Review: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Review: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffAurora Rising by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Aurora Cycle #1
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers in May 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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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. Nobody panic.

Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are my own.

The day is finally upon us. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff has been out for approximately two weeks, and I’m finally reviewing it! Aurora Rising was arguably my most anticipated 2019 release. (It was quite possibly also the most hyped.) I absolutely loved Kaufman and Kristoff’s Illuminae Files, which I finished over this past Christmas holiday. The two series are not set in the same world, and Aurora Rising is told in a more traditional format. Similar to Illuminae Files, however, Aurora Rising has a fun cast of characters and an adventurous story in space. Plus, this time there’s aliens.

Aurora Rising has a large cast of characters and is told in all of their POVs at some point in the story. The main cast makes up the newly formed Squad 312 out of Aurora Academy. If you haven’t met them yet, I highly recommend reading the character bios on Get Underlined‘s website and the official book trailer. Seriously, they’re an interesting bunch. A squad is typically made up of six legionnaires all with different roles, and Squad 312 consists of the twins Tyler (Alpha) and Scarlett (Face), their best friend Cat (Ace), the smart-ass Fin (Gearhead), the hot-headed Alien warrior Kal (Tank), and a trigger happy scientist Zila (Brain). Squad 312 also has a stowaway, the mysterious girl from earth Auri. Tyler was expecting to get an elite squad in the draft as the golden boy of the academy; however, he ended up with a group of misfits, and they’re quite the squad.

Aurora Rising was a thrilling ride. I enjoyed watching all of the characters evolve and learn to work together as a team. Each character has personal struggles they’re trying to overcome in the story. The choice to have the story told from multiple POVs was interesting and worked well for Aurora Rising. Personally, I think Kaufman and Kristoff did well making each of the POVs unique. I’m excited to see each of the character’s growth as the series continues.

The plot itself was full of twists. While I could predict who the bad guys were and had gut feelings that certain decisions would go south, Kaufman and Kristoff kept me on my toes the entire time. They shocked me with their plot twists and emotionally wrecked me with the ending. Whoever said authors were not kind people were right. Kaufman and Kristoff gutted me with that ending, and I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive them. We’ll see how things continue when book 2 is ever released.

If you’re someone that enjoys science fiction or any of Kaufman and Kristoff’s prior books, I highly recommend reading Aurora Rising. I know I’m going to push this book on all of my friends. (In fact, I just gave a copy away today.) It’s a page turner from the start, with a cast of misfits I couldn’t help but fall in love with. I hope everyone gives it a chance.

Now if you’ve read Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, let’s chat! Email me or find me on social media. I am not okay after that ending and must discuss. In fact, I’m already thinking about rereading Auora Rising and putting myself through it all again. & If someone knows how to get their hands on the sequel when ARCs are available, please let me know. Thanks! 😉