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Skyward of Starsight?

Starsight or Skyward(which is better)   68 members have voted

  1. 1. Starsight or Skyward

    • Skyward
      40
    • Starsight
      28

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27 posts in this topic

Many of us have read both now.  What do you think?  Has the quality improved remarkably?  Is it just not quite as good? Are you horribly betrayed? 

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I think I like Skyward better only because its more self contained and theres a bigger emotional climax. M-Bot reprogramming himself to save Spensa is big feels. This book ends on a cliffhanger, and a somewhat grim one at that. And its so short!! I love a lot of things about Starsight, but thats my two-cents. Really excited to find out where the story goes for two more books.

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I like Starsight better mostly because I just barely read the book. It builds upon the plot and allows us to have a better understanding of the world in which Starsight takes place. For the story itself maybe Skyward was a little better written but for the plot itself I like Starsight.

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I like Starsight better. It just felt like Spensa was not a good fit for the spying plot. I can see what that did in terms of having great character growth potential, but it felt like very much a "round peg in square hole" kind of book. It was clearly intentional! But it didn't work as well for me.

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I usually enjoy the first book more so I liked Skyward.  I also liked the more intense feel of it and the commentary on bravery.

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i liked the alien cultures

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Startsight was superior in every way except it had a less satisfying ending ... definitely built upon everything Skyward established by a lot though and was very well paced IMO.

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I'm firmly in the Starsight camp. While I loved the ending, I felt Skyward felt too predictable and too YA throughout, and I thought the themes were a bit too on the nose. Starsight really blew up the proportions of the worldbuilding in a way that I was not at all expecting and made me all that much more excited to learn more about Spensa's story. The set-up of Skyward was obviously essential but I just found Starsight a more engaging read overall.

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This is a difficult choice! Kinda apples/oranges, in a way. Spensa's character development in Starsight seems better, until I remember where she actually started out in Skyward. I liked seeing more of the universe in book 2, but I missed all the characters from Skyward Flight, and also Spensa's mom. It was nice that Gran-Gran made an appearance though. :-)

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I would say a slight edge to Skyward.  I liked both a lot, but the downside of Starsight to me was that the story changed so abruptly from being about the plucky humans surviving against all odds in an austere environment to Spensa living as a spy in the ritzy alien capital in the blink of an eye.  It felt like we didn't get much time at all for her to sort of consolidate her gains from Skyward before she was plunged into the new plot.  Maybe if there could have been a few chapters where the (can't remember her name) new alien arrived on Detritus and sort of convinced Spensa to go or something.  Then again, what do I know..  I loved both personally.

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I definitely like Skyward more. I really liked Spensa's character arc in Skyward, and I feel like her growth in Starsight was kind of weak. The fact that she actually believed that all these alien people are just a cover for the destructive nature of the Superiority seems ridiculous to me. Suspecting that the cleaner is a spy is logical, but thinking that everyone is evil? That is just too far fetched.

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That was a hard decision... My gut answer was Skyward, but I picked Starsight. Skyward was easier to enjoy. The story was simple, the bad guys not complex, the action fresh. It was a fun story with some powerful moments. Starsight is a lot more complicated. There are things about it that I liked less, but I picked it for two reasons:

First, I thought this book was a masterful exploration of... cultures clashing? There's this whole soup of prejudices, culture shock, misunderstandings... I don't know how to begin breaking it down. I just know that every other scene addressed this theme in beautiful ways.

Second, the expanded world that Brandon built here is amazing. The diversity of alien species and cultures, the magic, the delvers... It feels like Skyward all happened in a small shack with the lights off, and Starsight opened the door to reveal a whole world out there.

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For me, Skyward is the easy choice, even though I also love Starsight.  (I started my re-read of Skyward on Thanksgiving, and then finished Starsight last night--technically this morning; so, I read them both very recently, and these thoughts are fresh in my mind.)

A cliffhanger ending will always taint my overall enjoyment of the book at least slightly.  And there's HUGE cliffhangers at the end of Starsight.  Does it make me want to read the next book?  Yes!  I'm very excited for what will happen, but it's also left a slightly sour taste left in the mouth.  The aftermath/ending in Skyward also did not completely undo most of the plot-related climax which had just been dealt with.

Is Detritus still hours away from being destroyed?  Yes.  Are the Delvers still a threat, because of Brade and the weapon which Winzik and their faction controls?  Yes.  Do the humans have any way off of Detritus?  No.  (Sure, they have a colony of the slugs, but we've also been shown that it takes some kind of machinery interacting with them to make the cytonic hyperdrive work; otherwise, Spensa stepping into the portal at the end would make no sense at all, since she has Doomslug with her.)

The problem with a cliffhanger like this is that it could (and I argue should) have been used to start the next book, rather than end this one.  The natural ending point is there, just after Jorgen finds all of the slugs on Detritus.  Or maybe just a few paragraphs after, when Spensa awakes in the hospital and Cuna tells her that the Delver is gone, that he's been talking with Admiral Cobb, and things look great; even through in how she thinks something feels off!  Just leave it at that, though.  I really feel like instead we got the worst ending in any published Sanderson work, despite an absolutely great overall novel.

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I haven't listened to the whole book yet and may dislike the ending as much as other people. Couldn't the real reason people don't like it is that it will most likely be two years at a minimum before the next one, unless he accidentally writes it?

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On 12/3/2019 at 5:11 PM, kaellok said:

otherwise, Spensa stepping into the portal at the end would make no sense at all, since she has Doomslug with her.)

 

I don't disagree with your thoughts about the cliff hanger, but my take on the scene you reference with the bit I quoted is a bit different. I was pretty sure the text said Spensa activated the portal with her mind, so her having Doomslug I think is more a function of rescuing Doomslug than needing to have her to enter the portal. 

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On 12/2/2019 at 8:44 AM, Lump-wing said:

 It was nice that Gran-Gran made an appearance though. :-)

She makes excellent pies!

cute-food-pie-thumbnail.jpg

As for Skyward vs. Starsight I went with Starsight. As @Jofwu said, Skyward was easier to enjoy due to the uncomplicated villains and rather linear plot. My first read through of Starsight I enjoyed it but felt like there was a bit too much going on. I just finished my 2nd read through and enjoyed it far more (if you haven't I'd highly recommend re-reading it). The character development is really what makes the book and for me made it the better book. Also Hesho is just wonderful.

Edited by The Sovereign
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Skyward is definitely the better book. 

The plot for Starsight meanders quite a bit and I felt some segments just stretching my belief a bit too much even accounting for sci-fi creativity. A girl and a ship hiding behind a hologram undetected though the security systems of advanced station with multiple aliens for multiple weeks...seriously? And Spensa convincing the Delver to leave ranks at par with "kiss saves hero" type cringe worthy endings. 

Loved the cliffhanger where Spends steps into unknown and setting the scene for the next book. 

Overall a weaker book, both in plot and content. 

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On 12/3/2019 at 5:17 PM, Angsos said:

I haven't listened to the whole book yet and may dislike the ending as much as other people. Couldn't the real reason people don't like it is that it will most likely be two years at a minimum before the next one, unless he accidentally writes it?

I get your concern... But don't try to jump in my head and tell me what's there. Not mad, not trying to start a fight, just saying that, having not even read the ending yourself, witholding judgement is polite. I wouldn't call it a bad ending or a bad book by any stretch, but satisfying? No. It's a rankling cliffhanger with the best of them, and I think that was probably intentional. You keenly hint at truth that the further context of two more books may change how this ranks however, we may find that this book reeeaaally sets up some great stuff later, and that would be sweet, but knowing what happens next won't change how jarring the ending is

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On 12/2/2019 at 6:11 PM, agrabes said:

I would say a slight edge to Skyward.  I liked both a lot, but the downside of Starsight to me was that the story changed so abruptly from being about the plucky humans surviving against all odds in an austere environment to Spensa living as a spy in the ritzy alien capital in the blink of an eye.  It felt like we didn't get much time at all for her to sort of consolidate her gains from Skyward before she was plunged into the new plot.  Maybe if there could have been a few chapters where the (can't remember her name) new alien arrived on Detritus and sort of convinced Spensa to go or something.  Then again, what do I know..  I loved both personally.

This is pretty much how I felt too. I really enjoyed Starsight and like the transition from Sci-Fi to Space Opera, but I found myself missing the previous cast more and more as the book went on (the first person POV and 3-4 Jorgen interludes became a constraint, and will continue to be so to the scope of the story as we keep exploring more of this universe). 

 

On 12/3/2019 at 6:24 AM, Jofwu said:

That was a hard decision... My gut answer was Skyward, but I picked Starsight. Skyward was easier to enjoy. The story was simple, the bad guys not complex, the action fresh. It was a fun story with some powerful moments. Starsight is a lot more complicated. There are things about it that I liked less, but I picked it for two reasons:

First, I thought this book was a masterful exploration of... cultures clashing? There's this whole soup of prejudices, culture shock, misunderstandings... I don't know how to begin breaking it down. I just know that every other scene addressed this theme in beautiful ways.

Second, the expanded world that Brandon built here is amazing. The diversity of alien species and cultures, the magic, the delvers... It feels like Skyward all happened in a small shack with the lights off, and Starsight opened the door to reveal a whole world out there.

Weirdly enough, the spy angle, while it worked for me, was too reminiscent of Shallan in WoK and WoR for me to really enjoy it (...Skward's really nailing that Storm-lite theme huh ;) ). The themes were great, and the new characters were fun, but for most of the book I had this nagging feeling that Sanderson had already done this before, and it left me a tad disappointed. 

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13 hours ago, TequilaJack said:

Skyward is definitely the better book. 

The plot for Starsight meanders quite a bit and I felt some segments just stretching my belief a bit too much even accounting for sci-fi creativity. A girl and a ship hiding behind a hologram undetected though the security systems of advanced station with multiple aliens for multiple weeks...seriously? And Spensa convincing the Delver to leave ranks at par with "kiss saves hero" type cringe worthy endings. 

Loved the cliffhanger where Spends steps into unknown and setting the scene for the next book. 

Overall a weaker book, both in plot and content. 

I would agree with all these points, though I would hasten to add, it's not like I didn't enjoy reading Starsight. I did like the way it portrayed the multi-species interaction, and the way the Superiority's patronizing philosophy was basically policing thoughtcrime.

At least it turned out that Vapor, the "figment", had cottoned to Spensa's true nature early on, as befits the fact that the advanced hologram tech she was using to disguise herself with was of figment origin. And Winzik the varvax using a willing human cytonic in Brade to make a power play over Cuna and the dione-controlled Superiority was an interesting turn at the end. Especially when I went back and finally read Defending Elysium.

And the Doomslug-is-a-cytonic-hyperdrive reveal had been pretty clearly telegraphed even back in Skyward.

All in all, it felt more like Skyward could be a self-contained novel after which you could sit back and imagine lots of things where things would go next, while Starsight was very much a bridge novel to a bigger conclusion. Most of Sanderson's works have endeavored to make each book satisfying on its own; this one was less so in that regard than most.

I wonder if I'd have felt the same way had I read The Well of Ascension as it came out, instead of reading the entire Mistborn Era 1 trilogy in one pass?

Edited by robardin
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I have voted for starsight because following up on a first book is always more difficult and I think this book 2 was done very well. 

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I seriously can't decide. Book 2 was very different from book 1, and very different from what I expected. Even then I enjoyed it so much. It's just a little hard to compare. Book 1 got me way more emotional with all the deaths, and it kept me on the edge of me seat because I knew there could be a batte or death at any moment. On the other hand, book 2 had a much slower pace but was just as entertaining. 

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It was a hard choice but I like Skyward better. Starsight was much more informative but it dragged a bit in place and the ending was a huge cliffhangar. Skyward also had a cliffhangar ending but it was a bit more resolved, even if the whole plot was more predictable.

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I felt a little let down by satarsight it felt to simple and kiddy 

We knew exactly who the good guys and bad guys were with only a few wildcards 

Tge entire plot is a pretty obviously fabricated one that amounts to nothing.

And her big revelation is that not all aliens are bad and not all humans are good. I could have told you that at the beginning of the book

I feel like Brandon was rushed to meet a deadline and just didn’t deliver his normal quality stuff 

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On 10/27/2020 at 10:47 PM, Starborn42 said:

I seriously can't decide. Book 2 was very different from book 1, and very different from what I expected. ...

I logged in just to say I appreciate that you wrote "different from." It's one of my grammar pet peeves when people use [the other word which I shall not mention] instead of "from" (I'm a business writer for my day job), and you have made my tiny language-loving heart very happy today. :) Cheers!!

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