Humanity lives underground on an alien world, under threat of annihilation by a race called the Krell, who they know nothing about.

Spensa is a seventeen year old girl with a massive chip on her shoulder. Standing less than five feet tall and given to making grandiose and bizarre threats to people that anger her, her only dream is to be a pilot in the Defiant Defense Force and fight the Krell. However, her father was branded a coward for a mysterious incident during a battle for the survival of the race, and that brand was passed on to Spensa, making it unlikely she’ll ever be accepted by the DDF.

However, as the desperate war against the Krell progresses, Spensa may prove to be humanity’s only chance to stave off extinction.

Skyward is a 500+ page book that doesn’t feel nearly that long. It moves along at a good pace and does a good job of dangling various mysteries in front of the reader, keeping them turning the pages.

The characters are fun and interestingly drawn, but the book doesn’t shy away from the reality of combat as the DDF takes heavy losses throughout the conflict. The aerial fighting scenes go from exhilarating to gut-wrenching and back again, rapidly, and are very well drawn in prose.

The ending is a clear setup for the second book in the series but provides enough answers and closure to not leave the reader hanging. This book is recommended to readers of action-adventure and sci-fi, along with anyone who likes extreme underdog characters who simply will not quit when the odds are stacked against them.