Starsight: Skyward, Book 2

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Starsight: Skyward, Book 2 Book Poster Image
New alien allies up the ante in engrossing sci-fi series.

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Kids say

age 12+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Starsight plays a little fast-and-loose with its science, but it does give a sense of what a futuristic space battle might be like. The story provides opportunities to discuss the nature of heroism and the character traits that make someone human.

Positive Messages

Individuals from different cultures can learn to respect and work with each other. Perseverance is often the key to success. Someone who seems to act like a coward might actually be brave.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sansa learns what it means to be a leader as she tries to whip her squad into shape. This time she exhibits more humility and patience with those individuals who are different from her. She faces her greatest fears and finds the courage to fight them.

Violence

Space battles are a constant source of violence, but usually at a distance and with little bloodshed. Sansa comes to understand that there are plenty of civilian victims who need to be protected.

Language

Small amount of swearing, limited to perhaps to a dozen uses of "damn" or "hell." The characters use "scud" as an all-purpose expletive.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Starsight is a futuristic space adventure focused on the training of fighter pilots. Written by Brandon Sanderson (Steelheart), it's the second volume in the series, and manages to take the adventure to a higher level. The story features many battles against aliens, but there's little actual bloodshed. Swearing is limited to perhaps "damn" and "hell," the characters preferring "scud" as an all-purpose expletive. The ony sexual content is vague flirting.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byCopper33 June 7, 2020

A book well done

It's a pretty great book. Like he always does the author puts a lot of thought into the plot, and the system. It's a little complex, but worth the re... Continue reading

What's the story?

As STARSIGHT opens, Sansa is ready to embark on an expedition into enemy territory. Cloaked in a holographic disguise, she poses as an aggressive new recruit and is tasked with stealing a ship with a hyperdrive, her compatriots' only hope for survival. Sansa's alien allies seem to share a common enemy, but there are factions working at cross purposes. With her main friend -- the Artificial Intelligence known as M-Bot -- out of commission, will she be able to face her greatest fears and deliver the life-saving technology?

Is it any good?

Space battles don't always work well in prose, but this sci-fi adventure adds a human dimension that will keep the pages turning. Author Brandon Sanderson knows to build a futuristic world that's logical, compelling, and sometimes surprising. Teen starship pilot Sansa is an engaging protagonist: gutsy and determined, if more than a bit stubborn and quick to make snap judgments. The supporting cast is diverse and interesting, and the new alien species contribute some welcome variety to the proceedings. Especially fun is M-Bot, who struggles with how to become human.

The rare second installment that matches the novelty of a saga's first volume, Starsight offers plenty of action, humor, intrigue, and revealing character moments.The book ends with a cliff-hanger, but Sanderson has the stamina to deliver the next book in the series quickly. Readers who enjoy Ender's Game wil likely appreciate Starsight and look forward to the saga's next installment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Starsight demonstrates the diligence you must have to be a fighter pilot. What characteristics must a pilot possess to survive in battle? How can those skills be applied to everyday life?

  • Why are civilian forces so vulnerable in times of war? What can be done to protect noncombatants in the midst of battle?

  • Sansa must interact with a variety of alien races. What strategies work best for developing trust with individuals from different cultures?

Book details

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For kids who love science fiction

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