Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publication Date: Expected May 7, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering
And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find.
Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for giving me the opportunity to early read and review Aurora Rising. My opinions are my own and have not been influenced by this opportunity.
WOW. That’s it, that’s my whole review.
Mostly kidding, but also, how am I to be expected to review this masterpiece? Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are the greatest duo to ever duo and I hope we are blessed with 50 more books from the two of them. They did such a fabulous job with The Illuminae Files I never imagined they could top those books, but Aurora Rising just might take the cake in Sci-Fi for me and I have no regrets that I’ve purchased roughly 5 copies of this beautiful book, including the coveted Goldsboro edition 😜
“But to reject my darker side only strengthens it. To lock it in a cage, to deny it is part of me … I cannot stop being what I am.”
Let’s jump right into the characters of Aurora Rising because I felt this was a very character driven book and they are so impressive to me I don’t know how not to just flail around about all these babies and what they have to go through. First up is Tyler, the Alpha of Squad 312 who sports a killer set of dimples. Tyler is so brazenly heroic I almost couldn’t help but laugh, he wants nothing more than to be the top Alpha to ever grace Aurora Academy but then he manages to get himself stuck leading this rag tag group of misfits and all hell breaks loose.
Aurora is the mystery girl that could potentially be the trigger for a war that’s been brewing for a million years, you know, just an average day no big thing 🤷♀️ she is so lost and confused and I just want her to find all the answers she needs. Fin is the SASSIEST member of the team, holy cats did he have me cackling while I was reading. Every word that comes out of his mouth is so clearly a defense mechanism and honestly I lived for it. I think I loved reading his chapters most of all, I enjoyed seeing him develop as a character and seeing the struggles he goes through.
There are so many more characters of this rag tag group: Kal, Scarlett, Cat, Zila.. I could talk about them for days but my review would be incredibly long at that point, and if that’s the case you might as well just read the book! As a group they all go through such a huge character arc, they learn so much about themselves and it was wonderful being able to see them change and grow throughout the story. Characters learning from their mistakes, and applying that new knowledge to future choices is such an important thing to see in a book that is so strongly based on its characters.
The last third of the book or so took a turn I was NOT expecting and damn, was it crazy. I expected something wild to happen though because that was how The Illuminae Files were, and honestly I was hoping for something like this. I don’t want to spoil what happens so I’m going to leave out any details but like, it gets a little creepy actually. The way I felt reading Illuminae and being absolutely terrified at what was happening/what could happen some day, that’s exactly the feeling I had reading Aurora Rising. Amie and Jay are so good at their craft, they truly know how to bring out the right emotions in you to force you to keep reading, to find out what happens.
“But I believe of all the places I have not fit, I fit here a little better.”
Whether you like Science Fiction books or not I think Aurora Rising is worth giving a chance to. It is so much more than just about space and Sci-Fi, it’s about friendship and the bonds it takes to make or break it. It’s about family and what you will and won’t do for them. It’s about finding yourself and finding your place in this world.
All quotes used in this review are subject to change and will be reviewed against the final copy when published.