(The Aurora Cycle #1)
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Genre: #YA #ScienceFiction
My Rating: 5
Publication: May 7th 2019
Read: May 27th 2019
POV: First-person, 7 perspectives
Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30075662-aurora-rising
From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.
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
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have done it yet again and I am hooked. These two really know how to write epic science fiction novels. This book was different from the Illuminae Files due to the fact that it is actually written in prose (we have words!!!). I was worried that I would not like this one as much due to that but boy was I wrong. Aurora Rising is told in 7 first-person POV’s and it is about a squad of misfits and dregs. Tyler Jones (the Alpha) is the star pupil of Aurora Academy and because of that he has first pick of the draft for choosing his teammates. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances he misses the draft and is left with a squad of members that no one else wanted: Scarlett (the Face), his twin sister who is good at what she does but doesn’t really apply herself, Cat (the Ace), his best friend who is the best pilot in the academy who may or may not be crushing on him, Finian (the Gearhead), a crazy smart tech whiz but a grade A asshole that no one wants to deal with, Zila (the Brain), one of the smartest students in the academy but a sociopath who has an affinity for shooting people with blasters, Kaliis (the Tank), a sexy space elf warrior with serious anger management issues, and then there is Aurora, the girl out of time. For my review I’ll start with the critiques, then talk about the characters, discuss the overall plot, and lastly my final thoughts.
Critiques: There was some lull moments in the book where it would get a little slow. Well it was one part in particular (the middle) that got a little slow. Some things were a little confusing, there is a lot going on and it is easy to get lost if you are not paying full attention. The characters were not the same from different people’s POV’s. For example I loved Aurora while reading from her POV but she was different when I read from the other characters POV’s. Lastly I hated Aurora’s way of cursing. “Holy cakes” and “mother custard” just don’t so it for me. It would make more sense if we knew she was a baker or something like that but we don’t know that. Other than these minor things there was nothing else bothersome.
Tyler: I did not hate him like I thought I would. He is the leader type who always follows the rules and never strays from authority. He was like that but he grew as a character and changed to a more “making it up as I go along” type character. He wasn’t perfect and he wasn’t the best at everything on his team. It really showed his humanity. So I am happy that he wasn’t “frat boy esc” because I was really expecting that. He was a really great leader and he took what he got and turned it into a beautiful companionship amongst the squad.
Scarlett: I loved her. She is the queen of talking herself into and out of situations. She speaks so many languages fluently but most importantly, my favorite, is sarcasm. While she can be seriously sarcastic and bitchy she really has such a heart of gold. She cares and understands her squad mates so well. It is so refreshing to see a character be two sides of the same coin.
Cat: The badass tomboy of the group. I feel like the most focus on romance in this book was in her POV due to her crush on Tyler. Though it was mentioned a lot it never impacted her decisions or loyalty which I respect a lot. Her jealousy towards Aurora was pretty annoying (especially since nothing was happening between Aurora and Tyler) and I am not a fan of girl hate. But towards the end Cat grew and got over that and she really started to care and believe in Aurora. Han Solo better watch out because I’m pretty sure Cat Brannock is the best pilot in the galaxy.
Finian: MY LOVE. MY KING. MY SWEET BOY. WE PROTECT FINIAN DE KARRAN DE SEEL IN THIS HOUSE. So I love Finian…if you couldn’t tell. He was a sarcastic ass but that is how I like my YA characters. My favorite running line in the book never got old, “Shut up Finian.” It really sums up his general effects on the squad. Finian is also disabled so there was disability rep in this book. He never let his disability prevent him from doing what everyone else was doing. He wears an exosuit over his body to help his mobility. Despite being unwanted by the rest of the academy he really proved why he was one of the best.
Zila: I adored her. We don’t get much of Zila in this book but that is due to her personality. We are told she is a sociopath but I feel like there is more going on there. Sherlock Holmes is a sociopath but he has more personality than Zila. She is quiet and reserved and only speaks when necessary. I want to know more about her. I suspect/ wonder if she is autistic because she reminds me of Zofia from The Gilded Wolves whom we are told is that. I don’t want to diagnose Zila but I am eager to learn more about her. Plus she is a fashion icon and that is not appreciated enough.
Kal: Ah I love me a good sexy space elf warrior. Imagine Legolas on steroids and you’ve got Kal. I have read plenty of books about fae and the general lore about them (thank you Sarah J. Maas and Holly Black) so it was funny to see it implemented in a space story…or should I say space fantasy. I won’t spoil it but there is a big fae plot point that was in this book that I am LIVING for. We see Kal fighting himself a lot in this book. He is Warbreed so he was born for bloodshed and violence. He calls that inner bloodlust “the enemy within.” He fights himself to be a better person and to stay in control no matter how hard it was for him and I loved that. I look forward to seeing more of him in the next book and his relationship with a certain character…
Aurora: I honestly kept picturing Aurora as being very Captain Marvel like. She really is much more Scarlet Witch but since this is in space I was picturing Captain Marvel. So combine those two and you get Aurora. Plus a slice of Captain America for being a person out of time. Aurora was asleep for a little over 200 years and she is freaked out to find what the world…universe has become. Aurora kind of represents the reader. She makes so many modern (to us) references that the other characters don’t understand but we do. She kept calling Kal Legolas and I was living for it. She has lost everything and doesn’t understand what is happening to her but she keeps on plowing through. I can’t wait to see her powers grow.
The overall plot was great. It jumped around to different goals but there was an overall goal of helping Aurora. There was so much action and the plot was pretty unique. We have seen squad books before but I really felt like this was something new. Each member of this squad had a distinct personality that set them apart from each other. Also we had the added benefit of space so that’s cool too.
I absolutely loved this book so I don’t know how I can possibly wait a whole year for the next one. I fell in love with all these characters so anything that happens to them will effect me greatly. I am worried that since we made it out clean (sort of) in the Illuminae Files that we won’t be so lucky this time. Wish me luck!
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