Cytonic (Skyward #3) – Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 415
Release Date: November 23, 2021

Haven’t read the first two novels, Skyward and Starsight? Check out my reviews HERE and HERE.

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.

To have courage means facing fear. And this mission is terrifying.


I’m going to keep my review short and spoiler free since Cytonic is the third novel in the series. I’ll also add the disclaimer that Sanderson is one of my all-time favourite authors, so I might be slightly biased.

I really loved Cytonic, especially after the lack of skyward flight in the previous novel, Starsight. Despite Cytonic following a similar path, it employs one of my favourite scifi tropes: exploring a new world.

Cytonic follows Spensa as she travels to the Nowhere and learns life altering information. Spensa’s time in the Nowhere was incredible and I loved every second of it. Sanderson packs a lot of information into this novel that will be important to the world moving forward, not just the series. 

Cytonic introduces new characters that feel real and jump off the page. They are a wealth of information that Spensa takes advantage of and I’m grateful she doesn’t walk around blissfully ignorant for the entirety of the novel.

Overall, Cytonic has renewed my love of the Skyward universe and I cannot wait for the fourth novel, Defiant, despite it not being a Cosmere novel.


Have you read Cytonic? What did you think?

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