Cover Image: Defiant


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Member Reviews

AHHHH I'm obsessed with this series and so sad to be done with it. I had so much fun and loved all of the characters -- M-Bot was definitely my favorite! This was such a great ending to the series, and I definitely recommend it to anyone especially my students!

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Thank you NetGalley and Random House Children's for the E-arc!
An amazing solution to an absolutely fantastic series! I definitely recommend rereading the previous books if it's been a minute since you read them, as it certainly helped me reengage with the story and understand everything that was going on. However, this series is worth every read as it is just packed Full of fantastic characters and really innovative and unique twists.
Brandon Sanderson just has a way with science fiction, and I think this is a fantastic series for those looking to start reading some of his works.

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Book Summary:

It all comes down to this. One of the last human colonies in the galaxy has been resisting the Superiority, and from the looks of things, they'll be making their final stand soon. Either they will win, or all will be lost.

Spensa has become a hero of her people. She is a Cytonic, but she's more than that. She survived hiding under the Superiority's nose. She made it into and out of Nowhere. She faced a Delver (and survived). Now, she'll have to find an even more impossible way to survive with her allies at her side.

My Review:

The time is here! Skyward is finally ready to come to an end. Okay, I'm a few months late in reading the finale (I had to amp myself up for the goodbye, as usual), but you understand. Defiant is the fourth and final novel in the Skyward series, and we all know it will go hard.

Admittedly, it did take me a little bit to get back into the swing of things with Defiant. I probably should have re-read Cytonic as preparation; oh well. But once I was in, I was hooked! This was the perfect storm of an ending, with everything coming together (including events/characters from the novellas).

Learning more about the Delvers helped add to the battle's complexity. It quickly became clear (to readers and characters alike) that this wouldn't be an easy battle. More importantly, Defiant made us question if a battle was the right way to go about things, which I appreciated.

That said, the actual battle was fantastic – all the more so because of the weight it carried, alongside the secondary events kicking off behind it. It was a bittersweet ending, but perfect for the world (universe) our characters have been working for.

I'll admit one part of the ending was particularly satisfying. It's nice to see all the slugs getting what they deserve (and I mean that in a "they deserve the world" sense, obviously). So, major bonus points for that.

YA Science Fiction
Space Adventures/Battles
Cytonic Characters
Multiple Perspectives

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In this final exciting book of the Skyward series, Spensa has grown by leaps and bounds as a character. She begins the book trying to fit in after having been gone in the nowhere on her pseudo-quest. Her peers have changed in the time as well, with Jorgen being the new commander. M-Bot is absent, but now Chet is joined with Spensa, creating new cytonic powers she needs to learn to harness. The Superiority is continuing its relentless mission to rule the whole galaxy, and Spensa thinks that she is the one who can stop them.
This book, like all of the others in the series, does not disappoint and leaves the reader hoping for a continuation. The plot structure is spot on, and you really get a sense of being in Spensa’s head. The addition of the other characters’ voices in the last part added a lot to the book as well. 4.5 stars for an excellent read!

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What else is there to be said about Brandon Sanderson? At this point, from a writing standpoint, he can do no wrong. I have yet to read a book by him that I didn't absolutely adore and this is no exception. Man, can he write an ending. What an awesome way to cap off this series!

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This was a wonderful end to the series! The antics and relationships between the characters were absolutely wonderful here! And the death of Gran Gran almost made me cry! I will say, I think this could have used an extra 50-100 pages, as it felt like everything moved a bit fast, but other than that this was great!

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Sanderson finished up this quartet so beautifully and powerfully with Defiant, I ended up bittersweetly wishing there was more -- only to very pleasantly find out that there in fact WILL be more! I'm excited to read more about the side characters and see where their journeys take them!

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The gripping conclusion to the Skyward series, beginning with Spensa returning to her team and determining what her new cytonic abilities can do. While they've kept Winzik at bay, there is still a lot of work to be done to stop the Superiority. As the story unfolds, new truths are discovered and it changes what everyone knew about humanity and the galaxy and Spensa struggles to figure out the best course of action. Overall, a fast paced finale that introduces new plotlines but also helps wrap up the arc while showcasing the character's growth.

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Wow, what a journey! Full of fire, courage, and adventure, in this coming of age saga, Spensa and her friends must fight to protect what they hold dear.

I loved how this book explores the evolving dynamics in friendships and relationships, as Jorgen and Spensa rise in the ranks. I liked how we get to see how everyone has stepped up into their roles, as well as how much they have grown and adapted to the worlds that have opened up to them.

Engaging, and filled with Sanderson's signature humor this was a fitting conclusion, that kept me engaged and excited for the spin off series!

I received a complimentary ecopy of this book. Opinions are my own!

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Thank you, Publisher and Netgalley for this advanced copy.

One of the best YA space opera was finally ended and I wished I could read more about this

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As much as I love Brandon Sanderson, I always get a little nervous about his endings. His skills as an unparalleled storyteller can be a double-edged sword as the weight of expectations for a satisfying conclusion grows exponentially, not to mention I have definitely let my own hype burn me before. Yet, with Defiant, the fourth and final installment of the Skyward series, Sanderson did not let me down. Not only did he smash expectations, he has crafted an ending that feels at once resounding and poignant.

As always with a review of a sequel, please be aware there may be references and possible spoilers for the previous books. Defiant picks up soon after the ending of Cytonic, with Spensa dealing with the aftermath of her little sojourn in the Nowhere. The things she saw there may have changed her forever, but they’ve also provided the answers to a lot of questions she has about her own gifts. While she was gone, though, her fellow squad mates of Skyward Flight have been busy as well, as those who have read the novellas may be aware. But upon Spensa’s return, the entire team is joyous as they welcome her back into their ranks. Together, they will take the fight to the next level.

For one thing, the Superiority has not been idle either, continuing to tighten their stranglehold on the galaxy. With the formidable Winzik at its head, they are launching an unrelenting assault on the Defiant Defense Force, compelling Skyward Flight to meet this challenge head-on. Using the intelligence Spensa has gathered on her journeys, they will have more than a fighting chance. The stakes are higher than ever as the conflict escalates, and the fate of not just humanity hangs in the balance. New alliances have been negotiated and new friendships have been forged along the way, and in the final showdown, every fighter will need to draw upon their unique strengths to stand against the overwhelming threat of the Superiority.

I have to say, the more I turned the pages of Defiant, the more my initial worries dissipated, quickly giving way to hope and then relief and admiration as the plot thundered its way towards an epic climax and conclusion. As a final book, it succeeds in doing what it was designed to do: tie up loose ends, deliver on its promises, and leave readers with satisfying closure.

One of the book’s triumphs lies in the fact that Skyward Flight is whole once again. And indeed, the previous installment, Cytonic, was perhaps the weakest book of the series as well as the strongest argument for keeping the whole gang together. Having Spensa off off galivanting in the Nowhere helped develop what we know about the Delvers, the slugs, and cytonic abilities, but the move also split the focus and disrupted the balance. As Sanderson’s books often feature themes of teamwork, celebrating the victories that result when individuals unite for a common cause, Defiant does a great job hammering this point home.

Certain relationships are also given more attention. Spensa has grown so much as a character, and these changes are addressed in her interactions with her flight mates, none so prominently as her dynamic with Jorgen. Their romance, which has had its ups and downs, gets a jolt of energy in this one, as they reconnect and try to work out some lingering issues. Wait, a couple that actually talks to each other instead of just letting their misunderstandings fester and blow up? Seriously, does this Sanderson guy even know how to do YA? All joking aside though, Spensa and Jorgen are truly wonderful together. While some of their conversations are awkward as hell, they are awkward because they feel real, which in turn makes it cute. Ah, to be free of manufactured drama for the sake of drama, it does feel so refreshing!

I also love me a classic struggle between good and evil. Spensa’s enmity with Brade forms a captivating dichotomy that adds another layer of intensity to the story, and the evolution of their relationship from a mere rivalry is a good example of the superb character development we see in this series. The two are different sides of the same coin—similar in a lot of ways, but in the end it’s the choices and complexities of morality that define us.

In sum, I loved Defiant, which delivered an engaging and impactful conclusion to the Skyward series. For fans, this novel will be the grand finale we’ve yearned for and is a testament to Brandon Sanderson’s talents. It’s a fitting end that wraps up this chapter for Skyward Flight while leaving readers yearning for more adventure in the next stage in the journey, revealed to be Skyward Legacy.

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One of my favorites from the series so far! This fourth installment feels like it is getting back to where this series started in the best way. I loved seeing tons of old characters in some new situations. A great read from beginning to end. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

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Defiant is a fitting conclusion to the four book Skyward series - tune in for Stephen's non-spoiler review!

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I’ve been hooked on this series since pretty much the first chapter of Skyward. It’s been so much fun, with great action, characters and mystery. And who can resist charming fluting pet slugs, an alien race of cute but fierce and poetic tiny fox-squirrels, and a sometimes-snarky, often-sweet AI?

Since the publication dates of these books were spaced out a bit, I took the time to re-read all the previous ones before reading Defiant. I wanted to remember all the details so I wouldn’t get confused. My re-reading included the first three in the series as well as the Skyward Flight novellas. Sometimes “extras” like these in other series just allow readers to enjoy more time in their favorite worlds. But the information the Skyward Flight stories provided about what was happening on Detritus while Spensa was gone made a real difference in understanding the full story in Defiant. I highly recommend reading them.

In this last book of the series, Spensa emerges from the Nowhere understanding who she is and what she can do as a cytonic. Meanwhile, her friends and leaders of Detritus have been learning a lot about the slugs, and Jorgen is coming into his own as a leader and cytonic, but with different powers than Spensa. All that knowledge is going to be crucial if the humans and their allies are to defeat Winzik, who has taken over the Superiority and focusing on crushing this “very aggressive” rebellion.

Spensa can do a lot to help her fellow humans, but she’s worried about what will become of her: with what she is, she may be unable to just relax and enjoy being with her friends and family if they do defeat the Superiority.

Everything comes together in Defiant, and I loved every minute of it. Sanderson pulled in beloved characters to do some awesome things, we saw growth in Spensa, and the denouement was very satisfying. Bonus: there will be a bit of a continuation/spinoff of the story in another set of books. Yahoo!!

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When I picked up Skyward last year, the twist was probably the best plot twist I have ever read, and I waited until the final book was almost released to finish the rest of the series. This was well worth it in my opinion, and having finished Defiant, I can definitely say this series is my favorite YA science-fiction series. The journey we've taken with Spensa has been amazing, and Brandon Sanderson has not disappointed with Defiant. Definitely one of my top recommendations at my bookstore for YA sci-fi readers.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children's for providing the ARC.

Imagine my surprise and joy to see this book available as an ARC! I've been following the Skyward Series for a while now, and I am so excited for the conclusion.

Since I don't want to be to spoilery, I just want to say that I really enjoyed this installment and felt that it was an excellent conclusion to a wonderful series. Spensa has remained an interesting character throughout the series, something that not all YA books can claim, and Brandon Sanderson excels at closing this story arc in the best way. Fully enthusiastic about this ending and I know that fans of the series will devour this one up.

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We have made it to the final installment of the Skyward Series and I loved every book within it. Spensa Nightshade has come a long way through a lot of trials and tribulations as well as the growth she has experienced through each installment. M-Bot has always been one of my favorite characters and we still get to see Chet following along from Book #3.
I feel as though Spensa has sacrificed a lot of herself to protect the people she loves, but as we come to this book, we start to see how far she is willing to go to win and to overcome the final obstacles in her way.
I love the diverse way in which Brandon Sanderson writes, He can go from writing YA to high epics to space adventures and creating unique magic systems. I feel this could be a great series for someone who enjoys space fantasy that isn't too "adult" but is a lot of fun.

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Spensa and friends must defeat the Superiority if they want to survive. Spensa deals with out of control powers, learning to rely on others, and dealing with the delvers. Will the humans of Detritus and their allies come out on top?

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Another exceptional installment to the Skyward series, which just keeps getting better. These characters are so much fun to root for.

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Brendon Sanderson can do no wrong. Defiant was an absolute delight. Somehow he writes YA books that are so perfect for young and old alike. The growth seen in all of these characters has been fantastic to read. The way they think about and discuss the morality of war and their place in it is so much deeper than you get in a normal YA book. I’ve been totally engrossed with this series and I’m sad to see it come to an end, but I’m so glad to know that we are going to be getting more from this universe in the future.

Thank you #Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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