Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Spoilers)


Long time no post, friends!
It’s been an interesting year and I’ve had a review of The Illuminae Files in my drafts since February. I don’t know if that’s ever going to get finished. However, we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about another book by the Kaufman/Kristoff duo:  Aurora Rising.

It took me a grad total of ten days to read this book. That’s pretty average for me, but when I was expecting to be blown away by something, that seems a little slow. Over the course of those ten days I found myself almost wanting to do anything else but read. The book is written from seven points of view:  Tyler, Scarlett, Cat, Finian, Kal, Zila, and Aurora. Some POVs I enjoyed more than others and some characters I liked more than others. The romance seemed a little forced, but the world building was interesting.

Let’s start with all the things I liked about the book:

  1. The cover
    • It’s what really drew me in once it was announced. The purples and the constellations, and Auri on the cover. Everything. If I wasn’t interested in the synopsis I definitely would have bought it purely for the cover and the aesthetic value.LRM_EXPORT_63286959071532_20190723_224416770
  2. Tyler Jones
    • The Alpha of  Squad 312. When he wasn’t pining over his Ace, I actually really liked his charm and quick thinking. There were far too many mentions of his scarred eyebrow, but hey, that wasn’t too hard to overlook.
  3. Finian de Karran de Seel
    • I honestly think I should be ranking Fin higher than Tyler, but here we are. He’s a Betraskan Gearhead (mechanic responsible for repairs, maintenance and mechanical work in the Aurora Legion squads) for Squad 312 and is made of pure cynicism and wit. His comic relief was one of the best things about the book in my opinion.
  4. The world building
    • The book starts off with Tyler jumping in a ship and heading out to the Fold. Which reminds me a lot of the warp tunnels in Star Trek and Star Wars and the time vortex in Doctor Who. The whole idea of making space travel easier by using warp technology, or worm holes, or whatever the Fold actually is has always been of interest to me. The universe is vast and there’s absolutely no way we’d be able to travel from one end to the other without some sort of help. (Though scientifically we’d probably die due to the physics of it all, who knows.) The World Ship was an interesting concept and I wish we got to see more of it. Looking forward to what’s to come in the next two books.
  5. Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley –
    • The girl 220 years out of time. She’s still a mystery, even by the end of the book, but I think it’s something  interesting and I hope it doesn’t disappoint. We find out that she’s the host to an ancient alien race that’s been dead for so long that it’s now only a myth. That’s kind of cool I guess, learning that she’s the trigger that will stop a whole alien infestation from wrecking the Milky Way. She also uses pastry based curses and it’s oddly refreshing.

Now for the things that I didn’t like:

  1. Scarlett Jones
    • The Face (diplomat) of Squad 312, Scarlett really knows how to charm people, but her bitchy demeanor got old. The fact that she kept calling Tyler her baby brother or “bee-bro” got extremely old as well. I get that she’s older than Ty by a few minutes, but the whole thing was grating after a while. I didn’t enjoy her personality, however, I do like that she noticed when someone in the squad was a little off and she did anything she could to help fix it.
  2. Cat Brannock
    • The Ace (pilot) of Squad 312. I really thought I was going to like her. I usually like the pilots in sci-fi books, but nope. Didn’t really care for Cat. Between the hating of Auri and the not-so-secret love for Tyler she was kind of insufferable. Just because a 237 year old girl out of time clings to the only person she knows after he was the one that rescued her from being lost to a ship explosion in the fold doesn’t give the other women on the ship the right to hate on Auri. She’s not trying to steal your man (who isn’t even your man), she’s just trying to come to terms with everyone that she’s ever known and loved being dead and that she’s the last of her generation alive. Let her have this.
  3. The pacing
    • By switching POVs I think it took a lot of the flow away from the book. Did I like seeing what’s in each character’s head? Yes. Did all the characters need POV equally? No. The few Zila chapters weren’t really needed in my opinion because they were all less than a page aside from her very last chapter. I guess that was because of character growth or something? I don’t know. Kal’s chapter’s were also pretty much all about how he was fighting against the Enemy Within and how much he was trying to avoid Auri because he was in love with her due to an ancient mating instinct in his species. Was that really necessary? Probably not. It got annoying.

There were a few more things that I didn’t like, but they seem a little nit-picky in comparison.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but I’m still looking forward to the next two books. It’s no Illuminae Files but it definitely wasn’t the worst science fiction novel I’ve read.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐//5


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