Audiobook Review: CYTONIC by Brandon Sanderson

Title in white on pink background with a girl in a space suit and billowing hair
Genre: Sci-Fi
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: yes - third book



Book cover for CYTONIC: title in white below dark starry image of girl standing on an asteroid

Spensa’s life as a Defiant Defense Force pilot has been far from ordinary. She proved herself one of the best starfighters in the human enclave of Detritus and she saved her people from extermination at the hands of the Krell—the enigmatic alien species that has been holding them captive for decades. What’s more, she traveled light-years from home as an undercover spy to infiltrate the Superiority, where she learned of the galaxy beyond her small, desolate planet home.

Now, the Superiority—the governing galactic alliance bent on dominating all human life—has started a galaxy-wide war. And Spensa’s seen the weapons they plan to use to end it: the Delvers. Ancient, mysterious alien forces that can wipe out entire planetary systems in an instant. Spensa knows that no matter how many pilots the DDF has, there is no defeating this predator.

Except that Spensa is Cytonic. She faced down a Delver and saw something eerily familiar about it. And maybe, if she’s able to figure out what she is, she could be more than just another pilot in this unfolding war. She could save the galaxy.

The only way she can discover what she really is, though, is to leave behind all she knows and enter the Nowhere. A place from which few ever return. To have courage means facing fear. And this mission is terrifying.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


CYTONIC was a long time coming and very much worth the wait.

We head into the Nowhere in this book, and uncover a lot of mysteries about the delvers and cytonics. It’s like a series of reveals being turned over one by one, with sufficient action sequences in between for pacing. Two books have built up these mysteries, and so getting the answers (as well as answers to some new mysteries the book sets up) was so satisfying. It’s like getting the run-down of the threats and histories ahead of a big showdown so you understand them (the showdown being the next book.) However, it is all very satisfying presented so that it doesn’t feel like preparation for the next book.

This book is very much an adventure in the style of Spensa’s favourite stories – and I loved seeing her get all excited about pirates and explorers. It helps give a lighter side to the story, which has the same themes of war and sacrifice and duty as the rest of the series. Plus it forces her to make some really hard decisions.

M-Bot! In a drone! Now fully sentient and expressing emotions! He was the absolute standout character in this book and I loved watching him grow (and bring a lot of humour to the book.)

Watching him grapple with how to deal with emotions was so much fun, and Spensa trying to explain emotions (and all their infuriating illogical mess) was also amusing. He has a very mature mind, in some respects, but he’s like a toddler having to deal with the complexity of human emotions and just not knowing how.

That ending! NOOOOOO. It’s so sad and devastating (like the end of STARSIGHT but so much worse.) I really need the next book to see what happens next. Also really looking forward to the final SKYWARD FLIGHT novella (EVEREACH) as it will hopefully fill in exactly how we get to that epilogue as there are a few things that I think have happened based on REDAWN but aren’t clearly explained (and also some that are very interesting hints about what might the plot of EVEREACH.)

Read my reviews of other books by Brandon Sanderson:

Young Adult:

Skyward (this series):




For reviews of the final Wheel of Time books Brandon Sanderson completed, see Robert Jordan

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