Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson
Spensa’s life as a Defiant Defense Force pilot has been far from ordinary. She proved herself one of the best starfighters in the human enclave of Detritus and she saved her people from extermination at the hands of the Krell—the enigmatic alien species that has been holding them captive for decades. What’s more, she traveled light-years from home as an undercover spy to infiltrate the Superiority, where she learned of the galaxy beyond her small, desolate planet home.
Now, the Superiority—the governing galactic alliance bent on dominating all human life—has started a galaxy-wide war. And Spensa’s seen the weapons they plan to use to end it: the Delvers. Ancient, mysterious alien forces that can wipe out entire planetary systems in an instant. Spensa knows that no matter how many pilots the DDF has, there is no defeating this predator.
Except that Spensa is Cytonic. She faced down a Delver and saw something eerily familiar about it. And maybe, if she’s able to figure out what she is, she could be more than just another pilot in this unfolding war. She could save the galaxy.
The only way she can discover what she really is, though, is to leave behind all she knows and enter the Nowhere. A place from which few ever return.
Cytonic is the third installment in the Skyward Series. This has a decidedly different feel, as Spensa becomes stuck on an alien planet with strange rules and an annoying side-effect of forgetting the past. But Spensa keeps her mission her first priority – to get back home with more information for her people. Though the friends she makes and a comfortable existence doing what she loves is a bit of a temptation to stay. There are some incredible new characters in this novel – definitely the strength and focus of this story. From a mysterious man who conveniently shows up just in time and becomes a trusted friend along the journey, to a rag-tag crew of colorful characters, and even a couple familiar characters, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. This novel is a personal journey for Spensa, where she learns a lot and grows. But it’s still well-paced with plenty of mystery, action, and adventure. And there are several fun twists I didn’t see coming. The next in this fantastic series can’t come soon enough.