Thursday, December 19, 2019

Review: STARSIGHT by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 5/5 stars

Starsight was even better than Skyward, which I did not expect. It went in directions I did not see coming and introduced us to all new characters and also let us revisit our beloved favorite characters from Skyward. *This entire review will be full of spoilers* because early in the book things happen that I cannot discuss without spoiling.

Okay. First of all, I was so shocked when all of a sudden Spensa is hyperjumping off to Starsight. She’s debating whether or not to go and Jorgen tells her to do it, so on a whim she leaves Detritus. I was so taken aback at that turn of events. I don’t know what I thought the plot of this book was going to be, but that sure wasn’t it. Starsight is really cool though. I love the idea of a centralized space station where all the different alien races can come and congregate.

I loved getting to know all the new characters and discovering the differences between the alien races. I think Sanderson did a great job of making them all different enough from each other with different genders, facial expressions, hand gestures, skin colors, etc. It was super cool, also, to see the Superiority cater to the needs of all the alien species with 17 different bathrooms, notes on the food about what is toxic to which species, and other details sprinkled throughout the narrative that make me feel like I could actually be on a space station. So so cool. I don’t read a lot of space-based science fiction so this is pretty much my introduction to novels about aliens, and I loved it way more than I expected to.

Morriumur was so precious and I loved their character arc throughout the story. I really enjoyed reading about the Dione race in general and all their mannerisms.
Cuna turned out to be way better than I expected them to be. I didn’t think they’d be on the good team but I’m pleasantly pleased they turned out to be not bad.
The kitsen race with the furry animal aliens was super cool and I loved how they all piloted one giant ship together. It’s sad that Hesho died in the end but I hope we get to see more of their race in future books with Kauri taking control or something.
And Vapor. I really like the idea of an invisible scent as an alien species. They’re called figments, and at one point it was mentioned that a lot of M-Bot’s technology was figment technology, so is there some connection there? I would really love to know where M-Bot came from and learn more about his origins. I’m also very curious why it was repeatedly mentioned that the delvers hate AI like M-Bot.

I was so sad at the end when M-Bot’s ship was destroyed and he had to save his AI coding on the drone. I hope Spensa can rebuild him into a ship or something! I loved seeing his arc throughout this story too. In Skyward he was constantly on about mushrooms, and in Starsight he was fixated on whether or not he was alive. And even though he’s a robot, he definitely is alive at this point. Able to change his coding, able to self-replicate, able to lie, and able to express feelings! M-Bot is hands-down my favorite character.

I’m so pleased the mushrooms actually were relevant to the story in Starsight and weren’t just some comic relief (although that was so good in the first book). Everything about Doomslug and the fungi—that totally blew my mind. Doomslug is a type of space slug called a taynix, and she’s a hyperdrive. The slugs are often found near fungi. That is why M-Bot is so interested in mushrooms, because he was programmed to look for more hyperdrive slugs. Truly amazing story going on there, and I did not see it coming at all.

I loved at the end Jorgen finding a room full of the slugs, all fluting together. That would be so amazing to see! As soon as that chapter started, I expected that’s what he would find, and I was right. So cool.

The book ended with Spensa on Starsight, Doomslug in one arm and the M-Bot drone in the other arm, jumping through the black portal into an unknown location in outer space to escape Winzik’s Superiority forces chasing her. That’s a HUGE cliffhanger, and this is exactly the reason why I don’t normally read a series until all the books are released; I don’t want to wait two years to find out what’s going to happen! We don’t know the fate of Spensa, where she went, where Cuna is or what they are doing, how much control Winzik has, or why M-Bot could suddenly start thinking and talking normally once Spensa opened the cytonic portal when M-Bot functions on a non-cytonic processor. Could M-Bot maybe actually be evil? So many questions!

This book blew me away with its revelations and with how much I enjoyed it. I love this series and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

“A hero does not choose her trials. She steps into the darkness. Then she faces what comes next.”

The following are purely my notes about the world that I’ve collected so I can reread them and remember details before the next book comes out because I always forget the details, especially when I have to wait for the next installment.

About the Krell:
—The Krell were a group of aliens tasked with keeping the people confined on the planet Detritus.
—Krell is an acronym in some Superiority language for a phrase about keeping humans contained, not their actual race’s name.
—The Krell report to a larger galactic government called the Superiority.
—The Krell employed remote drones to fight the humans, piloted by aliens far away, controlling the drones via FTL communication.

About Spensa:
—Spensa is a cytonic: she can see into the space where FTL communication takes place. She calls this place the Nowhere.
—When she enters the Nowhere, that is when she uses cytonic hyperdrive to teleport.
—When she uses her ability too much, something looks out of the Nowhere to see her. Thousands of white lights: the eyes. The eyes hate her. The eyes are eyes of delvers.
—She can hear the stars. What this really means is she can hear the sound of FTL communications being sent through the Nowhere.
—Her cytonic ability is genetic. Her ancestors used it to move ancient starfleets around the galaxy.

About Detritus:
—The planet is surrounded by defensive shells of debris. It is made up of living quarters, shipyards, and weapons.
—The people have reclaimed the shells closest to the planet but the outer ones are autonomous and can harm both people and Krell that get too close.
—It is possible there is an unknown portal to the Nowhere somewhere underground on Detritus.
—Somewhere in the underground caverns is a huge slug population.
—There are also carvings and drawings of symbols on the walls of underground caves, but we do not know yet what these mean. These same symbols were seen on Starsight.

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