Review | CYTONIC by Brandon Sanderson

Review of CYTONIC (Skyward #3) by Brandon Sanderson

“Sometimes it’s too easy to forget the things you should remember — and far too easy to remember the things you really should forget.”

– Cytonic
Brandon Sanderson

Sanderson proves once again in ‘Cytonic’ that his imagination has no limits


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 has 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 predato

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. 


In Cytonic we follow Spensa again, but this time she is on a mission in the no man’s land. A place even more dangerous and mysterious than we thought.

The world was built up even more in Cytonic, something that didn’t seem possible to me. We also got to see a lot of many revelations that built on the plot.

Still, this book is not my favorite from the series. I also felt that this book contained quite a bit of padding. There was action in it, but not as much as in the first two books. I felt like Cytonic contained the same cycle again as the previous two books: Spensa finds a new group of people and starts bonding and training with them. In Skyward it made sense to follow that build up, and I understood why Sanderson reused it in Starsight, but then to repeat it again in Cytonic…. I expected something more.

Also, I would have liked to see the characters from the first book back in the story. It made sense that they didn’t appear in Star View, but I thought – and hoped – that they would be back by now, but they weren’t. I hope to see the original crew again in the next book!

The plot twists in this book are genuinely incredible, though. At the beginning of Cytonic, I thought I knew exactly what was about to happen. I didn’t. My prediction turned out to be far too easy. The imagination of author Brandon Sanderson is truly amazing.

Much of this book is devoted to the character growth of the characters. We get to know Spensa and M-Bot better as they get to know themselves better. There is no doubt that Spensa’s character growth was amazing, amazing itself. The things she discovered about herself? Wonderful! Sanderson’s characters are always wonderfully written. Also, the friendship between Spensa and M-Bot grows tremendously in Cytonic. I really loved their friendship in this book!

Even though it wasn’t my favorite of the three books in terms of plot and action, I thought Cytonic was worth reading.

And that ending! Ahhh, I can’t wait for book four.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, the story continues in an interesting way, and we get to know Spensa a little better.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.



Trigger warnings
Death, war, grief, violence
Gender-neutral characters, characters of colour
Science fiction
Publication date
November 23rd 2021
Delacorte Press
About the author
Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.

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