Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’sleft of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s–a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa’s chances of attending flight school at slim to none.
No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.
Oh. my. GOD!
This book. This freaking book is SO GOOD! Please do yourself a favour and read it. It’s absolute perfection.
I’ve read a couple really good books this year. Some where great. But THIS story is awesome and without a doubt my highlight of the year so far. I finished it in 2 days.
I’m not a big SciFi fan – I read it occasionally and try to get more into it, but too much technical talk & spaceships bore me. This book is so much more though. I am not even sure if I want to call it YA? It doesn’t have any of the annoying YA features. There is NO romance, which is a big plus and the characters are all so different! Not like you expect at all.
In the start it seems simple. Spensa is a disgraced teenager who gets bullied & called a coward. She is poor and hunts rats in the caverns in her free time. She’s built up a shield to protect herself from everyone who is not giving her a chance. She’s living in her father’s shadow with only little chance of becoming a pilot – her biggest dream and everything she’s living for. Spensa is determined, overly dramatic and wants to prove herself. She’s someone I absolutely cared for, but still has a lot of flaws. She’s quick to judge people and sees herself as the victim all the time, even when people actually try to help her. She is conflicted and wants to be brave but doesn’t really know who she actually is.
I loved reading about her and how she scratches and claws to get where she wants to be. Spensa does go through some big changes throughout the novel and it was nothing but engaging!
All the side characters were an absolute delight! From Kimmalyn, the quirky & excellent sniper, who is so damn loveable, to Rig, Spensa’s best friend and genius to grumpy Cobb who has his heart in the right place.. I enjoyed reading about them all! I especially liked that some of them seemed like clichees in the start (like the typical rich & privileged bully), but turn out to be nothing like that! Jorgen is the best example for it.
The cool thing is also, that no one is really the bad guy in the story. Everyone has a reason to act how they do and people actually come around and admit to their mistakes.
The teenage characters – even though they are goofy sometimes and get in fights – act much more grown-up than I’m used to from YA. Some banter is actually really enjoyable and I loved reading about Spensa’s group training & interacting.
The pacing is excellent as well – we have exciting fight-sequences, quiet dialogues, interesting training sessions and everything just gives us a perfect balance.
Don’t let me get started on the world! Humans got stranded on the planet about 80 years ago and have since been protecting themselves by attacks from the mysterious Krell who somehow detect where large groups of humans are gathering. Humans are living underground in caves & due to the fact that they found some pretty cool machines, they are able to build spaceships & fight the Krell. The planet is protected by a layer of debris that’s floating around it, and usually you can’t see the stars. Most people don’t even see the sky until they are older!
There’s so many questions still and no one has ever even seen a Krell yet. The humans don’t even really know WHY the Krell attack & try to destroy them.
This book is super sad as well & if you are emotional like me, you will cry at some point or another.
They’re up in the sky now,’ I said softly. ‘Forever among the stars. I’m going to join them.’ I snapped out of the trance, and was suddenly back in the room with the others.’ ‘I’m going to strap in, and I’m going to fight. That way when I die, at least I’ll die in a cockpit. Reaching for heaven.
I loved that the book has a great message & focuses a lot on friendship. On finding out who you are and accepting it.
This just hit all the right buttons for me. I stop here or I just keep rambling on.
Other cool things about the book:
- the tons of mysteries & surprises and the fact that a lot of questions are answered but still enough are left open for a sequel
- the talking spaceship was precious! I don’t want to give too much away and it’s a big part of the story. But go and see for yourself 🙂