Review: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising
(The Aurora Cycle #1)
by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication date: May 7, 2019
Genre: Young Adult SciFi

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.


My thoughts…

I just want to start out by saying that I am not a sci-fi reader. It tends to be a bit too far out there for me and I end up feeling either overwhelmed or lost while reading. I also don’t usually like books that follow multiple POVs because I get them a little mixed up and it just feels like a jumbled mess to me. However, this book really worked for me. While it was fast-paced, it wasn’t so much so that you couldn’t keep up. In fact, the pace helped keep you from feeling bored or like there was filler. The various characters in the story all have their own unique voice. So, I never had a problem keeping track of who was who. The world-building was also pretty perfect for me. It was just a touch abnormal from my reality, but not so far out there that I had an issue visualizing it all. This was just a really well-written story in my opinion.

Even though this story follows seven different people, they all have the same goal. Six of those people are part of a team. They have been training their whole lives to be assigned a team in order to carry out missions. The seventh person has been floating around space for a couple hundred years, asleep. She joins the team by hiding herself away on their ship and enlisting their help. Pretty soon, everyone is on the run from the government and trying to uncover this huge conspiracy. So, even though this story follows 7 different voices, they are all working as one.

The characters themselves were great. They were all slightly different in personalities, but not so glaringly obvious that it felt like the authors were trying really hard to make them different. It also helped that there were different species in their group. I found it interesting to learn a little bit about each of them as a person, but also learn about their people. I think having the different species mixed in not only helped make this feel like a sci-fi read, but it also allowed the different characters to stand out on their own.

Like I said before, this story is packed with action. Between Tyler finding a lost ship with a girl frozen in time in her chamber, to that girl causing a whole lot of problems for him and his team, to them breaking every rule in their government in order to help her out. There was just so much going on. Every time you thought they were safe and were able to catch their breath, something else would pop up. I don’t want to go into details and spoil it, but just know that as they continue on their journey, they uncover a lot more than they bargained for.

I’m so glad I picked this book up. Even though I’m not a huge sci-fi reader, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It wasn’t so overdone in the sci-fi aspect that it lost all touch of reality. I could actually picture something like this happening in the distant future. So the world building was perfect. The representation of the different characters was great. Everyone was well fleshed out and stood on their own. These authors did a really good job writing this book. I look forward to reading the next book in the series to see what else this team uncovers.

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