Novella Review: Evershore: Skyward Flight: Novella #3 by Brandon Sanderson and Janci Patterson

Continuing my adventure into understanding novellas, reading Evershore the third book in the Skyward Flight novella series finally helped me grasp the strength of novellas. While ReDawn didn’t necessarily feel like it exemplified it, Evershore really displayed how a novella could be used to further develop a supporting character without taking away from the main story. I was pleasantly surprised how effective of a story could be told in such a shorter amount of pages. I genuinely thought it was like 300 pages and was surprised to find it was only a little over 200.

Character Development

I had always liked Jorgen as a character throughout the series, but that was specifically because of how important he was to Spensa. Throughout the main books of the Cytonic series, it was clear who he was and what his role was. But in these novellas, Jorgen was really allowed to shine and develop on his own rather than as a supporting character. The thing is, however, it’s a development that was referenced in the first two novellas but then fully developed in the third one and when combining all three books, the length is practically the size of a large novel. But this split focus allowed Sanderson and Patterson to develop multiple characters and make them far more endearing in the main Cytonic series.

It also helps to get readers attached to the general group of background characters as well. The members of Skyward Flight feel more important rather than just names that fill out the background. Even though the story isn’t focused on them, they are ever present throughout the story and become far more important in the grander Cytonic series.


The story of Evershore, similar to the previous novellas, is very concentrated on a central event. The length of the novella restricts just how much can really occur within the story but the smaller plot points within that event can lead to grand moments and dramatic character development scenes. The amount of action, exposition and character development occurring within a very short and concise story is both impressive and surprising. The amount of events that occur never feel overwhelming and naturally flow from one moment into another in a very clear, concise and character driven manner.


Despite the chaos and high pace action that takes place within Evershore, there’s still a surprising amount of development given to the Cytonic universe. That being said, it’s mostly adding on to what was already touched upon and developed within the previous two novellas. Worldbuilding in a series always builds upon what was previously established but the sheer amount of change and explanation of cytonics in Evershore is rather impressive. While telling a gripping story of Skyward Flight’s exploits to build an alliance, Jorgen comes to learn and make a surprising amount of breakthroughs regarding cytonic powers. It starts to toe on a very fine line between being very impressive and being a bit too convenient that he figured and discovered so much, especially on his own.

Writing Style

Generally, with the brevity of a novella, one wouldn’t expect so much to happen in such few pages. I say a few pages even though Evershore is roughly a little over 200 pages but when writing a story, it’s very easy to end up hitting the 200 page mark. It’s quite a struggle to have so much occur in a clear and logical manner without the story feeling needlessly rushed but Sanderson and Patterson do a fantastic job here. Everything has a natural progression and, aside from a few moments here and there, the story had a surprisingly smooth and comprehensive flow to it. It was very hard to put the book down as the flow from chapter to chapter was both gripping and easy to get lost in.

Total Score

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