3rd September 2022
A shorter step back into Brandon Sanderson's Skyward series with this first of three novellas co-authored by Janci Patterson, focussed on secondary characters who don't get focus time in the main novels.
This one follows FM, a pilot, as she goes about her daily business of flying battles and investigating slugs, roughly in parallel to the third main novel.
It took me a few chapters to get back into the swing of the universe, but once there I was just as, if not more, hooked by the narrative. There's a subtly different tone to the writing I think which makes it easier to read, less choppy perhaps, and I'm not sure whether this is because of the shared authorship or a deliberate stylistic choice because of the change of focus character.
It'll be really interesting to see how the subsequent two novellas compare.
The second of Patterson and Sanderson's novellas set in this universe, we follow the story from a new cultural point of view.
As well as providing a new insight into known characters and factions, this provides for a fascinating bonus piece of world-building as we see an alien culture up close with many differences from the humans we've otherwise spent time with.
The plot surprised me this time by feeling far more integral to the overall storyline of the series. I was expecting these novellas to just be supplementary, but this really feels like it's necessary reading, and that everything here is going to come to affect the final novel.