Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | book review

This review is spoiler-free!

“Slowly, I take my hands off of the controls. I let my mind rest. My thoughts quiet.
There are no further calculations required of me.
It is strangely peaceful.
I lean into my mic to speak to my squadmates.
‘Finian, Scarlett. It has been a privilege to serve in squad 312 alongside you.'”

Aurora Burning, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman Jay KristoffTitle
: Aurora Burning
Series: The Aurora Cycle, #2
Authors: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Published: May 5, 2020
Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers
Category: young adult
Genre: sci-fi
Pages: 495
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)
Goodreads page

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Synopsis

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]

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Thoughts

When I started this book, I thought this won’t rip my heart out and stomp it to the ground, right?

WRONG.

It reached into my chest, tore that organ out, and proceeded to smash it into a million pieces.

Queen of Hearts | When My Brain Farts

All that heart wrenching aside, I forgot how much I missed Squad 312. They’re a bunch of misfits who are trying to save the galaxy, and they are the epitome of being the underdog. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have their ways of writing such lovable characters. They all have flaws, but I find myself loving them all the more because of them.

Things I loved about this book

1. The quick summary of the characters at the beginning: As someone with bad memory, it was nice to get a refresher of who everyone is and what happened in the previous book.

2. The character arcs: I love the fact that most of the characters evolve as they spend more time with each other. Nothing brings a squad together like facing life-threatening peril 24/7. I especially love Zila’s growth as a character, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her in the finale.

3. Fin being a bisexual icon: I didn’t think I could love Fin more, but here we are.

4. The story has major Guardians of the Galaxy vibes, but better: I liked GOTG, but I never felt like the characters were ever in real danger. In Aurora Burning, you fear for everyone’s lives pretty much the whole book. That fear intensifies the story, and it felt like going on a roller coaster.

5. The audiobook is *chef’s kiss*: Nowadays, I find myself listening to audiobooks more out of necessity rather than because I want to (ya girl is very busy). However, this is the first time where I actually preferred the audio over the physical book. The production is so GOOD! They brought in a bunch of different narrators to voice all the characters, and the music and sound effects made the reading experience so much fun.

Things I found… questionable

1. Auri and Kal’s relationship: For the first time in forever, I feel like romance is unnecessary in this book. While their relationship wasn’t bad or anything, it didn’t add much to the story. Maybe their bond will play a bigger role in the next book, but we’ll have to wait and see.

2. The attraction between Tyler and (spoiler): I didn’t get this at all. It made no sense to me, but okay. Like Auri and Kal, maybe it’ll be more important in the next book.

3. The fact that Auri spends most of the book unconscious: Give that poor girl a break.

I have to tell you, I was not ready for that ending at two in the morning. Those last couple chapters was like watching a movie. I could clearly imagine the scenes in my mind: time is slowing down, dramatic music is playing in the background, and you can see everything unfold in slow motion.

Overall, Aurora Burning was a solid sequel. It’s such a fun story with great characters. It knows when to be intense, funny, or emotional. It’s very well-written, and I can’t wait for the last book!

TL;DR

✅ very fun story
✅ good character arcs
✅ the audiobook production is PHENOMENAL
➖ Guardian of the Galaxy vibes
❌ the romance seemed unnecessary and questionable

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Conclusion

I give Aurora Burning 4.5 stars!

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Stay awkward and amazing!

4 thoughts on “Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | book review

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