Title: Aurora Rising
Series: The Aurora Cycle, #1
Authors: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult, sci-fi, heist
My Rating: ★★★★★
This review is spoiler-free.
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.
[ This synopsis is from Goodreads. ]
I don’t think I’ve ever said this, but Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are powerhouse when they write together. Every single book that they’ve written has only gotten better.
I loved this series so much that I drew fan art for it (something I don’t do that often). Amie Kaufman actually saw it on Instagram and shared it on her story, which was a huge highlight for me! ❤
I’ve been on a quest in finding an art style that works for me because I’ve been dissatisfied with how I’m drawing for a couple years now. Before then, I felt happy with what I was creating but one day I just looked at my artwork and hated them. I feel like part of the reason the quest to find an art style that I like is that I don’t have that much time to draw anymore. I maybe draw once every one or two months now.
Anyhow, let’s get onto what you guys are here for: the review!
I knew getting into this new series that I was going to like it. I mean, come on. It’s written by the amazing and talented Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff! I didn’t think it would be better than the Illuminae Files series (I still haven’t recovered from the epic-ness that is Obsidio), but I knew it was going to be good. After reading Aurora Rising, I wouldn’t say it’s better than Illuminae, but it’s definitely up there. I’d almost go as far as saying that it’s on par with it.
As usual, the author duo does a great job building suspense and not allowing you to put the book down without physical pain. After every chapter my only response was “I need to know what happens next!”
I fell in love with all the characters and their unique personalities. Despite their vast differences in background and characteristics, the team works like a well-oiled machine once they get to know each other. Seeing that kind of camaraderie warmed my heart. That doesn’t mean that the team doesn’t have its flaws, but that’s what makes them endearing.
As for the plot itself, I like how unpredictable it was. I never saw what was coming. Once it was revealed, it both answered and created more questions.
I think one of the reasons I love Aurora Rising so much is that the stunt the team tries to pull reminds me of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Basically, a team of misfits needs to pull off an impossible heist, and they need all the luck of the galaxy on their side to be successful. Things go haywire and they have to improvise to make it work. These intense moments where the characters realize that nothing is going to plan and they just have to do what they have to do is so exciting.
I’m not sure there’s a more stereotypical hero than Tyler. He’s perfect in every way and he’s your classic good-looking dude.
Scarlett is the type of person you would want to be your hype-woman. She’s so good at talking to people, as an introvert, I’m secretly jealous and impressed at the exact same time.
She’s openly badass. She knows she’s badass. This chick is BAD. ASS. She’s a great friend, but you wouldn’t want to get on her bad side.
She’s the secret badass of the group. She’s very clinical, but the team would honestly be lost without her.
I say I love all the characters equally in their own way, but *hypothetically* if I had a favorite character it would be Fin. His wit cracks me up, and I see a little bit of myself in his personality.
I feel like out of all the characters, we got to see the least of Kal. I’m not sure how I feel about him, but I hope we get to see more of him in the second book.
[Author’s edit: the cover for the second book was just released and its of his face so… does that mean we get more of Kal soon? I sure hope so!]
I just want to give Auri a hug. She’s been through a whole lot, and she didn’t deserve any of it.
I give Aurora Rising 5 / 5 unicorn horns. I can’t wait for the next book to be released! I just saw the cover reveal and I’m internally screaming because it’s so beautiful.
Until next time….