Defiant (Skyward, #4) (2024)

Petrik

740 reviews53.1k followers

February 22, 2024

This is another series wrap-up from Sanderson. Defiant is a satisfying concluding volume to the Skyward series that reflected the root of the first book: friendship.

“Some of them might die, I said. And it’s going to hurt. We’ll get through it though. Pretending that nobody will ever be in danger is the same as living in the nowhere, pretending loss doesn’t exist.”

Skyward is the fourth series by Sanderson I finished, and I am still impressed with how he is able to produce a rewarding conclusion after the blunders in Cytonic and Skyward Flight omnibus. I had a great time reading Skyward and Starsight, and I have been vocal in saying how mixed I felt about Cytonic and the titles in Skyward Flight omnibus. I stand by my words that the Skyward series is longer than it should be, and there is a good chance I won’t be reading the sequel series—Skyward Legacy—because I think the series really should’ve ended here in Defiant. But as far as Defiant goes as a series finisher, it is not one of Sanderson’s best books. However, it is definitely a page-turning conclusion with a quality as good as the first two books in the series. I will keep this review relatively brief to avoid spoilers.

“The people who brood about their moral compass in stories tend to be the strongest at making decisions.”

One of the things that decreased the quality and enjoyment of Skyward Flight and Cytonic for me, and I assume many readers, is Spensa separated from the crew of Skyward Flight. The first book, Skyward, spent a lot of time developing the relationship of Spensa with M-Bot, Jorgen, FM, Kimmalyn, and more. But the rest of the series after that did not touch upon this—except M-Bot—as much as I preferred. This situation has happened since Starsight, but for me, it was still tolerable and very much enjoyable in Starsight. But not so much in Cytonic and Skyward Flight omnibus, which only seems to prolong the series unnecessarily than it should be. I am pleased that the friendship between Spensa and her Skyward Flight crew, M-Bot, and the kitsen returns as one of the main charms of Defiant. Identity, friendship, and war are some of the main themes of Defiant, and the first half is focused on exploring the effects of Spensa and each respective—especially Jorgen—development of the other main characters.

“At the end of the story… at the end of the story, the hero came home, and found herself transformed… into someone who didn’t belong, and could never belong, with the people she’d left behind. It was the same in almost every story I’d read.”

It is not easy for Spensa to feel like she truly belongs again with her friends due to the longevity of her time separated from Jorgen and the Skyward Flight crew. The first half of Defiant is dedicated to exploring this. Essentially, the first half of Defiant demonstrated the impact of the development and changes that happened to each character in the previous three books and what each character needs to do to reignite the sense of trust between each other. This also means Spensa and Jorgen, especially Spensa, need to learn to trust their beloved companions even more. Understanding your own self and each other is a big topic in Defiant. And it can be surmised that Cytonic and Skyward Flight omnibus were all leading to the events in Defiant. The second half is all about the brief preparation and also the final battle with the main villain of the Skyward series. I had mixed feelings on Cytonic and Skyward Flight omnibus, but I cannot deny they made Defiant one of the strongest installments in the series; up there with Starsight for me.

“War has always been packed with people who didn’t want to be there.”

I don’t have any big complaints regarding the climax sequence or ending of Defiant. As I said, the preparation was worth it, and the final space war was the most exciting battle of the entire series for me. Excluding Skyward Flight omnibus, Defiant is also the first time the series utilized multiple POV chapters at the end of the book to make the Sanderlanche sequence more dynamic and effective. This did not feel jarring at all. It felt proper. We have seen the other characters’ POV in Skyward Flight omnibus, and it would feel weird if any of them did not appear as POV characters in Defiant.

“Some of them might die, I said. And it’s going to hurt. We’ll get through it though. Pretending that nobody will ever be in danger is the same as living in the nowhere, pretending loss doesn’t exist.”

Picture: DDF Phoenix-Class Battlecarrier: Defiant by Ben McSweeney

Defiant (Skyward, #4) (2)

The interior artwork by Ben McSweeney once again returned in Defiant, and it was a super welcome additional content that worked to increase my visualization and immersion of the final battle in Defiant, especially on the physical appearance of the spaceships. If there’s anything to complain about, it is back to one of my main criticisms of the series. The series does not have to be this long. Defiant could’ve ended the series satisfyingly, which it did as Sanderson has stuck the landing. But the final chapter showed hints of the next adventures of Spensa and the Skyward Flight crew story. Unfortunately, as of this moment, I am already pleased with the ending I got from Defiant, and I don’t think I will be reading the Skyward Legacy series as soon as the first book is out. I enjoyed reading the series, but I am sad to say I never felt emotionally invested in the characters as much as I should. Who knows, though. The reading mood is unpredictable, and maybe one day I might decide to read Skyward Legacy after it is finished.

“And as a ship is useless without an engine, what is an engine without people to move and protect? You act like the lone spear, Granddaughter. But a spear is always stronger as part of a phalanx.”

Overall, as expected of Sanderson’s final book of a series, Defiant ended the Skyward series satisfyingly. Oddly, my favorite characters in the series were GranGran and the slugs, which probably shows that my investment in the main characters is not as deep as I prefer. However, if you are a fan of Sanderson’s Cosmere books and you want to try reading Sanderson’s non-Cosmere work, you cannot go wrong with trying Skyward series. At the very least, the first two books should be sufficient to entertain you. Lastly, I think Skyward series would work amazingly for newcomers to reading sci-fi novels. With the completion of Skyward series, this means the only two series by Sanderson I haven't read are The Reckoners and The Rithmatist. I have no idea when I will read them, but for now, I can confidently say that my heart belongs in the Cosmere much more than any of Sanderson's non-Cosmere books.

“The purpose of life was to learn, and the way to learn was through excitement, emotion, and change. Boredom was the path to complacency, and complacency the path to stagnation.”

Series Review:

Skyward:

4/5 stars
Starsight: 4/5 stars
Cytonic: 3/5 stars
Skyward Flight: 3.5/5 stars
Defiant: 4/5 stars

Skyward Series: 18.5/25 stars

“I could love stories of courage and admire the strength of warriors, without wanting to see innocent people dead.”

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Frank-Intergalactic Bookdragon

628 reviews276 followers

Want to read

March 7, 2019

Prereview March 2019.
Person: where do you see yourself in three years?
Me: *staring off in the distance, I imagine an older, wiser version of myself. He took the day off, for it is a sacred day, the fourth and final Skyward book is held reverently in his wizened hands. After spending nearly five years with these characters, he is sad too leave them. He cries tears of sorrow because it's over, as well as tears of joy because it happened*
Me: well I like to think I'll be happy.

    space

Clace Logan

689 reviews252 followers

February 21, 2024

5 stars!

“As a kid, I’d have said that courage destroys fear. Now, I’d have said that fear is what lets us be able to be courageous.”

When I write reviews. I write them in hopes that others will read and will probably be motivated enough by them to read the book or to somehow change their perception on the book and if not all that just to express my feelings. This one however is just for myself to give myself the closure that I need and that I deserve.

Final books are my favorite's despite them being bittersweet. It's because I tend to see them as a challenge set for the author as it is very hard to wrap up and conclude a story many authors like Jennifer L. Armentrout, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Victoria Aveyard and etc. failed....I have read two series that are fully concluded by brandon and both of their finales outdid themselves so i had to see how my first brandon sanderson series was going to end and oh my god was i pleased by how much of his blood sweat and tears were put into this work.

Brandon's writing is absolutely exceptional. No author and I am not exaggerating when I say this no author In my opinion can ever come near to what he crafted and build. The way his mind works, his intelligence can be seen in his crafted drafts that are so well executed and produced into bestselling books with the highest ratings and that could have definitely been seen on defiant it was everything I wanted it to. Brandon handled emotions so well with the characters, handling it with the plot while also throwing in actions, alliances and twists that somehow worked perfectly. Such is the power of Sanderson.

“I don’t think most people want to do what’s right. That’s what makes doing the right thing noble. It’s a conscious choice. A hard one. If it were easy, then why would we respect it so much?”

When it comes to the characters. This is where the book shines for me...the reason Cytonic did not live up to my expectations was that the crew was divided, SPENSA WAS in the nowhere and everything felt wrong and I did not think defiant could've fixed it but I was pleasantly surprised by how well written spensas character was and her scenes especially. Spensa has always been a strong character, we can see her thirst for revenge, her intelligence, her strategic mindset and her ability to get things then in the past books but in this book we also see her kindness, compassion and love for her friends and jorgen. My heart aches for her because she forgot the emotions that kept everything together for her but despite that she still fought and in the end could be with her friends and that really struck out for me. Her struggle and her stride to face it rather than run away from it. Her character development had been build up so well in the past books and this one only perfected it.

Jorgen was the perfect love interest for Jorgen. He has stood up for her and was one of the few who actually knew what spensa was like and how to deal with her but truly what amazes me is how much love he had for her and how realistically Brandon chose to approach his character with frustration, guilt and fear for loss as Brandon ascended him into a higher role in this book and that was very well done.

The skyward flight crew will always have my heart they have been with me since 2018 with me through thick and thin. They have made me laugh, cry and feel things that I did not know I could feel. We lost some but we still managed to get out and in the end everything worked out for us so they have my heart for that. I have to say spensa and the crew... Their relationship was a little strained but I love how they gave her space and time to heal and to get herself together. To FM, Kimmalyn, Nedd, Autoro, Sadie, Hecho and Rigg 🥂 and a special mention to gran gran who brought a smile on my face with just one mention.

“Change is pain that fades,”

The romance was honestly shocking. Brandon Sanderson isn't known for alot of romance. His books do have romance but they don't overshadow the plot although this one didn't overshadow the plot it was alot atleast for me because I have been gathering all the JorgenSpensa crumbs that I can gather and their scenes together make me so blush. That what I love about Sanderson he does not need smut to make us invested in a romance and I praise him for that (similar books from him are: Tress of the emerald sea , Yumi and the nightmare painter and warbreaker)

"in the stories, yes' I whispered 'but Jorgen, there's one huge flaw in all of those stories'
'which is?'
'none of them had you"

The plot and the worldbuilding. This is where I looked back and thought where it all started. It started off with a girl abandoned, hated driven into the slums...tainted with her father's disgrace who fought her way into a flying academy even there she fought and found herself a place she called home to her fighting for her friends and her family to ensure that they can have home to her acknowledging her feelings and attaining her rightful role. It was honestly so well done and every aspect was nailed to perfection and when it comes to worldbuilding. Sanderson always excels himself.

So with a heavy heart and some tears I bid these characters farewell for quite some time until we get to see them again in whatever story Brandon casts in their world and in the new spin off skyward legacy. ❤️‍🔥
~~~
OMG I LITERALLY CANNOT WRITE THIS REVIEW RN. THE STATE THAT I AM IN IS INCAPABLE IF DOING ANYTHING THE ONLY THING I'LL SAY IS THAT YOU NEED TO READ THIS SERIES ASAP‼️
~~~
Here we go...
~~~
SPENSA IS COMING BACK HOME TMRW!!

Skyward was my first ever Brandon book and I'm not ready for this series to end....

Anna [Bran. San. Stan]

347 reviews215 followers

November 26, 2023

4.5 stars. A worthy conclusion to the Skyward series, action-packed, emotionally gripping, fast-paced, with a breathtaking Sanderlanche to top it all off.

***Mild spoilers for the previous books***

First and foremost, it was so good to see Spensa again, to see her finally reunited with what remains of Skyward flight – even if she has trouble fitting in after time and experiences have separated them, what with Spensa’s adventures on Starsight and in the Nowhere and Jorgen and company’s adventures on ReDawn and Evershore. Since Skyward flight was my favorite of all the flight crews Spensa has been a part of, I was really happy to see them together again.

On a more romantic note, Jorgen and Spensa pick up where they left off. From disagreement to lunch date, I liked how their relationship was handled; there was no unnecessary drama and even if both of them had some growing to do, they never lost faith in one another. Admittedly, Spensa did not make it easy on Jorgen, but Jorgen is Jorgen and he knows how to deal with her doing her own thing. What both of them don’t really know, however, is how to date, which makes it all the more fun.

“Was this the part where he swept me off my feet? I’d never understood that phrase. The only time I wanted to be carried was if I was bleeding out, and he was romantically carrying me to the medic.”

But let’s get back to the plot. The stakes are high in this one: Winzik is intent on domination and destruction, and even on the extermination of the human race. As in the previous books, his rhetoric and logic to justify this drove me up the wall; Winzik preaching about beings of “secondary intelligence” – like humans – being defined by panic, anger, and violence is the height of hypocrisy. He is very much capable of cold, calculated violence but apparently it’s okay to be aggressive if you do it without malicious intent. According to his twisted logic, him regretting what another person did justifies taking aggressive action. And to top it all off, he sells the "protection" of the “lesser” species as some kind of benevolent act, which allegedly serves to eliminate the risk of experiencing feelings like aggression and rage. As much as I loathed his – and the Superiority’s – reasoning, I appreciate what Sanderson did here: not only the idea that the seemingly benevolent, pacifist dominant power is anything but, but also the idea of this dominant power not ruling by military might, but through the control of information. I found that entire mindset fascinating, enraging yes, but also fascinating.

All in all, though, this book does not only offer you character growth with a dose of romance, a fast-paced plot with a multiple-PoV Sanderlanche, and the struggle of thwarting a villainous superpower; it’s also an exploration of empathy, grief, and change in general, which really resonated with me.

“… there was only one way forward. One way to survive the pain. With the help of so many, he walked the path on his own and found that you could get through darkness. Though sometimes a friendly light was required to show the way.”

So that’s it, friends, the (temporary) end of the Skyward series; bittersweet, yes, but the knowledge that the story continues in Skyward Legacy (currently being written by Janci Patterson, the author of the amazing Skyward Flight novellas) helps ease the pain a bit. I wonder if it will be about the mystery of the disappearance of Old Earth since that hook was placed in Defiant. But even if it doesn’t, I’m already looking forward to hopefully seeing more of our crew – and that’s quite an achievement since (YA) sci-fi is not my preferred genre and still I want more. Now, after Sanderson published five (!!) books this year, it’s time to settle in and wait for the release of Stormlight 5 (in December 2024) – and Skyward Legacy.

1 Skyward 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
2 Starsight 🌟🌟🌟🌟.25
2.1 Sunreach 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
2.2 ReDawn 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
3 Cytonic 🌟🌟🌟.75
3.1 Evershore 🌟🌟🌟🌟.25
4 Defiant 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

Lia Carstairs

464 reviews2,701 followers

Want to read

March 2, 2023

[update]: WE HAVE A COVER AND ITS STUNNING omg nov 21st please come fast !!

MY HEART IS SCREAMING FOR JORGEN AND SPENSA

    brando-sando fantasy young-adult

Sarah

765 reviews20 followers

December 18, 2023
    i-own-it read-2023 sci-fi

Avery (Taylor's version)

243 reviews853 followers

Want to read

February 26, 2023

OH MY GOD THE COVER I CAN'T IT'S GORGEOUS

    2023-releases i-m-scared-to-read-this i-need-to-read-this-book

TS Chan

760 reviews916 followers

November 26, 2023

Wow, that was an amazing and emotionally satisfying ending.

Sanderson has stuck the landing once again. Starting from The Lost Metal last year, to Defiant this year, and the most anticipated book in my life ever to-date, The Stormlight Archive #5, Sanderson is delivering 3 endings over 3 years, and 2 of them had been incredibly rewarding. I'm an emotional reader and series endings need to mean something, and if it makes me cry like this, it has done its job really well. Seriously, this book has strong emotional beats and all its characters (humans, non-humans, slugs, AI) mean so much to me.

The one thing I needed to say was how brilliantly executed the entire series had been in terms of Spensa's character growth and how it fits into the ultimate resolution of the final battle in this book. Spensa being isolated and on her own in the last two books was absolutely essential to bring about such a satisfying conclusion. She's practically unrecognisable from the girl we first met in Skyward, but yet retained enough of who she is at her very core while believably changed from her experiences in Starsight and the nowhere.

Excuse me while I go and hug Doomslug now.

    brandon-sanderson favorites

rose

240 reviews139 followers

Want to read

May 27, 2021

i really did forget that book three isn’t gonna be the finale wow

Lamaleluna

319 reviews1,206 followers

February 24, 2024

Muy bien Brandon!! 😋
Muchos años esperando la parte final (del primer arco) de la saga escuadrón. Brandon es mi autor favorito y con esta saga tuve una especie de relación amor odio, por suerte este cierre hace que me vaya con muy buena impresión y muy contenta!

Escuadrón fue lo primero que leí del autor, y a medida que iba continuando con los libros sentía que iba decayendo la calidad. Pero este cuarto libro logró remontar y volver a eso que tanto me gustaba del libro 1, los personajes.

Lo que lleva adelante la saga es definitivamente la protagonista. Podrán cambiar los personajes secundarios, los conflictos y la ambientación, pero es Spensa que sostiene estos 4 libros cómo una gran historia. Me gustó mucho ver cómo pudo crecer y madurar, destaco mucho el viaje y el crecimiento de spensa a lo largo de la saga. Si bien en tono de humor ella hace referencia a "los grandes héroes de la historia" creo que el autor lo hace a conciencia para mostrar ese mismo viaje del héroe en ella.

En este cuarto libro Brandon logró reunir TODO lo que había desplegado en los tres libros anteriores para llegar a un cierre épico y emocionante. Me gustó mucho reencontrarme con viejos personajes y ver lo unidos que se veían todos. Era lo que entraba de la saga.

El final fue emocionante y se me cayó alguna lágrima, no les voy a mentir. Obviamente me dejó con ganas de más, así que ya estoy en espera de Escuadrón Legado.

Si tengo que hacer algún comentario para ustedes les diría que no es una saga para leer dejando pasar tiempo entre libro y libro. Porque se pierden muchos detalles. Mi consejo es que lean todo de corrido. Lo van a disfrutar muchísimo más.

Recomiendo mucho los libros y creo que es de lo mejorcito no-cosmere que tiene Brandon.

Yo leyendo Desafiante: 😋🥺🫣😟😌

lydia ꒰ ಇ ꒱ (semi-hiatus for summer!!)

228 reviews436 followers

Want to read

November 24, 2023

Oh my gosh. OH MY GOSH.

that cover I-

I CAN’T

my beautiful girl is growing up 🤧

honestly though, it’s so beautiful. WHO GAVE SPENSA PERMISSION TO LOOK THAT GORGEOUS AND FIERCE AHHHHHHHHHH

this is making me 100 times more excited to read it ngl 🥹 there better be some REAL Jorgen content.

November is wayyyy too long of a wait 🥲

💫 edit 💫 11/23/23

I think it’s out!! Definitely need to rr the other books before I read this though hehe

    live-and-die-for-the-cover

Sylvie {Semi-Hiatus}

924 reviews1,585 followers

May 4, 2024

4.5 stars!

Am I finally in that phase where I’m ready to finish all the series that I was supposed to?

I can't believe I haven't added this book (till now) in my tbr-list.

    action adventure dystopian

Sofia

234 reviews8,099 followers

December 1, 2023

If an opportunity presents itself, you must snatch it or lose it to someone fiercer. You don’t have time to think, because if you think, you starve.

In Defiant, Spensa and company face down the Superiority for the last time in an explosive final endeavor that could bring lasting peace to the universe or destroy them all. Along the way, she finds new villains and friends in unexpected places. Defiant is very similar in tone and content to Cytonic, the previous installment in the Skyward tetralogy.

For me, a successful finale should do more than just wrap up the plot. It should leave me emotionally exhausted—the feeling of racing through something exhilarating and fighting to catch my breath at the end of it. Defiant is a satisfactory final book in that the conclusion of the plot is thoughtful and logical, we get to see characters from throughout the series interact with each other, and there’s an exciting final duel that leads to a satisfying end to this stage of Spensa’s life. But it didn’t wow me or leave me with a strong emotional impression like the ending of Skyward or Starsight. However, Defiant definitely succeeds in some signature Sanderson ways.

I like how all the characters contribute to the final stand in their own way. Even though Spensa is overwhelmingly powerful, she can’t do everything herself, which is one lesson she has to learn along the way. It’s very touching to see how many friends Spensa has made for herself on her journey and how many people now trust her.

Spensa is like a reader herself, given the opportunity to live out the stories she loves. She grew up regaled with tales of ancient conquerors and heroes, people who made larger-than-life achievements, people who never doubted themselves or questioned if the path they were on was the right one. She dreamed of becoming a heroine herself, of joining the ranks of those she had idolized. In a way, she got what she wanted, but reality was more complicated for her. Her moral questions, self-growth, and effort to understand people different from her make up the heart-warming backbone of this series. She’s truly a wonderful main character to follow, especially as she changes from a loner to a leader with intergalactic friends at her side.

My favorite part of the book was Brade’s character and her interactions with Spensa. Brade is a glimpse of whom Spensa could have been, either her polar opposite or her mirror image, depending on how you see it. I love their dynamic. They’re fascinated by one another. They recognize the power and potential in each other, but each wants to see it pointed in a different direction, dictated by their past experiences and the way they see the world.

Defiant is quite poignant, but more polished prose would have further elevated the emotional moments. There were plenty of scenes that could have made me step back, heart in my throat, to process—but most fell short for me personally because of their prosaic and almost rushed nature. In addition, the dialogue was strangely predictable, as if I knew what the characters (even the minor ones) were going to say and how they were going to say it, before they said anything at all.

Defiant is a solid ending to the Skyward tetralogy. It has action, politics, betrayal, friendship—everything you could want from a classic Sanderson novel. However, it did not leave me with a range of emotion that was varied or intense enough to make Defiant a memorable or impactful ending for me, so my final impression is ambivalent.

3/5

Carrot :3 (on a hiatus)

321 reviews110 followers

November 25, 2023

4.5 stars.

An amazing end to the series! The pages just flew by. I totally forgot how spirited Spensa was!

We get to see of all our favourite characters in the series again. Spensa, yet again, was written very well. Even the side characters with their own struggles were tied in well.

“But M-Bot, if it helps, I don’t think most people want to do what’s right. That’s what makes doing the right thing noble. It’s a conscious choice. A hard one. If it were easy, then why would we respect it so much?”

Not only was the plot heavy on fast paced action, it also focused on intense emotional journeys of various characters. We get to see them deal with grief, change, values of family and friendship added with a touch of romance and plenty of slugs!!!!! I still want a taynix for myself sooooooo bad!

Loved the illustrations thrown in between.

All in all, a gripping conclusion that did not disappoint. Super excited for the novellas that continue the series!

    2023 owned

aria

761 reviews114 followers

December 19, 2023

This was way darker than I expected but the slugs, THE SLUGS! They had me weeping in this book.

    animal-companion found-family military-fiction

౨ৎ

421 reviews46 followers

Read

December 8, 2023

8th December:
ok break because I’m reading too much so I’ll probably read this during the winter break 😭

28th nov 2023:
putting it aside to reread the rest of the series because this is confusing me

21st nov 2023:
SHES HEREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HAPPY DEFIANT DAY TO ALL WHO CELEBRATE!!

nov 2023:
SO CLOSE IM SCREAMINGGG

may 2023:
SO THE BOOK IS AVAILABLE ON AUDIBLE TO PREORDER AND IT SAYS ITLL BE 15 HOURS LONG IM SO READY ALREADY PREORDERED 🤭🤭

april 2023:
sometimes I think the only reason I’m continuing forward is bc every day we are one step closer to this book. i need spensa to come back to me < / 3

march 2023:
i keep coming back to this because spensa is a part of my daily thoughts and also did I mention THE COVER!????

february 2023:
THE COVERRRRR
SPENSA IS GORGEOUS I LOVE CHARLIE BOWATER SM ITS STUNNING WHATTT

(isn’t her hair WAY lighter on this one though)

september 2022: im reading starsight but im so excited for thiss

Ritz

186 reviews50 followers

November 24, 2023

I'm so sorry, but I think I was expecting way more. Thankfully, there's books after this one so I don't have to say goodbye quite yet.

Full review to come.

___

4/4/23 update: All I want from this book is cute Jorgen and Spensa moments. That's all.

3/11/21 (original): WAIT, HOW COME NO ONE TOLD ME THERE'S A FREAKING TITLE FOR THIS BOOK.

Robin (Bridge Four)

1,746 reviews1,571 followers

December 10, 2023

Bless Brandon Sanderson's stars, what a scudding great conclusion to this Series.

I am scudding in awe of the brilliance that is Brandon Sanderson. There are only a few authors out for me who continue to outshine my expectations almost each and every book and considering he published at least 5 winners for me this year alone the that extraordinary. My one regret is that I didn't have time to go back and re-read all the books in the series before reading the ending to a fantastic journey.

At the end of the story...at the end of the story, the hero came home, and found herself transformed...into someone who didn't belong, and could never belong, with the people she'd left behind. It was the same in almost every story she read.

Spensa is back from the nowhere and there is so much to do it they will every get out from under the thumb of the Superiority. She is also so lost, being changed by her experiences she feels very removed from the friends that once helped ground her. Spensa has always been a charge into battle first and ask for forgiveness later person. The humans and the rest of the alliance are in a life and death situation with a lot of planning, posturing and waiting. We all know that is not Spensa's strong suit.
Why hadn't anyone tole me how many meetings galactic war would involve? Maybe I would have surrendered. Torture couldn't possibly be worse than this.

At the end of this journey there are plenty of surprises, character growth and emotional moments. It is everything that I've come to expect from a great Sanderson story. I really loved the direction he took so many of the characters and the battle at the end of the book was EPIC. But don't worry Spensa is still Spensa and so there will be plenty of humor along the way to temper some of the more serious moments in the book.
"Drones," I said. "That's annoying. You mean I won't get to feast on the blood of my enemies?" I paused. "I wonder what motor oil tastes like."
Everyone in the room gaped at me. Except Jorgen, who laughed.
"Oh, don't look at me like that," I snapped at the others. "You invited me. This is what you get..."

Being with Spensa and the team again was fantastic. I loved all of our interactions with M-Bot and doomslug, they really steal the limelight when they are on page. Who knew one of my favorite characters in a series was going to be a slug. There are so many moments to love in this book and relationships between characters to enjoy. One of my favorites is between Gran-Gran and Spensa and we get some truly great moments with them.

If you haven't read this series you are in luck because the story is now complete and you can enjoy all of it at once, like a plan to do soon with a re-read. If you have read this series, well I hope you enjoyed it as much as me and are excited by the prospects mentioned at the end of the book.

Narration:

Suzy Jackson has done an incredible job this entire series. She is the voice of Spensa and was a perfect choice for the ball of fury that was that little girl we met way back in Skyward. I have enjoyed listening to her throughout this journey and think she performed all the characters well. She captured the humor and the emotion of all the characters making the story come to life. Thank you to Suzy for doing the entire series the justice it deserves.

    2023-reads 4-5-stars awesome-audio

kessa (taylor's version)

93 reviews18 followers

January 6, 2024

not to be dramatic but this broke me

    comfort-reads my-tears-ricochet

Cat Carstairs

271 reviews95 followers

May 5, 2024

My heart. I am wrecked.

Defiant (Skyward, #4) (23)

This book was a tumult of emotion, not simply because it was heart-wrenching and unpredictable. While those aspects played a part of my experience, to me Defiant was one big "goodbye," and I wasn't ready for it to end. I'm still not.

I started this series back in high school when the first book released, and they have been with me ever since. Certainly they fostered my found love for the sci-fi genre and my craving for starship fights, intergalactic politics, and alien worlds. These books have been an addiction since I first picked them up, and I'm not ready for the adventures to end, or to say goodbye to these loveable characters that I have learned and grown alongside for so long.

Defiant (Skyward, #4) (24)

*Spoilers for the series below!*

In the fourth and final book in the Skyward series, Spensa Nightshade has arrived back on her home planet, Detritus, completely changed by her experience in the Nowhere. She has not only uncovered the truth about the mysterious beings known as the delvers, but she bonded her soul with one, opening the gateway for a bevy of cytonic abilities she can't control. The evil galactic empire called the Superiority is on the verge of universal dominance, and its up to Spensa and her friends to take them down- before they wipe out humanity itself.

Spensa was a favorite main character of mine from the moment I first read Skyward. Her fierce, determined nature and unique ancient-warrior bravado keeps you smiling despite her desperation. She is admirable and funny, not one to let circ*mstances stop her from reaching the stars.

Spensa endured optimal character growth throughout these books, but her courage is truly put to the test in Defiant. While it was awesome to see her unleash her new powers, my heart broke for her as she isolated herself because of them. She goes from wanting nothing more than being a pilot to a girl who is weaponized because of her abilities. She had to come to terms with the realities and consequences of war, questioning everything she knew to be true. Spensa developed so much compassion because of what she was forced to do and it was beautiful to see.

"I don't think most people want to do what is right. That's what makes doing the right thing noble. It's a conscious choice. A hard one. If it were easy, then why would we respect it so much?"

Defiant (Skyward, #4) (25)

I loved seeing Spensa and Jorgen together too. If there's anything the past two books lacked, it is more moments with these two together. We haven't seen much of their interactions when Spensa's not on some high-stakes spy mission, and it was interesting to see them fall into their roles as pilot and admiral, and sometimes how their relationship chafed against their duties. My heart was full of butterflies for every kiss or embrace they shared, but I also loved seeing them work out their differences. Spensa did get pretty hotheaded in this book, always ready to rush off into danger or solve problems on impulse, but Jorgen remains an excellent contrast to her energy- they work well together.

Defiant (Skyward, #4) (26)

One of the main themes of this book was friendship, and while that may sound cheesy, I assure you, it was more powerful than the most eloquent of poems. It takes Spensa a while to realize that while she bears much of the burden of saving her people, she doesn't do it alone. It warmed my heart to see the return of her flight, including Kimmalyn, Arturo, Nedd, FM, and even Alanik, and how they supported Spensa through thick and thin. Of course, there was the return of M-Bot and the slugs, both of whom own my heart.

As always, the action in these books is profoundly cinematic. I really hope to see them adapted into a movie or TV show one day. I'm living for the space chases and head-to-head battle between humanity and the Superiority. Defiant especially provided a lot of that to my satisfaction.

Defiant (Skyward, #4) (27)

As mentioned earlier, this last installment was so unpredictable. I was literally gripping the book, unable to turn the pages fast enough. Between the emotional intrigue and the edge-of-your-seat action, I ended up flying through this one almost as fast as a starfighter through space. There's times when you promise yourself "just one more chapter," but this was more of a "I'm finishing this book and no one can stop me" situation. I was hooked.

The end of this book and this series was completely epic. I found myself in tears multiple times. From everything that happened in the final battle, to the resolution and the state of the galaxy in the aftermath...I was an emotional mess.

I'll admit, the way things ended was not what I expected, but not in a bad way. I do think the book deserved a bit more resolution- I wanted to see an explanation of events in the final battle and more of the characters during the aftermath.

I refuse to believe that this is the last I'll ever see of Spensa and her friends. I feel like I grew up with them, and it's too early to leave them behind. Though I'm sure they won't leave my thoughts- or my heart- for a very long time. And who knows? Maybe they'll return in Skyward Legacy.

Looking at you, Brandon Sanderson. I'll go cuddle a taynix while I wait.
"Do you know," I said, "what happens to the hero at the end of the stories?"
"Depends on the story."
"They go home," I whispered.

Skyward flight, sounding off.["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"]>

    favorites likely-will-reread physical-bookshelf

Jeraviz

968 reviews566 followers

January 24, 2024

Una saga que ha ido de más a menos.
La idea inicial me reconcilió con el mejor Sanderson. Una ciencia ficción juvenil, que me recordaba a El juego de Ender con un worldbuilding interesante. Pero curiosamente a medida que ha profundizado en ese worldbuilding se ha ido haciendo cada vez más aburrido.

No sé muy bien las razones. Creo que por un lado este tipo de libros sabes cómo van a acabar desde el principio: sabes que los protagonistas buenos no la van a palmar, sabes que el malo malísimo va a perder y sabes que hay algún personaje con un cartelito en la frente que pone: "Voy a palmar para salvar a la protagonista".

Lo único que nos queda por ver es el camino para llegar a todo eso, y tampoco ha sido gran cosa. En esta ocasión recupera un poco el tono y la acción del primero por lo que se agradece que no sea tan pelmazo como el tercero de la saga. Pero aún así no deja de ser una trama normal, para cuando te apetezca leer una cifi ligera.

    audiobook science-fiction

⊹ ⁺ ₊ ✧ she's book obsessed ✧ ₊ ⁺ ⊹

562 reviews261 followers

Shelved as 'not-for-me'

January 31, 2024

Yeah no, I wish I could get back into this series. I tried to read it and... nope I can't do it😭

・゚✧: *☆*⋆⋆*☾・゚:⋆*・゚
THIS COMES OUT TOMORROW OH MY GOD I FORGOT ABOUT THIS

    sci-fi

Hamad

1,149 reviews1,517 followers

November 29, 2023

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

Rtc...

Agus

367 reviews14 followers

January 30, 2024

Si después de Citónica, el tercero de la saga y peor, decidiste que no continuarías con ella, he de decirte que creo que estás cometiendo un grave error. Este volumen vuelve casi al nivel del primer libro, pero tiene claroscuros, por eso el no darle las 5 estrellas.

Por partes. Primero lo que menos me ha gustado. Parecía que con Yumi estaba haciendo el ejercicio de mejorar en las relaciones amorosas, pero al parecer todo quedó ahí. Ni siquiera es capaz de hacernos notar la tensión sexual entre jóvenes que ya puede estar cayéndoseles el mundo encima que un polvete rápido no lo perdonan.

Otra cosa muy a destacar en sus personajes es que pueden ser vacilones, chuletas, graciosos, etc... pero todos sus protagonistas tienen demasiadas pajas mentales, morales y, en definitiva, que están para tratar.

A añadir a sus personajes que opino que se le acaban yendo de las manos haciéndose demasiado poderosos, por encima de todas las expectativas. Hiperpoderosos y tocados, ese sería el resumen de este patrón.

Otra cosilla que ya vimos en Citónica, el cual considero casi prescindible... el tempo. De las tres partes de este libro, la segunda tiene momento en los que llega a ser aburrida.

Ahora lo bueno. Si midiéramos todo lo anterior, sería un 15% de mi opinión sobre este libro, el resto es ágil, divertido, frenético en ocasiones y con todo lo que esperaríamos de una novela del Brandon Sanderson que más nos gustaba, no de este de los últimos 3 o 4 años que está un poco absorbido por el Cosmere.

Laura Fantasyliterature

423 reviews793 followers

Read

December 25, 2023

Me ha gustado, mucho, pero no al nivel que los anteriores pues me olí bastante por dónde iba a ir. Aún así es un final justo y merecido para esta historia a pesar de que siga el universo en otros libros en el futuro. Si debo destacar algo sin hacer spoiler: amo a la abuela❤️‍🩹

Bibliotecario De Arbelon

315 reviews145 followers

December 1, 2023

Este ha sido un año cargado de novelas de Sanderson, pero, si soy sincero, probablemente la que más ganas tenía de leer era esta.

Con Desafiante cerramos la saga de Escuadrón y se cierra la gran trama que se inició en la primera novela, Escuadrón. Después del leve chasco que fue leer Citónica (aunque me gustó) he de decir que este remonta ese ligero bajón. La trama sucede a un ritme casi vertiginoso y apenas hay respiros para procesar todo lo que está sucediendo, especialmente en el tramo final.

Como en las anteriores obras de este universo, Desafiante esta cargada de acción, de babosas, de compañerismo y de emotividad. Un desenlace más que notable para la historia de Spensa.

Apunte: Es muy recomendable haber leído las novelas de Escuadrón Cielo para entender todo lo que sucede en este libro.

Choco Con Churros

672 reviews58 followers

January 2, 2024

Reto lector 2024 PopSugar Reading Challenge 19. Un libro ambientado en el futuro

Mucho me temo que quiero seguir leyendo la serie que viene después (Escuadrón. Legado). Me he quedado con ganas de más.
Pues me lo he pasado muy bien. Claro que para eso lee una. Y hay tantas maneras totalmente diferentes de que una lectura te lo haga pasar muy bien... esta ha sido a la manera ligera y juvenil, en un universo veloz y ¿pluri racial?¿ pluri Extraterrestrial?. La mayoría de ellos curiosamente tiernos (de una forma algo estrambótica) cuando te aproximabas a conocerlos un poco mejor hasta las babosa o las "frías" inteligencias artificiales flotantes abandonadas a su suerte involucionando de formas extrañas, o los seres mezclados, esclavos de su propia ventaja genética. Saltos entre dimensiones, aventuras espaciales... y contado, como dije, con ligereza y ritmo. Me hace ilusión pensar que hay una serie heredera y podré seguir con este universo😋. Reto 2024 y Destripadoras (Sanderson)

    aventura-espacial aventuras ciencia-ficción

Layla

376 reviews430 followers

January 26, 2024

Brandon Sanderson never disappoints.

    brandon-sanderson

Celestria

323 reviews308 followers

January 11, 2024

I didn't love the first half of this book, but the second half was way better, and I'm very happy with the ending. Also, M-bot and Doomslug ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Content warning: several uses of H- and D-word. B-word used 2 times.

Defiant (Skyward, #4) (2024)

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