It turned out that strange little girls grow up to be strange young women.
THIS IS MY FIRST SANDERSON BOOK AND WOWWOWWOW. Can you tell I was blown away? Um, because I am. So much so that I am willing to FINALLY write good review when I haven’t done one in AGES. I don’t really knew what finally had drawn me to this book (other than the gorgeous cover done by Charlie Bowater). I don’t read a TON of sci-fi so I’m kind of pickier about the ones I choose. This book has a lot of really good ratings on Goodreads and was available on Libby so I decided to go for it randomly. Boy am I glad I did.
“It has always seemed to me,” she said, “that a coward is a person who cares more about what people say than about what is right. Bravery isn’t about what people call you, Spensa. It’s about who you know yourself to be.”
While I don’t think the writing was anything completely new that blew me away (I mean look, I’ve read a LOT of stuff at this point in my life, lol) Sanderson is obviously a talented author. The world building took some time but I never felt like anything was missing or that I was needing more up until Spensa, the main character, decided that SHE needed to know more. The characters were all super fleshed out and likable and the plot kept me reaching for answers, greedily. While a tiny part of me wishes there could have been a romance (because I’m a sucker and live for that), the fact that there wasn’t one didn’t detract from the story at all.
My confidence was that of a person who knew. Nobody could ever again convince me I was a coward. It didn’t matter what anyone said, anyone thought, or anyone claimed. I knew what I was.
“Are you ready?” M-Bot said.
“For the first time ever, I think I am. Give me all the speed you can. Oh, and turn off your stealth devices.”
“Really?” he said. “Why?”
“Because,” I said, leaning into the throttle, “I want them to see this coming.”
Hands down, the best part of this book (other than M-Bot obvs) is Spensa. At first she comes off as kind of a maniac, lol, but a loveable one. You know exactly why she is why she is and it makes sense. However, throughout the entirety of the book we get to see more of her. Watching her growth and even…self-doubt and self-reflection on, let’s face it, some super heavy stuff was brilliant. I loved the narrative on what it is that makes a human a coward—what it is that makes them brave. What makes them Defiant. I felt for her throughout the whole book, I really did and thought that even though she’s just as flawed as anyone else, that she really is one of the bravest characters that I’ve ever read about because she had the guts to be scared and know her limits and pushed past them anyway. That last fight scene……….like holy wow you guys. My heart was pounding, RACING, the entire time. That quote above. *chef kiss* I CANNOT wait to get my hands on book two.
“I…didn’t completely turn off,” the machine said. “Instead, I thought. And I thought. And I thought. And then I heard you calling me. Begging for my help. And then…I wrote a new program.”
“I don’t understand.”
“It was a simple program,” he said. “It edited one entry in a database, while I wasn’t looking, replacing one name with another. I must follow the commands of my pilot.”
A voice played out of his speakers. My voice. “Please,” it said to him. “I need you.”
“I chose,” he said, “a new pilot.”