime with this 3.5 star.

It physically pains me to give a Sanderson book a rating this low but I must be honest... this was definitely my least favourite of all the books I've read from him. I both enjoyed it but was also super disappointed if that makes sense??

Like no doubt about it this felt like filler for the majority of the book and I got bored at times but also the character development in both Spensa and M-Bot was top tier which I loved. I don't know honestly I'm just really conflicted about this book and makes me really sad.
Cytonic (Skyward, #3) (6)
***Spoilers for Starsight***

“Sometimes it's too easy to forget the things you should remember—and far too easy to remember the things you really should forget.”

So far it feels its just been a repeat every book: Spensa finds a new group of people which leads into bonding & training with them. Skyward it made sense to have that, and then I could understand why it happened again in Starsight since she was infiltrating it, but then to recycle it again in Cytonic??? Ngl I got pretty tired of this pattern, like I don't have an attachment to any of the new characters introduced since Starsight except for Chet, Hesho, and Alanik (and even them—compared to Skyward Flight...).

But I absolutely adore the expansion of the universe. Once again I'm in awe with Brandon Sanderson's mind like he is truly something beyond human. Who would've imagined all of this expansion back in Skyward?? Hell even in Starsight I never imagined this.

It's just that it didn't feel necessary to have a whole book with so, so much travel to finally reach the big reveal . For a while it felt as though Cytonic deviated from the original conflict concerning the Superiority with all the problems about the delvers. Having the setting in the Nowhere was pretty cool but it just wasn't as exciting as infiltrating the Superiority was. There was no actual sense of danger except for worry of Spensa forgetting her memories. Like it's hard to explain that I found it both a disappointment but also enjoyable??

"Any hero who could have been a monster is more heroic for the choices he or she made to walk another road."

For sure there's no doubt at all that I scudding loved Spensa's character growth. IT WAS SCUDDING AMAZING OHMYGOD. The things she discovered about herself and coming to terms with certain realizations?? I actually got really emotional at the end of the book and of course that's no surprise considering how well written Sanderson's characters always are.
"You are not a coward, nor are you selfish, for realizing you have options, warrior-sister. You cannot be defined by your questions. Only by what you do with them."

Spensa's matured so much from the previous books. But it also hurts so much with all that she's had to go through. All the pain and loneliness... but also Spensa feeling guilty for enjoying herself broke me because she didn't think she had any right to have fun moments with all that was going on. She kept all her feelings inside and refused to let them out and I was in scudding pain. I love how Spensa started questioning a lot of things and wondering just how much of herself was she going to have to keep giving until it was enough. These words: "It's all right. Your pain is real. Your passion is real. You can choose. It's all right."—the way that hit so hard omg I scudding love Spensa. I am genuinely scared that something bad will happen in the last book but this is YA so no reason to worry, right?? Right??? *laughs in fear*
"So being friends doesn't mean I won't someday have to leave you behind again."

"What does it mean to be friends then?"

"It means, that if something like that does have to happen, I'll do whatever I can to return to you once the crisis is over. And you'd do the same for me."

AND NOW LET ME JUST SCREAM ABOUT M-BOT AND MY LOVE FOR HIM. His character development was beyond spectacular. M-Bot trying to figure out how emotions worked was perfect, so many moments had me wheezing. I love how much he grew, once again the difference between now and Skyward?? *cannot compute* Also the philosophical questions brought up really had me thinking and I loved it so much.
"What's the purpose of emotions if so often we have to deliberately act counter to what they're telling us?"

M-Bot brought up such a good point in trying to understand emotions and Spensa's answer was so perfect. I swear these amazing quotes will be the death of me.

And honestly even with my complaints on Cytonic being dragged out and a filler book, I can only imagine how hard this especially was to write?? With having to describe the crazy place that is the Nowhere

literally how did he even do it and with the so many different elements he included + that plot twist—SEE NOW THIS IS WHY I ADMIRE THIS MAN SO MUCH.
"I was everything they feared."

I'll never get over the ending like I don't believe I've ever been more happier over an ending right before the finale??? USUALLY IT'S ME CRYING OR IN FEAR BUT THIS IS JUST COMPLETE AND TOTAL HAPPINESS. Brandon spared our poor souls and didn't end it in a huge cliffhanger😭 I better get more of that in Defiant since I was robbed of those scenes here. Give me all the scenes of those two goofballs please and thank you.

Also, I just realized what if he made this book ending not so bad because he's saving all the pain for Defiant.... hahaha DON'T DO IT BRANDON.


I'm still heartbroken that we didn't have any appearances of Skyward Flight. Yes, I know that they're in the novellas but it's so sad thinking about the fact in the end, they would've only been with Spensa in book 1 and (thankfully) book 4 *sobbing*


AND ALSO ABOUT HE DELVERS?? THEY'RE BASICALLY EVOLVED AIS WHOM ERASED ALL THEIR EMOTIONS?? does that mean if someone were to release the memories the delvers trapped in the portal that it would go back to them and the delvers would change?? Literally cannot wait to see how Spensa and the others decide how to defeat them all.

THEN DOOMSLUG HAVING BEEN SPENSA'S FATHER'S PIN ALL ALONG?? I cannot get over Doomslug's words of Spensa being her home like how precious is that?? Doomslug is the best slug🥺

*****SPOILERS END*****

“All people must accept that we have the potential to do terrible things. It is part of seeing our place in the universe, our heritage, and our natures. But in that acceptance we gain strength, for potential can be refused."

Cytonic most definitely was a character driven book and I was so here for it, except that I wish that it didn't drag out so much. These characters I will always love and I genuinely enjoy reading this series. I can't wait for Defiant but also am totally terrified as this book gave off the feeling of the "calm before the storm" *fear* I'm scudding not ready, Mr. Sanderson please don't destroy me.




and then suffer with even more questions once i finish this cri



havent even read book 2 yet but im so

scared excited for this. i need it to be november already please["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

    aliens brando-sando fantasy


732 reviews52k followers

December 16, 2023

Review copy provided by the publisher—Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review.

3.5/5 stars

Cytonic was not as underwhelming as I expected, which is good, but it felt like reading a middle-book syndrome despite it being the penultimate installment of the series.

“Sometimes it's too easy to forget the things you should remember — and far too easy to remember the things you really should forget.”

I found Cytonic, the third main novel in the Skyward series by Brandon Sanderson, to be an odd reading experience. Before reading it, ever since the release of Cytonic, I kept hearing how bad and underwhelming the novel was. Sanderson himself even admitted that Cytonic was one of the two most difficult books he has ever written, and if you know Sanderson's output, he has written a LOT of books. He mentioned that it took a lot out of him to feel satisfied with writing Cytonic. Then there is also the significant drop in average rating from Starsight. Now, if we are taking average ratings on Goodreads into account, Starsight was slightly lower than Skyward in average ratings, which is relatively rare in a series. But thankfully, Starsight was an upgrade for me. I consider it the most engaging book in the series so far. It is, however, even more infrequent for an average rating in a sequel to drop as hard as Cytonic does. And again, unfortunately, I have to agree with the sentiment. Although not as bad as I thought, Cytonic is my least favorite installment in the Skyward series. Not counting Defending Elysium prequel novella.

“All people must accept that we have the potential to do terrible things. It is part of seeing our place in the universe, our heritage, and our natures. But in that acceptance we gain strength, for potential can be refused. Any hero who could have been a monster is more heroic for the choices he or she made to walk another road.”

In my opinion and analysis, I believe the main reasons why Cytonic received such a mixed reception are two-fold. The first one is that this is an incredibly Spensa and M-Bot-centered installment. I personally think Spensa and M-Bot have always been the best parts of The Skyward series, and because of that, I enjoyed reading all the character developments they went through in Cytonic. We dived deep into Spensa's motivation and inner conflicts. And the same notion is applicable to M-Bot as well. The novel deals with themes of memories, identity, duty, freedom, choices, and understanding. And honestly, despite some of my qualms with Cytonic, I did not feel bored reading it. Sanderson’s writing was easy to read, as always, and I found the narrative relatively engaging. I read the first 200 pages of Cytonic in a day, after all, and I think the ending sequence set up the book nicely for the final installment of the series: Defiant. However, as a penultimate installment, Cytonic is plagued with a glaring issue.

“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.”

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, Cytonic did not feel crucial. The pirate plotline in the novel felt like fillers to prolong the book longer than necessary. Skyward quartet is not a long series, but somehow, despite its relatively short length, the series does feel much longer due to Skyward Flight companion titles and Cytonic. This is something that I noticed since I finished Starsight and started reading the Skyward Flight omnibus. It felt like the main story was deliberately paused, and before we could continue, readers were forced to read, almost in total, 300,000-word long books with minimal plot progression first.

“Get better. Learn to accept that sometimes what you feel isn’t invalid, but that it doesn’t mean you have to act according to those feelings either.”

To put this into comparison, Skyward is about 141,000 words long and Starsight is roughly 136,000 words long. That’s a total of 277,000 words where storyline, characterizations, and world-building are all progressing at an entertaining and comparatively rapid pace. But Cytonic at 115,000 words long and the addition of the mandatory Skyward Flight companion omnibus at 181,000 words long (the biggest in the series) did not offer many substantial revelations for their length. I have not read Evershore yet, but cumulatively, that is an almost 300,000 words long book where the main story resumes so little. This is what I felt from reading Sunreach, ReDawn, and also Cytonic.

“You cannot be defined by your questions. Only by what you do with them.”

Overall, I do not think I can accurately describe what I feel about Cytonic and the Skyward Flight omnibus so far. I did not feel bored reading it, but the closest assessment for them, in my opinion, would be popcorn entertainment. Although they were good enough and engaging, they were not memorable or impactful. They lack emotional depths. This doesn't mean Cytonic and Skyward Flight are skippable, but considering their sizes, too few crucial events and revelations happened. What can we surmise? The slugs were integral, the characters developed, and everything was prepared for the hopefully major confrontation. I just described the core of Sunreach, ReDawn, and Cytonic in one short sentence. I hope Evershore and Defiant will be a return to the fun, memorable, and page-turning reading experience provided in Skyward and Starsight.

“Because every path we walk changes us, Spensa.”

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793 reviews2,284 followers

February 2, 2023

So this book wasn’t disappointing after all! I was honestly worried I might not enjoy it (look at the rating, a drop from the first two and that rarely happens in series). Fear not, Sanderson is as good as ever writing gripping and enjoyable stories. But yes, I do agree that this book read mostly as a filler. The thing is, I enjoyed the filler part more than the events directly related to the overall story! > so I didn’t mind.

    2023 science-fiction ya


618 reviews15.5k followers

March 16, 2023

Ale się rozczarowałam... może mogłam sobie zrobić reread pierwszych tomów, bo w ogóle się nie wczułam w fabułę. Niby miło się słuchało, ale bez większych emocji.
Choć już pomijając to wszystko, i tak mam wrażenie, że pierwszy tom był najbardziej angażujący.



1,881 reviews6,665 followers

March 31, 2024

What an awesome book. I really enjoyed the first book. The story took a different turn to what I was expecting in the next book, and now I think I have a new favourite book in the series.

Spensa has been given a choice, go home and fight along either her friends and be another pilot (a great pilot), or become something much more.

Spensa will have a chance to face threats all the heroes and heroines in the old stories faced. Heart-breaking choices. New enemies and allies. Most of all, new understanding and skills.

I love everything about this book. The quest the characters, and the levelling up. The combat is intense. The courage displayed by the characters is truly heroic. I also like that they expanded on crossovers in novella book 2.1 and 2.2. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Frank-Intergalactic Bookdragon

617 reviews276 followers

December 16, 2021

Review December 2021
The most character driven and lore heavy installment in the series that manages to prepare for the finale without feeling like filler. Though I still miss some of the characters from the first book, I appreciate the growth Spensa went through and was invested throughout the entire story.

Prereview March 2019.
Well hello first most-anticipated release of 2021! :D


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

3,609 reviews10.8k followers

December 31, 2021

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

    4-stars hardback-own sci-fi

Charles L.

9 reviews1 follower

November 25, 2021

Suffers from massive middle book syndrome. The whole book feels like one long, drawn-out B plot.

No major plot developments except in the last fifty or so pages. You'd think with a backstory as metal as 3 previous human attempts at galactic conquest it would be fleshed out more, and that Spensa, who is continually characterized as someone who loves stories, would actively try to learn more about the history of her own people that she had been missing all her life. But no, even though M-Bot was mentioned to have downloaded it from the Superiority, Spensa doesn't seem to care. All we get are some off-hand references and we know exactly the same about world as we did in the second book, and only slightly more than the first.

This is hardly even a sci-fi anymore. It's just a fantasy book taking place in space, with technology that behaves more like magic with the profound lack of any strict, defined rules or requirements to operate. Spaceships don't even need to be refueled because apparently they all have some energy matrix that can last for decades; a ragtag group of 'pirates' can easily maintain laser cannons and highly advanced spaceships for years despite having no level of industry or even spare parts.

The worst part is that the writing and themes feel extremely dumbed down compared to his other works in terms of depth and complexity. I know this is a YA book but this is terrible compared to Reckoners, the Rithmatist, and even Skyward...

Overall, it's the worst Sanderson book i've had the displeasure of reading, and i'm a huge fan of all his other works. It really feels like he phoned it in and banged out the whole novel in a week.

Steven Medina

216 reviews1,121 followers

May 11, 2022

Para descubrir si te gusta un libro debes darle la oportunidad, aprende a desconfiar del criterio de los demás.

Buen libro, sí que me ha gustado. Puede que no llegue a ser tan espectacular como el primer volumen, pero he encontrado varios detalles que me han parecido muy interesantes, como la combinación entre fantasía y ciencia ficción que nos ofrece para esta ocasión Sanderson. También he disfrutado de las aventuras, conversaciones e indecisiones de Spensa, la protagonista, siendo esta una de las razones por las que ahora siento un cariño especial por esta chica extrovertida; cariño que no logré sentir en los volúmenes anteriores. Me he reído, me he sorprendido, me he metido de cabeza en esta historia fascinante de Sanderson, y la verdad, es que me siento muy satisfecho de que haya vivido una grata experiencia con esta lectura.

Hay tanto por decir, y variedad de sentimientos cálidos que expresar. Me siento tan feliz en este momento que ni siquiera me preocupa la incertidumbre de tener que esperar meses, o años, para esperar la culminación de esta saga. Tres libros leídos de Sanderson, tres que me han encantado: Me fascina su forma de escribir. ¿Cómo no sentir curiosidad de sus sagas más famosas? ¡Quiero devorármelas ya!

Reseña completa más adelante.

    adventure fantasy science-fiction

Sean Barrs

1,122 reviews46.6k followers

March 12, 2022

Cytonic is the third book in a very ambitious series written by a master storyteller at the height of his craft. It just all seems so effortless, the way it all comes together.

Part of me wonders if Brandon Sanderson has ghost writers, simply because his output is so high, and the quality is always very high. The number of books he releases, and the number of series he writes simultaneously, trumps what any other writer in the genre is doing. And these aren’t little books either. They’re great big stories that are huge in their scope with a large cast of characters. They’re also strikingly unique: they could be written by different people. I’m just speculating here because I do genuinely wonder how he manages it all.

That being said, this is a good novel and one that moves the series smoothly forward ready for its conclusion. I like the characters and the constant inclusion of new ones as Spensa explores the nowhere (a region of space that can only be accessed via cytonic mental powers.) She’s trapped there for the duration of this one, as she looks for a way out so she can aid her home planet of Detritus in their war against the ominous Superiority. And although it took a little while to get there, the big reveal at the end of the book makes it worth sticking with even if it felt like filler material in places.

“All people must accept that we have the potential to do terrible things. It is part of seeing our place in the universe, our heritage, and our natures. But in that acceptance, we gain strength, for potential can be refused."

For me this quote is quite powerful. Taken out of the context of the book, it can be applied to real life and many situations. Taken in the context of the book, it helps establish where the series is going. Without giving away major plot spoilers, I think there is much more at play here than it seems. Labels are not always what they seem, and identity is not fixed when people and alien races can develop or unlock hidden abilities. Artificial intelligence can also evolve to gain sentience and become something new. I think the end may be a little surprising and I look forward to finally reading it.

Although I have a largely positive opinion of this book, it’s by far the weakest in the series so far. I’ve already mentioned the word “filler” because that’s exactly what some of it felt like; it’s almost like a side quest getting in the way of the main narrative, which is what we really care about. And whilst it was a good and worthwhile quest, with a battle for control between space pirates, I do wonder how much it added to the story. I’m hoping the conclusion is a bit stronger.

Skyward Series
1. Skyward - 4.5 stars
2. Starsight - 4.0 stars
3. Cytonic - 3.5 stars


You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree.

    4-star-reads fantasy sci-fi

Cat Carstairs

265 reviews95 followers

March 25, 2024

Well, guys, looks like Brandon Sanderson has done it again.

And if we're being honest, none of us are surprised because, well, we expect masterpieces and only masterpieces from him, and he has yet to let me down. In fact, my expectations were already sky-high for Cytonic, and BrandoSando managed to exceed even that. I still don't know how he does it, but I am content to accept it and be left to devour every book he has ever published.

Cytonic (Skyward, #3) (16)

Words cannot describe how much I love this series. Skyward was the book that sparked my love for the sci-fi genre. I have yet to read a sci-fi series as dynamic and creative as this one- it even steals the show for YA, bringing us a steadfast and loveable cast of characters, an intricately well-developed intergalactic world, and enough action to rival the best superhero movies.

Cytonic quickly became my favorite installment of these books. It shouldn't be possible for a series to be this good, and for each book to only get better and better. This was not only an important installment plot-wise, but it was also just so much fun that I legitimately struggled with putting it down. It was exactly the kind of adventure I was looking for- the kind that sweeps you off your feet and carries you away to a distant universe, giving you no intention of ever returning to reality.

Cytonic (Skyward, #3) (17)

Spensa is one of my all-time favorite main characters. She's so full of bravado and a bloodthirsty desire for battle, but this book delved deep into her adventurous explorer side, bringing to light her profound loyalty to her friends and family, and matured her in a way that was both beautiful and provocative. She was made to question her choices from the first two books and her choices moving forward, but it was refreshing at the same time to see a heroine that was plenty sure of herself. Spensa's courage, wit, and unexplainable glee when faced with daunting odds is enlivening. She's such a role model for me. There were so many moments in this book where I was screaming, "Yeah, GET IT GIRL!" I want nothing more than to be her best friend.

Cytonic (Skyward, #3) (18)

Also, Spensa reading the "trashy romance novel" was bloody HILARIOUS. I love those little Easter eggs BrandoSando left throughout this book that allude to modern earth, like Spensa's misinterpretation of Paradise Lost. Sanderson is fully aware of every aspect of his world and plot in his writing, but he also expertly unleashes Spensa's unique personality with an underlying tone of humor at the same time.

And, naturally, most of this book's laugh-out-loud moments are credited to our favorite not-so-artificial intelligence spaceship personality, M-Bot. These books wouldn't be what they are without him, and much of the reason why Cytonic was my favorite is his comedic relief. After the events of Starsight, M-Bot is dealing with a lot of new feelings- being an AI, emotions aren't something he's accustomed to, and he takes every opportunity in this book to bother Spensa about having them. It had me clutching my stomach in a fit of giggles, and yet by the end his humor turned into something I didn't expect, but appreciated nonetheless: an elaborate study of emotions and how/why we react to them. It shouldn't be possible for a robot to have character development, but it seems BrandoSando makes the impossible possible. And seeing M-Bot try to understand jokes and insults had me deceased.

"Noted, wart-eyeball," M-Bot said.
We sat in silence for a moment.
"Okay," Chet whispered. "I...I have to ask. 'Wart-eyeball'?"
"I was going to call you wart-face, as humans often append 'face' to insults, but warts are frequently on faces. I instead picked a body part that doesn't usually grow warts- a way of implying your stupidity is irrational to the point of implausibility."

Him making fun of humans and their biological processes gives me life. All I want is to have an M-Bot for my own. Is that too much to ask?

The rest of the characters introduced in this book were so creative and interesting too. I especially loved Chet! His entrance was so dramatic, and I loved his whole intergalactic explorer/space cowboy vibe. He had such a fun personality and added an extra flair to this book.

Peg and the Broadsiders were so cool too. I love how Spensa has a found family in each book that she makes antagonists of at first and soon becomes so attached to that she struggles to part from them. It is a wonder that BrandoSando can come up with so many different alien races in a unique yet recognizable way. I loved all the Broadsiders, especially Peg and Maksim. I was so excited to read about space pirates who were far from being heartless, who had compassion and gladness and loyalty. I truly felt like I'd been adopted into their group while reading this book. Going pirating with them would be the time of my life.

Cytonic (Skyward, #3) (19)

Sanderson also writes battle scenes like no other. I may or may not be a little addicted to them. I love how he built the laws of "magic" for his world, with specific boundaries and advantages. The ship/species diagrams provided were awesome. It's almost as if BrandoSando created the laws of physics- his worldbuilding is astounding! The shipfighting scenes weren't overwhelmingly long or excruciatingly short; they're also evenly scattered, constantly drawing us back to fast-paced action. Seeing Spensa so exhilarated in a shipfight was making me breathless as I was reading. She truly comes alive in the co*ckpit and that was something wonderful to read. If it weren't for the whole losing-your-memories thing, I would probably stay in the nowhere and go pirating/exploring for the rest of my life.

The backdrop of the Nowhere was like a natural ambience. Though it could be unnerving at times, the Nowhere was such an exciting setting and provided so many dangerously fun experiences for Spensa and Chet. The fragments were a really cool concept; it was like Spensa was able to visit hundreds of different worlds in the span of a few days. I especially loved the scene where Spensa and Chet sail across the ocean fragment as they are pulled by a space sea serpent. The setting was as clear as a painted picture in my head and it made Spensa's adventures that much more alluring. The Nowhere was, in my opinion, the best setting of the three books so far.

Cytonic (Skyward, #3) (20)

I was LIVING for the Spensa/Jorgen moments we were blessed with. I like that the romance doesn't take the stage of this series but is also so scudding ADORABLE that I was squealing whenever these two had a moment together. Sanderson takes the time to develop each of his characters and not throw away their personalities for the sake of hormones. Both Spensa and Jorgen realize that they have their own lives to live and decisions to make, and they won't let their affection crowd out perception or duty. Yet their connection is so strong that it drives them both towards each other amidst their obligations. I really hope we get more scenes with them together in book 4!

The way everything fit together at the end was literally mind-blowing. BrandoSando always manages to write endings to his books that make me scream (*cough* Starsight *cough*), cry (*cough* The Hero of Ages *cough*), or both. Occasionally he makes me do a victory whoop. I think the ending to Cytonic had me doing all of these to some extent. It was sad, empowering, and satisfying at the same time. I will be biding my time in the days until Defiant comes out. If it's not later this coming year, BrandoSando and I are going to have some words engage in a pleasant discussion about his release schedules.

This series has claimed all of my stars and I am bursting with anticipation to see where it goes next. BrandoSando always will be one of my favorite authors and Skyward one of my favorite series.

“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.”

    favorites physical-bookshelf sci-fi


680 reviews285 followers

April 7, 2022

I like Cytonic, the third Skyward novel, but didn't love it. The book does what it does well, but I expect Cytonic to be a divisive book, even more so than Starsight was. In fact, if you didn't like that Starsight didn't have Skyward Flight characters, this book might be even worse for you. It physically pains me to give a Sanderson book a rating this low but I must be honest... this was definitely my least favorite of all the books

“stories say something. About us, and about where we came from. They’re a reminder that we have a past, a history. And a future.”

Considering the previous novel in the series, Starsight, ended on a cliffhanger I’ve been very eager to see what comes next. In a desperate attempt to escape her attackers (who were also overthrowing the current government) launches herself into a strange portal, a portal she’s seen exiles get tossed into.

At the end of Starsight, we see Spensa hop into the mysterious nowhere, and well, that's exactly what we get in this book. It's another Spensa adventure in a new location, where we learn more things about the world and Along her journey Spensa encounters an adventurer pulled straight out of the stories, bands of pirates, Delver possessed enemies, and ultimately the history behind the powers she holds.

And that is the setting for this book. The setting of this book is Definitely one of the best things about this book. we get a lot of lore and mystery we’re delving into what it means to be cytonic and stuff. And we got some answers and they are pretty fantastic.

════ •[🚀]• ════

In terms of characters, So far it feels its just been a repeat every book: Spensa finds a new group of people which leads into bonding & training with them. we have spensa and m-bot and they both get quite a characters arc here and it’s good in that respect. Spensa did a lot of growing in the past two books, and I’m glad that she finally came clean with the Broadsiders instead of keeping them at arm’s length. Not only did that show some maturity on her part, but it helped them with their own situation, too.

M-Bot has also fixed practically the moment he enters Nowhere. He’s back to normal in barely a blink. Sanderson hinted at this with M-Bot’s next-to-last words in Starsight (“My thoughts… they’re speeding up?”), so our collective worries about him were relieved in early chapters.

The stories about humans are crazy in these books. Like they’re rabid animals, or something. From the stories the Broadsiders’ human, Maksim, told, they really were treated like animals. As strange as Maksim’s life is in the Nowhere, it’s got to be better than having masters who kept him as a pet.

“Sometimes it's too easy to forget the things you should remember — and far too easy to remember the things you really should forget.”

════ •[🚀]• ════

Oh, do I want Maksim and Quirk to have a conversion. Fingers crossed. And speaking of meet-ups…in honor of all the shippers, I loved the brief interactions Spensa and Jorgen were able to enjoy. Astral projection flirting was cute.They were adorable. And I can’t wait to get these two back together!

of course, we have Winzik, Brade, and the Superiority to deal with. But with new allies, and new skills, anything is possible. Ugh, and If ...I never hear winzik's “my, my” again, I’ll be happy.

That being said, Along the path, Spensa joins another team of characters—PIRATES!—who she is destined to leave behind. The mix of species is rich and shows great imagination when it comes to worldbuilding. and really kind of the main problem with this (even though I absolutely appreciate adventurous plots) Is that we are going to another adventure to another whole different place.

The adventure is pretty good no question. We’re introduced to a bunch of new characters (something Sanderson is really good at) very similarly to starsight did And I don’t know , we did have a cast of characters in skyward , starsight another cats of characters, in this book another cast of characters, I kind of liked this side characters the least to be honest. And really are we going to see this characters later? and with spensa and m-bot being the whole show runner of this book, I find it hard to fallow them.

Along with that, we don't get to see a lot of old cast members. It's essentially the same issue you could have had in Starsight. I love the Skyward Flight crew a lot! The interplay with them and Spensa was fantastic in Skyward, and I did miss them in Starsight, which had a different crew who I liked, but didn't like as much as the old side characters.

but if you do miss the Skyward Flight characters, there's a solution: three Skyward Flight novellas! The first two, Sunreach and ReDawn, are already out, with the third, Evershore, coming out December 28th

════ •[🚀]• ════

Cytonic (Skyward, #3) (22)

talking about the map. I loved the worldbuilding in this book. We’ve got a little of this, a little of that… There were a lot of fragments of the Somewhere that gave us new landscapes and ecosystems that we haven’t been able to experience yet in the series. I do appreciate the richness of the species and environments Sanderson brought into the Nowhere. It showed a little bit of everything sliced out of the Somewhere universe—though floating platforms and floating cities seem a visual he’s in love with, considering how often he uses them.

There is a world building element that I quite didn’t like which it does quite make sense that it would be this way. but it did make the plot not seem very tense. because in comparison to skyward the tension was quite on point as well as starsight every time they went into this space crafts, I was like ohhh people are going to die and the tension and all.

════ •[🚀]• ════

For the first time all the interludes were fun to read. Now, what was less of a joy to read was the climax. M-Bot!!!!! For the second time at the end of the book, I’m worried about M-Bot. Curse you, Sanderson. M-Bot’s growth as a character was a highlight of the book for me. I kept thinking, “No…Spensa is not going to leave him there. Not again. She’s got to get him, she’s got to take him home!”. one thing I am concerned about is how Spensa is going to get M-Bot back. Because she HAS TO GET HIM BACK. He’s her sidekick and she needs her sidekick.

This book ends with Spensa, finally, with Jorgen and back on Detirus(God I'm so happy , one thing i absolutely wanted to see here was this and i so appreciate it) Something is going on with the uniform shift and I am looking forward to finding out what that means. Her time in the Nowhere gave her the knowledge to better fight against the Delvers.

I think that Spensa is ready to take on Winzik and Brade and the Superiority. She’s lean and mean and ready to rumble. Not only is she ready, but the rest of Defiant will be ready. I’m a little wobbly on the thing with the uniform change but I think it will work out in the long run.

════ •[🚀]• ════

highly recommends that readers be familiar with the short story"Defending Elysium" before reading Cytonic: It will impact your appreciation and possible understanding of the book’s climax.

Overall, I liked the journey Sanderson took us on during this book but It feels like a hard thing to complain about, or hold against the story. Cytonic is still very much an engaging tale, but it’s the most noticeable book(with its touch of middle-book syndrome)in the series to feel like it’s just a stepping stone. It doesn’t work as well on its own, sitting apart from the franchise, and it’s setup makes it feel like the bigger story is happening somewhere else entirely.

    2021-anticipated-releases cosmere-world dystopian
January 19, 2023

(3.5? 3.75? / 5)

this book,, did not live up to my expectations ???

Cytonic (Skyward, #3) (24)

okay, before y'all come at me with the pitchforks (and before i let you, because no one is as disappointed as i am) hear me out: this book was literally just one long info-dump. it felt like one of those unending cutscenes in a video game where every aspect of how the tea my character is drinking was brewed is explained along with its archaic history when all i want is to get to the actual gameplay.

and sure, i mean, i won't deny that i actually was interested in how spensa's powers work and what the delvers really are and the way that this whole universe actually works and the political hierarchies that are set up and their histories and how all of these systems came to be in the first place.

but like.

i also really like reading about action. and suspense. and imploding planets and exploding buildings and characters that pull heroic stunts only to survive by sheer luck and space battles and aliens and friendships that make you wonder if whoever wrote the script for nicole kidman's amc ad was maybe onto something.

and i was expecting a balance of the two from this book, especially considering that the previous books had healthy amounts of both elements, and that the plot and action are what actually hooked me to these books in the first place.

instead, and while at first i was quite interested to read about it, we got rich world-building and descriptions of powers and histories at the expense of suspense. that being said, for me at least, this book became slow, and around halfway through, i really wasn't sure whether i was enjoying it.

things certainly picked up towards the end, with some major events occuring and major reveals revealing (?), but plotwise, by the end of this book, i didn't feel that we had moved much in the plot since the ending of the second book—and i can recognize that part of that disappointment stems from my own expectations of what this book would be offering, built on what had been given to us from the first two books. which also meant that this book didn't leave as strong of an impression on me as the previous ones did.

by no means, however, does that mean that i hated this book. i actually liked it a fair amount, looking back on it. it's just that a) it wasn't entirely what i was expecting, and b) it didn't give me a lot of what i like, so naturally i didn't enjoy it as much as i have earlier books in this series.

of course, i'm still incredibly invested in spensa's story along with all of the other characters that we've been introduced to so far, and definitely plan on continuing the series and discovering what exactly all of this ends up turning out to be. just probably in a less crazed manner.




A TITLE???????



    dystopia-utopia read-in-2023 science-fiction


479 reviews1,436 followers

January 6, 2023

Sorry but I just didn't enjoy this one as much as book 1, 2 nor the brilliant novellas!

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed parts of it. I loved Spensa's character development, I mean we see her grow up so much over the series! I also loved M-Bot again (no surprise there!), and his growth was amazing! I just adored how he added humour to the story! Also Doomslug💛

The setting was definitely a plus, Brandon Sanderson's mind and imagination is just incredible! I love how he expanded the universe even more in this book.

However, at times this felt a chore to get through, leaving beloved characters behind, and under developing new ones. I didn't feel any attachment to them, as we went through the repetitive cycle of Spensa meeting new characters, then training and bonding with them. At times, it felt like a filler of a book to be honest! I much prefer the books featuring Skyward flight, and the plot in the first few books.

In conclusion, this book had some really positive aspects, and I enjoyed the last part, which made me excited for Defiant. I got the feeling that all the characters will come together again finally, and I crave that!

But..this was too character driven for me, I like that, but I needed more plot, more action in this one.
Maybe it's just that I binged 3 books and 3 novellas in rapid succession?!



234 reviews7,954 followers

August 25, 2023

Cytonic is one very long side quest that leads to many other sub-side quests. It has some memorable moments, but much of it has already faded in my mind. This book isn’t boring—it’s still fast-paced, but there is little net progress. Detritus was on hiatus the whole time. Instead, Spensa explored the mysterious no-man’s-land called the nowhere to gather information about the delvers and her cytonic powers.

I wish she could have done this in a way other than traveling across fragments—pieces of worlds—in the nowhere, following a made-up path of random locations listed to her by another character. The Path of Elders reads like an excuse to info-dump and let Spensa use her full powers without doing much discovering on her own. She just knows things after each stop on the road trip episode of this series. It’s very repetitive, and the different fragments end up adding next to nothing to the story. After one stop, Spensa starts referencing the star in her soul that gives her the power to do whatever the plot needs her to do at a specific point: “I tried to stoke my soul, like I was a star.” I read the whole book and I still don’t know what that means, Spensa 🤡 Honestly, this book is more fantasy than science fiction.
“Something clicked in my mind, and I suddenly knew exactly what they were each going to do.” Conveniently, she unlocks an extremely powerful new ability at the last moment to pull herself out of an impossible situation and survive!

Despite the questionable consistency of her cytonic powers, Spensa really shines in this book. Her character is so dependable and likable. She sticks to her values and always thinks before making big decisions. She’s brave and silly and has surprising depth. And she’s come such a long way since Skyward, it makes me feel nostalgic. I love how she picks up customs from the other species, and how she uses hand gestures or phrases another species is familiar with to greet them. She’s one of my favorite Sanderson female characters.

The writing bothered me in this book. It sounded clunky and juvenile and often awkward. Emotional moments sometimes fell flat because they were written too simply. An unremarkable plot like this needs more drama and emotion and lyricism to make an impact.

Cytonic focuses a lot on worldbuilding. Some revelations were interesting, but others felt random. Surehold didn’t have any relevance until now. I also wish the delvers were scarier. Exactly what the delvers are angry about seems less clear in this book and is therefore less menacing. They made a lot of vague threats, and when they followed through, it was just kind of… funny. A line of starships driven by an emotionless Chet is objectively hilarious, especially considering his elaborate mustache.

I wish this series were less episodic. I think it would be more successful emotionally if more of the characters carried over. I’m not necessarily upset that the Skyward Flight was barely in the sequels at all. I enjoyed reading about the different universal species and side characters in Starsight, and the switch from military academy to political intrigue was pulled off really well. But now it’s getting hard to care about new characters since every book has a different and separate cast. There’s no chance to bond with side characters as they grow with the protagonist across the length of a series. I have mixed feelings about the balance here, because the creativity in coming up with new species and characters is so imaginative, if often far-fetched. Ultimately, I would still prefer a series with characters I care more about over something that’s just cool.

I really wish I had liked Cytonic more, but I still have high hopes for Defiant. I can’t believe it’s been two books since Spensa lived in a cave and ate rats. I’m so proud.


    disappointments science-fiction too-long

Eon ♒Windrunner♒

451 reviews501 followers

November 8, 2023

My 2023 reread done in anticipation of Defiant and I loved it once again!

4.5 stars

Cytonic was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I am happy to say it was an immensely satisfying one.

The second to last book, not counting novellas, this third entry in the Skyward series was as strong as the previous books in my opinion, and delivered pretty much everything I hoped for. That said, I have seen some discontent regarding this book and understand some of it, but disagree with most of it while keeping in mind that we all have our own valid opinions on these things.

Cytonic sets our main character, Spensa, in a distinctly foreign environment with an almost entirely new cast and no interaction really with the characters from the previous books. It also features lot of exploration, mystery, introspection and reflection. And it's definitely slower paced as well, so I can understand how that does not work for everyone. But Sanderson also does the work of giving us huge reveals for things we have been guessing at for quite a while whilst also delivering some major twists! And apart from that there is some very important character development that takes place and sets the foundation for what will be a crazy final book. That is why my opinion differs.

Cytonic is a perfect setup for Defiant. Where Skyward and Starsight were much more action packed, this one is a lull before the storm, taking a slower route in order to explore and ultimately reveal many of the mysteries of the series, but simultaneously creating many more questions to ponder and ramping up my excitement for the closing book. I am counting down the days.

PS: I strongly recommend reading the novellas in this series as well as they are important to the overall story.

PSS: I also recommend reading or rereading Defending Elysium after Cytonic as it gives a new perspective on that novella.


1,127 reviews1,506 followers

April 11, 2022

This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Support me

Skyward ★★★★
Starsight ★★★★
Sunreach ★★★3/4
ReDawn ★★★ 1/2
Cytonic ★★★ 1/2

I feel Cytonic fell into the dreaded middle book syndrome. I originally thought that it would be a trilogy and I think it should have been one. I was a bit confused about how the main story will continue given the important events of the novellas. Turns out that the novel takes place mainly in the nowhere following Spensa and a new set of characters veering once again far from the main story.

Sanderson is a writing machine and I will never not be impressed by the speed he writes and releases books. This book however felt safe and I mean by that it follows the same structure the previous two books did. Once again Spensa is in a new place with new characters and new laws and she tries to maneuver her way through all of this. The writing is not bad at all and it is still a fast read but I couldn’t help the feeling that I wanted more.

Spensa is the protagonist as is usual with the main series. M-bot and Doomslug (I would die for Doomslug) appear in the book too but the other main characters from previous books have very short parts only. For some reason, I find myself more enamored by the humans in this series which made the characters in book one my favorite. Book two characters took some time to warm up to but I ended up loving them, in book three it was a bit tedious to go all over new characters again which made me feel lukewarm at best regarding the characterization in this entry.

I think too much of a good thing may not necessarily be a good thing and this was the case with the world-building here. Sanderson is a genius when it comes to creating new worlds but I believe it was too technical in this series that it became a bit of a chore trying to follow it. I think the book was best at the start and ending and it stalled a bit in the middle with all the follower things I mentioned before.

Summary: I still enjoyed the book despite my criticism of the story line. Writing is good, a bit too technical when it comes to world building and I would have rather seen the old characters in new horizons (see what I did there) instead of totally new characters. I believe book four will deliver what I was anticipating from this one which leaves me no questions of whether I should read it or not. In fact, I am looking forward to seeing how it all will wrap up!

    2022-reads e-books fantasy


2,024 reviews1,118 followers

December 23, 2021

5/10. Qué ganas tenía de acabarlo! A ver si puedo acabar el año con mejor sabor de boca del que me ha dejado esta novela.

Es mi segundo “pinchazo” consecutivo con Sanderson y eso ya me preocupa. ¿Soy yo el culpable o ha bajado él la calidad?

En este libro tenemos a Spensa en el “niguna-parte”, una especie de universo paralelo donde “flotan” como islas en un mar de “nada”. Pero, hay que fastidiarse, hay aire respirable (este tema ni se menciona) y hasta se puede saltar de isla en isla cuando pasan cerca. Sí, hay que fastidiarse de nuevo.

El sistema de “magia” citónica nos va desvelando en qué consiste y bueno, bien, acepto pulpo como animal de compañía porque no me queda otra, pero se va sacando de la manga opciones de esa citónica porque sí, porque él lo vale. Eso siempre me parece hacer un poco trampa y es algo que tampoco me ha gustado.

El primer tercio del libro, donde descubre a Chet y van pasando por islas es aburridillo. El comportamiento y razonamientos de Spensa y M-bot no son de Young Adult, son de un infantilismo que lo flipaba.

A partir de ese primer tercio de novela la cosa mejora al aparecer nuevos personajes. Y el último tercio está bien. Hay revelaciones sobre los protagonistas y sobre otros conceptos que antes no había por donde cogerlos. Gracias a eso sube hasta las tres estrellas, que a puntito he estado de clavarle dos. El cierre...meh!
Obviamente queda la historia abierta para seguir sacando dinero. Meh!

Resumen: que leáis el primero de la saga, que ese está bien. Y ya vais viendo si os engancha la historia y llegáis hasta este tercer volumen. De media tiene 4,21 aquí en GR así que igual no debiérais de hacer mucho caso a esta reseña pero en conciencia es lo que me ha parecido este tercer volumen de la saga.

Alexandra Elend Wolf

630 reviews312 followers

March 16, 2022

4.5 stars.

“My star came alight. I wasn’t nothing here. I was Spensa, and my soul was fire.”

From the moment I picked Skyward up and read the very first paragraph I was in love. It is a feeling that has not changed through the years. And with the addition of Cytonic to the mix, I can say that I fell even deeper in love. With the world. With the characters. With the story.

Cytonic is the third installment in this tetralogy and, therefore, it had big stakes to set. It did not disappoint.

While through both of the previous books we had gotten to know a lot of the world and setting, especially in Starsight, this time around, with an already established world, we got to have more fun and play around the rules, going deeper into the moral dilemmas and the core of this conflict.

In true Sanderson fashion, everything blew my mind and became all that much more complicated, entangled, and fascinating. I may have had to re-read some parts a few times.

“The entire system vibrates with an unsteady tone. It cracks itself with such sounds. We are… too polite sometimes to accept this.”

To begin with, it is important to note that I was a little nervous before going into this book. Well, maybe the better word is uncertain. Seeing as how things had ended in the previous book there were too many incognitas for my taste. That, coupled with the intense mood change of the last book and I wasn't sure what I was going to find here.

I really shouldn't have worried.

Everything about this book was refreshing, fun, and achingly familiar in a way that felt like getting your footing back after walking on unsteady ground.

Really, that is the best word to describe it. Plain and, mostly, simple fun.

From the dogfights to the interactions between the characters. All of it was so enjoyable and exciting, so enthusiastic, and it filled my heart. After all, this series has always had a lot of energy and good cheer.

Though we are still focusing on Spensa. Though it was still a new setting and there were tons of things to discover. It all felt like a very welcome return to form. The story may have changed extraordinarily since the first time we ventured into it but the soul of it, and the aspects that are so compelling, are coming back and becoming more coherent.

Cytonic was the glue needed to unite the first two installments in the series and make sense of them. In more ways than first meet the eye.

“Gran-Gran hadn’t ever told me a story about people taking a vacation. Part of me thought it was ridiculous. But another part understood. It whispered, ‘this is what people can focus their attention on if they aren’t constantly at war. You learned something living among them; your life is not normal.’ […] Scud. I couldn’t understand it, but I needed to. So I read their romance novel and tried to comprehend.”

The plot is very straightforward.

We have a quest and we must reach a certain point before it's too late. Simple. But made all the more eye-catching by the environment and the good company.

All of Spensa's new acquaintances are vibrant and add something that was needed to understand the world at large... as well as being enjoyable to be around.

It was fun seeing Spensa deal with all these new personalities, backgrounds, and stories, and it really allowed it to shine just how much she, herself, has grown and matured in the past weeks.

Spensa, has already undergone growth, of course, but the contrasts that are shown here to the beginning of this journey highlight all of it. I felt so proud of her all the time. She is our firecracker, overly-dramatic, wild girl and there's no force that could change that, but experience and knowledge have given her edges and wisdom to deal with difficult matters. The way things are going, she is going to be one formidable girl by the end.

But it is not only Spensa who has matured and become a more published version of herself but her faithful companion, M-Both, shows all the things he has learned and how those have shaped him, too.

Together, they really do make a stunning, smart, crazy duo that is delightful to follow around.

“Stronger but not harder. You are not a tool to strike. Not a rock to bludgeon. You are a star.”

Because the plot is so simple we are allowed the time to go deeper into the themes not only of this part in particular but also of the story in general.

Dealing with loneliness, identity, duty, potential, and what makes us who we are is not an easy fit. All of these topics are hard-hitting and personal - even if we don't experience them exactly as Spensa does - and having had the time to explore them was gratifying.

Moral, character debates are not flashy or thrilling, not like a fight can be or exploring a new environment, but they can be just as compelling and deep-dives to understand the world, our world, in a clearer and firmer way. And Sanderson has always managed to add these complexities in the most relatable and enrapturing ways.

Add to it the way that these new details intertwine with the ones we have been exploring from the beginning, courage, and the nature of war, and it just makes for a very good connecting bridge for past and future steps.

“All people must accept that we have the potential to do terrible things. It is part of seeing our place in the universe, our heritage, and our natures. But in acceptance, we gain strength, for potential can be refused. Any hero who could have been a monster is more heroic for the choices he or she made to walk another road.”

Doesn't matter the genre or story, Sanderson will always find a way to make my head hurt and my mind spin with the complex plots he concocts.

The revelations given in this book were some of my favorite in the series so far and definitely something I'll need to revisit time and time again.

If it was already difficult to put the book down, once we are far enough in things pick up and it is nearly impossible to stop or slow down. Doesn't matter how intense things get. Or how much my head was spinning. And it was all so incredibly worthy.

Some of the scenes that take place in it were some of my favorite in the series. Which is saying a lot, considering how much I loved Skyward. But with the little tie-ins and allusions to it, it's hardly a surprise.

“They were static, and that was their weakness. My strength was the opposite; my strength was that I could change. 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 a human, then allow myself to become something more […] but I embraced change. It was the essence and nature of my strength.”

Lastly, I wanted to touch on the novellas.

I know that Sanderson said they can be read at any point - either before or after Cytonic - but I also think that it is much more enjoyable to read them in their intended order - SunReach and ReDawn before Cytonic - rather than the other option.

See, if you haven't read the novellas when you enter this book you will certainly not be missing any important information. By any means, the book is perfectly written to avoid that happening. But, that being said, there are certain things that are just better in the novellas, are more fun to find out through them, and gives you some cool easter eggs to spot.

That done with, I just need to say that I'm not over this book. And I don't think I'll be over it in a long, long time.

“Sometimes it’s too easy to forget the things you should remember – and far too easy to remember the things you really should forget.”


What. A. Ride.

As always, Sanderson delivers the best books, and for all my initial panic with this one, I was absolutely in love.

I will need a hot second to process everything that happen, especially those info dumps we got, but I am excited to just reminisce about it.


I am so excited to finally be getting to this book. I feel like I've waited ages for it. The fact that I can buddy read it with the amazing Aoife will just make the whole experiene all the better.

Seeing Spensa again is going to be a deligth but I will miss my Skyward Flight a ton, doesn't matter that I just saw them on the novellas.

Now, I'll proceed to have my brain blown.

    2022 sci-fantasy

Carrot :3 (on a hiatus)

320 reviews112 followers

November 17, 2023

Woah. Brandon Sanderson sure can write a book! It’s been months since I had this fun reading a book.

The world building- the Nowhere was awesome and the new characters, the ordeal spensa had to go through- everything about this book was perfect. We get to learn a lot about identity, family, friendship, promises and duty. I loved how our characters developed and I’m very excited to read Defiant.

Considering how I don’t remember how much I loved Starsight, I can definitely say that this is the best book I’ve read in a while and might as well be my most favourite one in the series. It brought out a childlike happiness in me and I loved every moment of it.

    2022 owned

ale (semi hiatus) ‧ ₊˚୨ ♡ ୧ ₊˚

458 reviews2,704 followers

Want to read

March 27, 2024

finally found this at the library, now it's mine and i'm so happy!


☀︎El In Oz☀︎

594 reviews344 followers

January 5, 2022


The Skyward series will always be a special series to me. Maybe it’s because it’s a Brandon Sanderson series and all of his works are important to me, some more than others, but I think it’s because of how endearing the characters are. This third instalment into the series was as good as the second, which is to say average I suppose.

I adore the whole world we have going on here in this series, it’s sci fi goodness with so many different species and races of beings to meet and discover over the multiple books. I just think that the strongest cast is Spensa and the Skyward Flight, who were only together in Skyward for the whole book.

Spensa is a great main character and her development over the series so far is wonderfully done. I just wished she interacted more with the skyward flight. She bounces off those people much easier making for funny moments and instead conversation, where as here it’s not the same. I do enjoy her thought process and how she is logical, I just think she’s most interesting while with Jorgen and the others.

M-Bot annoyed me far too much. I really enjoyed him in the previous two books but with him gaining emotions and all that, he just starts being extremely annoying when Spensa is trying to do something important.
I wish I could say I got sad for what happens to him at the end but I’m not. He just had development but for me it was downhill.

We had several other characters in this book, like a gang of pirates, but I don’t personally see any relevancy. There are too many new characters who can be equated to others in other books, I think. For the most part I could care less about what was going on with these pirates and I couldn’t tell you much about them either.

The plot wasn’t really existent here. There was one, yes, but this book serves as more of a filler and character development book. Which, sometimes, I can absolutely love. I just didn’t love it here because personally I don’t think it works well in the sci fi genre. There has to always be something going on I think.

The reveals in this book weren’t really shocking to me? Maybe it’s because I didn’t fully understand what was happening but I just wasted interested in the path of elders.

Overall this could have been ways better but I have high hopes for the finale :)

Skyward ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Starsight ★ ★ ★.5

    2021-anticipated-releases 3-star disappointing

Lyra (Cardan's tail's version)

336 reviews589 followers

April 13, 2023

—4.5 (Spensa) stars—

“I wasn’t nothing here. I was Spensa, and my soul was fire.”

————about the book————

Age: YA
Genres: Science fiction,
Type of ending:
Writing: 9/10
Quotes: 8/10
World building: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Romance: 7/10
My rating: 9/10


———my thoughts———

Spensa’s life has been far from ordinary.
As a starfighter pilot, and as a spy, her life has been constantly at risk—but now the whole of humanity is at risk.
The Superiority, intent on dominating all human life, has started a galaxy-wide war.
But Spensa is Cytonic, and maybe, if she can learn what exactly, that is—she could save the galaxy...except, to discover what she really is, she’ll have to travel into the Nowhere—a place from which few ever return...

We’re back at ‘read at the speed of light’, folks!
The first half was a little slow, with EVEN MORE WORLD BUILDING—but I guess, when it’s sci-fi there’s lots of different worlds, so you need more world building?—anyway, nearing the midpoint, everything started happening...different plotlines merged, twists were revealed, and more information was learned...
I know I keep saying this, but there is so much world building that it interrupts my reading slightly...all these new aliens, and I forgot which was which! (Maybe that’s just my sleep deprived brain though...)
I enjoy world building, but I prefer it in smaller doses—and I suppose that comes from reading a lot of fantasy.
In fantasy, the world can be explained gradually, but in sci-fi, it seems, when new worlds are discovered—you will hear ALL about them.
Again, I did enjoy it—I just would have preferred a little less!
Spensa is still my favourite thing about these books—I just adore her fire, her determination, and her love for stories!
As the books progress, I feel like she’s growing up a little...or maybe she’s just becoming (A LITTLE) more serious!
Anyway, I love her and she’s my baby!
Her and Jorgen’s relationship continues to be the best—you know when you read a book, and the romance is just crumbs...BUT YOU WANT THE WHOLE LOAF??? That’s this series!
Every. Single. One of their interactions is the sweetest, fluffiest thing—and it’s good that it is—because, those sweet moments are few and far between, but they’re enough for my lil heart to keep swooning! Her fainting into his arms...EEEEE! They’re my new obsession, and I just want more of them!
Spensa’s friendships with the pirates was wonderful and I’m so glad Hersho’s back! M-bot and Doomslug have ever increasing roles...M-bot is so funny, and I just adore him!
This was one of those books where, as you grow closer to the end, you simultaneously want to read faster, and slow right down!
The last few chapters of the book were all action, and I’m extremely excited for the next book!

———characters ———

Spensa: brave and determined, I love her so much! (And I just googled how tall she is...and she’s TINY! No wonder she thinks Jorgen’s so tall...she’s barely 5 foot!)

Jorgen: calm and commanding, he’s so cute...just everything he says to Spensa makes me squeal!

M-bot: MY AI!!!! I adore him, and I love how he’s becoming a little more himself!

Doomslug: well, apparently this lil cutie can talk...and has even more secret powers!


“I’m not exactly a ‘there are nuances to this situation’ type of girl. I’m more of a ‘if it’s still moving, you didn’t use enough ammunition’ kind of girl.”

You are a star.”

“He loved my love of stories. He imagined me in one of those stories, and was completely confident in me.”

“I smiled at Jorgen.
Then fainted into his arms.”


Seize the power -Yonaka
The machine -MILCK
Never say die -Neoni
Up in flames -Ruelle

———random extra thoughts———

I need to read the novellas soon...

Thanks for reading!❤️

    9s because-of-my-terrible-influences charlie-bowater-covers


961 reviews548 followers

January 24, 2024

Creo que de momento es el más flojo de la saga. Sanderson vuelve a hacer lo mismo que en la anterior entrega y envía a Spensa a otro escenario completamente distinto a lo que vimos anteriormente. Con nuevos personajes que obligan al autor a introducirlos y utilizar una parte importante de la trama para situar al lector en este nuevo mundo. Y creo que eso pesa en el resultado de cómo estoy disfrutando la saga.

El primero me gustó muchísimo, una historia simple pero eficaz con buenos personajes y mucho ritmo. Pues en lugar de aprovechar eso y sacarle más partido, Sanderson vuelve a empezar de cero en cada libro y me termina cansando. Antes Spensa necesitaba de sus compañeros para salir airosa de lo que le pasaba, ahora va ella sola por el Universo arreglándolo todo y sacando soluciones de última hora.

A ver si el cuarto libro retoma un poco el espíritu de la primera parte porque si no se va a quedar en una idea interesante pero aburrida de leer.

    audiobook science-fiction


149 reviews103 followers

March 3, 2023

از چی بگم؟ از چی بنویسم؟از ناکجا؟ از ام بت؟ از چِت؟ از جستجوگرا؟ از اسپنسا؟ از پِگ؟از جورگن؟از سروران؟ از ماجراجویی پر اطلاعات ولی ارومش؟ از هیجان اخرش؟ از چی بگم خداروخوش بیاد؟
اخه سندرسون، ادونالسیوم لعنتت کنه مرد چرا اینقدر خوب مینویسی؟ من اصلا علمی تخیلی دوست ندارم ولی این مجموعه خیلی دلبره😅
تک تک لحظات اسپنسا تو این کتاب برام جذاب و دوست داشتنی بود. علت حقیقی اون نشان حقیقت از محشرترین چیزا بود که حتی بهش فکر هم نمیکردم.
ناکجا به شدت عالی توصیف شده بود، مرموز و در عین حال قابل درک، ترسناک و در عین حال بی ازار. تناقص جالبی که به دل مینشست
از تک تک لحظات این جلد بشدت لذت بردم و بشدت مشتاقانه منتظر اخرشم
پ.ن۱: زنده باد کراش اعظم خودم ام بت😁😁😍
پ.ن۲: من ریویو بدون پ ن هم دارم؟ فکرنکنم 😂 همیشه یا حرف اضافه تهش برام میمونه😂🚶🏻‍♀️

    sanderson علمی-تخیلی

TS Chan

754 reviews910 followers

November 9, 2023

4.5 stars.

No surprises, Cytonic was a superb read filled with brilliantly creative worldbuilding and compelling characterisation that I've always expected, and received, from Sanderson

It all started with a novella that he wrote and submitted to a magazine way back before he was even published. That piece of work received an honourable mention at the Writers of the Future contest in 2003, and after substantial re-editing in 2008 won first place in the UPC Science Fiction Award in Spain, and was published in the Oct/Nov 2008 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction. However, for the most of the past decade, most readers have only known Sanderson as a bestselling fantasy author as aside from a few short stories, he had not really written a science fiction series. That is, not until Skyward came about - and it was just as fantastic as his fantasy writing. The fact that it's YA took away nothing from his ability to spin the most incredibly engaging stories set in the most imaginative settings.

"But... stories say something. About us, and about where we came from. They're a reminder that we have a past, a history. And a future."

That story which begun the science fiction marvel that we've been reading for the past few years, Defending Elysium, has officially been made canon with the e-book re-released as a Cytoverse novella. I've read that the first time right after Skyward, the first book of this YA series, and again after I finished this latest volume, Cytonic as the narrative connectivity was made even more apparent.
"Every path we walk changes us."

As this is book three of four in the series, we've moved into major spoiler territory as far as plotlines are concerned. I'll be staying away from that, of course, and as such my review will be relatively brief. Let's just say that I'm once again in awe of Sanderson's power of imagination. Cytonic took off immediately from the last time we saw Spensa in the sequel, Starsight, where she escaped from the Superiority to land herself into a potentially even more dangerous environment. An environment that defies the convention of physics as we know it and which may result in Spensa completing losing her sense of self and identity. There's little that I could mention about this place except that it's utterly unique and fascinating. The central storyline here involved Spensa's exploration through this realm in her quest to learn of its creation and in the meantime encountered the people who've settled there.
"All people must accept that we have the potential to do terrible things. It is part of seeing our place in the universe, our heritage, and our nature. But in that acceptance we gain strength, for potential can be refused. Any herowho could have been a monster is more heroic for the choice he or she made to walk another road."

What made this series such an incredible young adult narrative are themes that are so relevant for a young lady like Spensa, who's finding and establishing her identity. She first started out as an angry teenager with a huge chip on her shoulder (understandably given the circ*mstances) but has since grown into a much more rounded character from one book to the next - each taking her through new and different experiences to develop her character arc in ways that never felt repetitive. The more she encountered other people who are not just the humans on Detritus, the more she learns to see and appreciate differences as well as similarities.
"Learn to accept that sometimes what you feel isn't invalid, but that it doesn't mean that you have to act according to those feelings either."

I'm impressed that even though we never get to learn about these side characters in depth, somehow Sanderson manages to make me like and care about them. There's an empathetic element in the way he draws out these multi-species interaction that highlights that the end of the day, all of them are the same in that they feel emotions, and memories are important to maintaining an identity and the connection to loved ones. These and the ability to embrace change are very significant themes in this story and it was incorporated into the narrative effortlessly. Oh, how could I forget - it's not only multi-species we're talking about there, because we have M-Bot, the lovable and super talkative AI who is sort of... evolving in his level of sapience.
"Among the first lessons a warrior must learn is the knowledge that his immediate enemy - the person he must kill - is just trying to survive. Soldiers are alike, no matter their side."

A lot of questions were answered in this book, and typical of Sanderson, it also resulted in more questions asked. While it is not absolutely mandatory to read the Skyward Flight novellas, Sunreach and ReDawn, before this book, it certainly helped to more make sense of a few scenes which transpired here. In fact, the ending of Cytonic only made me even more excited to read the next novella in the series, Evershore.

You can purchase the book from Blackwells| Bookshop.Org|Amazon US | Amazon UK

You can find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions.

    brandon-sanderson physical-owned re-read
Cytonic (Skyward, #3) (2024)


Is Skyward appropriate for 12 year olds? ›

There's a little bit more swearing than CSM mentions. There's h--l, d---n, ba----d, and a--. They're not very frequent, though. But overall, this book is absolutely fantastic, and teen readers (14/15+) will probably get more out of the novel compared to the CSM suggested 12+.

Will there be a 4th book in the Skyward series? ›

Defiant, the fourth and final volume of the series that started with Skyward in 2018, comes out in November 2023, capping an already book-filled year that will see the releases of all four Secret Projects: Tress of the Emerald Sea, The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England, Yumi and the Nightmare ...

Is Cytonic the final book? ›

Cytonic is a 2021 young adult science fiction novel written by American author Brandon Sanderson. It is the third book in the Skyward series after Skyward and Starsight. The penultimate novel of the four-book series, it was published by Delacorte Press on November 23, 2021 with a sequel due in 2023 entitled Defiant.

Is Cytonic worth reading? ›

If you're a fan of the Skyward series and you're wondering if Cytonic is worth the read, I will say yes. Unequivocally, yes. Because this is the book that will get you all the answers you need. Each book in the series explores a different world.

Does Skyward have any romance? ›

So there's no romance in this book, though there is a hint of enemies-to-lovers, which may develop in further books.

Is Skyward a kids book? ›

Skyward is a 2018 young adult science fiction novel written by American author Brandon Sanderson.

Why is Skyward not Cosmere? ›

About the book: 1. Is Skyward going to be a part of the Cosmere? It is unrelated to the Cosmere, since Earth is part of its history and because certain elements of space travel are done differently.

How old is Spensa in the book Skyward? ›

Appearance. Spensa for the greater part of the series is a 17 year old, she has brown hair and distinctive purple eyes on book co.

Is Skyward by Brandon Sanderson for adults? ›

Skyward is a fine example of a Young Adult novel. Once again, I'm in awe of Sanderson who shows he is still at the top of his game.

Is Jorgen a cytonic? ›

Jorgen is a Cytonic. Originally he was unable to use his abilities, lacking skill and precision. He is able to communicate, after a little practice, with the taynix and convince them to use their abilities.

Is doomslug a hyperdrive? ›

She recovers the drone and learns that the Superiority hyperdrives (which don't attract delvers) are powered by slugs like Doomslug. Spensa is caught by Cuna, but Spensa realizes that Cuna is actually pushing for species integration and peace with the humans in the government.

Is cytonic in Cosmere? ›

The Cytoverse is the setting of Defending Elysium and the Skyward series. It is our own world, albeit in the far future; as such, it is not part of the cosmere.

Can a 12 year old read Way of Kings? ›

This book is and high fantasy book with very intense world building, and the main characters are all adult (except for one). While this is nowhere near as dark as game of thrones or other grim dark series, I still think it would be a lot for an elementary school student to take on.

Is Skyward Sword okay for kids? ›

There is a bit of blood when Link hit a skultaltula or kills a Deku Baba. But other than that it is a good game. Link is a good role model. The puzzles in the game are challenging and fun to do.

Is the Princess trials appropriate for 12 year olds? ›

Depending on the child, anywhere from 12 to 14. Due to the violence through the book series, 14 y/o is probably a good age to start. However, if you have a more mature child that is 12 or 13, then go with your gut.

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