I’ve always been a huge Sanderson fan, so I was interested to see how he’d tackle a story outside his fantasy wheelhouse. At first, the story didn’t quite give me the same feeling I get from Sanderson novels. Through the first half of the book, it was good but nothing special.
But then things started to come together in that amazing way Sanderson always does it. The second half of the book was great, and I had to know the answers to the various mysteries of the world Sanderson had created.
As far as worldbuilding goes, this is quite different from Sanderson’s usual work. It’s a far-future science fiction setting. It’s not hard science fiction by any means, but it’s definitely not his usual epic fantasy.
The characters were one of the greatest strengths of this book. The main character, Spensa, was a bit annoying at first, but over the course of the book, she developed into a better character. Even some of the characters you didn’t like at first came around in the end.
The action was perhaps not as frequent as I would have liked. There was a lot of time devoted to training exercises, which aren’t always the most interesting. But when the action did happen, it came fast and furious and had me glued to the pages. The last third of the book was especially great in this regard, as everything came together in the so-called “Sanderstorm.”
Overall, I really liked this one. It’s not my favorite Sanderson novel, but that’s a difficult standard to measure up to.