The Wulver’s Library‘s Review of Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson
Cytonic is the third book in Brandon Sanderson‘s sci-fi series Skyward, continuing Spensa’s journey across the galaxy to save the world from chaos. We are introduced to a whole host of supporting characters, alliances and even some familiar faces but in typical Brando-Sando style, there are twists and turns along the way. Spensa has made it through the other side of the portal in book two – Starsight – but this has landed her in Nowhere, a place known to be the home of the Delvers that few have returned from. The timeless emptiness that she will explore as a Cytonic proves to be as mysterious and cruel as the name suggests.
We are introduced to a handful of new characters. In the Nowhere she finds Chet Starfinder, an explorer, and together with M-Bot we have our comedic pairing that keeps the interactions interesting yet thoughtful. We have the Broadsiders, space pirates with their own way of living, who Spensa joins and together we are on course for a space fight for the ages as Spensa tries to leave the Nowhere, learn its secrets and return to her family and friends.
There are a lot of brilliant elements of this book but there were also a lot that felt much like an information-filler novel. I enjoyed Starsight a lot and this felt like a step-back from that. Instead of a fast-paced, exciting journey we had a focussed, personal mission that read more like a side quest in this overall story until the final pages. The characters we met previously are absent except for a few Jorgen-moments but the novellas set in between do their best to fill that hole and I can see why they have that purpose. This has turned into more of a universal story instead of solely Spensa’s.
Cytonic is definitely an information overload and there’s a lot to take in about Cytonics and the Nowhere. Spensa learns a lot about the Delvers, their role in the universe, the Superiority and there’s no denying that although this universe has been made larger with the revelations of Cytonic, there’s also a lot of information to be lost if you aren’t following carefully enough. The story does have plenty of character growth and Sanderson writes developing relationships with ease. These new characters are full of unique traits and spoiler-filled stories but I felt that the consequences of these actions were not as explosive as before.
Cytonic does set the tone for the next instalment. In normal fashion, more questions than answers are posed at the end but this was a story to get to know Spensa better, to find out the past, to make revelations and I’m hoping that the next one will thrust us back into the overall story.