Book Review: We Are Satellites by Sarah Pinsker

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When Val and Julie’s son David comes home from school asking for a Pilot, a new brain implant that improves brain function, they reluctantly agree. The doctors all assure them it’s safe and, with the new technology becoming commonplace, more kids at David’s school have them than do not. But with the many benefits of the Pilot come downsides as well. What of Sophie, David’s younger sister who has epilepsy and who’s brain can not support the technology? What of Val who simply isn’t interested in getting one? Who is really behind the almost overnight success of this life changing science? And how do you fight back against something once it’s everywhere?

“We know Pilots don’t make anybody smarter. They don’t teach good study skills. They aren’t a replacement for teachers or books. If a kid is in tenth grade and reading on a third-grade level, he’s not going to magically start comprehending quantum physics or To the Lighthouse just because he has a Pilot . It’s a superficial fix. A bandage for a paper cut on a finger when there’s a sucking chest wound, too.”

– Val, We Are Satellites


🔊🔊🔊🔊 (four stars as rated in all the noise in your mind that never ever stops)

This is my first Sarah Pinsker novel and it exceeded all of my expectations! The story is one part speculative sci-fi, one part family drama, and one part conspiracy! But what I really, really loved about this novel was how quickly it moved. Everything I knew about the story going into it literally occurs within the first 10 pages! The book just takes off and sustains this fast, engrossing pace throughout. I loved that especially considering the technical nature of the subject matter which could have become very easily bogged down.

The arcs of the four main characters were really lovely to read. I appreciate the way this family is illustrated for us and loved getting to see them grow and change. I want to say that Sophie was my favorite character, but when I think about it I don’t know that I could choose between them. They each make mistakes, but we are gifted so much insight into why they all chose to do what they do. And I really appreciated that.

“It was illegal to discriminate in a job interview because somebody didn’t have a Pilot, but how could you prove that was happening? They’d just say there was a more qualified candidate. The proof was right there on the side of your head, saying you were not as fast as you said you were, couldn’t possibly be, and even if you were , maybe something was wrong with you that you couldn’t have one.”

– David, We Are Satellites

I was given a free Advanced Reader Copy of We Are Satellites by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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book at a glance
🏳️‍🌈 Queer Rep
💭 Speculative Fiction
🌳 Family Focused
👁️ Multiple POV

✨ Rep in this book: Queer MC’s, Neurodivergent MC

✨ Content warnings for this book: thoughts of suicide, addiction, mentions of war and battle, trauma, medical stuff, gas-lighting

Image Description: A flat lay featuring an e-book version of the book We Are Satellites by Sarah Pinsker as seen on the screen of an iPad. To the left of the tablet is a laptop keyboard with a pair of reading glasses folded upon it. A coffee cup and notebook peek onto the frame at the top left corner.
about the author

Sarah Pinsker

Sarah Pinsker  is the author of over fifty works of short fiction, including the novelette “Our Lady of the Open Road,” winner of the Nebula Award in 2016. Her novelette “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind,” was the Sturgeon Award winner in 2014. Her fiction has been published in magazines including Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Uncanny and in numerous anthologies and year’s bests. Her stories have been translated into Chinese, Spanish, French, and Italian, among other languages, and have been nominated for the Nebula, Hugo, Locus, Eugie, and World Fantasy Awards. She is also a singer/songwriter with three albums on various independent labels (the third with her rock band, the Stalking Horses) and a fourth in the works. (Copied from the author’s personal website.)

This is my first Sarah Pinsker novel and it exceeded all of my expectations! The story is one part speculative sci-fi, one part family drama, and one part full blown conspiracy! What a ride! @SarahPinsker



Sarah's signature

Published by Sarah

My name is Sarah and I can't imagine my life without books. Actually, I can and it's terrible. I'm also into climbing, video games and bothering the nearest cat.

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