Young Adult

Review: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff @AmieKaufman @misterkristoff

Aurora Rising

Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Publication Date: May 7th 2019

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers 

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 473

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Book Depository |Waterstones|Wordery|


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.

We the Legion,

We the Light

and burning bright against the night

Aurora Rising is dangerously dark, action packed, and an addictive kick off to Kaufman & Kristoff’s Trilogy Aurora Cycle.  For someone that is a virgin to this dynamic duo’s writing – I was blown away into outer space.  I’m going to miss the draft – intriguing opening line, who doesn’t love a bit of angst on the opening page?  This awesome tale reminds me of a Guardians of the Galaxy X Battlestar Galactica – Be still my geeky heart! 

Tyler Jones – Alpha of the squad, general hotbod and all-round good guy.

Aurora Lie-Jin O’ Malley – Frozen cryogenically, Crazy as a mofo superpowers, half Chinese, feeling like a fish out of water trying to get used to life 200 years in the future.

Scarlett Jones – Tyler’s older twin sister by mere minutes, badass extraordinaire, hot mama and could flirt with a cardboard box get it turned on.

Kaliis “Kal” Idraban Gilwraeth – Could start a war in an empty room but not really because he’s a freaking softy really…belongs in middle earth or my hot dreams – the things he can do with his wrists!

Zila Madran – Uber cool space scientist, mega jealous of her gravity defying earrings. 

Finian – bisexual alien, gorgeous personality, exoskeleton weirdness.

Cat- My favourite character, badass warrior goddess.  Think Lagertha in Vikings (at least that’s how I imagine her), can handle herself in any fight.  Fucking impressive phoenix tattoo on her throat. 

Straight away we know we aren’t in Kansas anymore.  We meet Tyler the alpha of the squad who has answered an SOS call out and finds himself in the unprecedented situation of saving a 220-year-old cryogenically frozen girl.  He’s running out of oxygen, he’s missing the fucking draft and is more than damn sure he’s going to die out there.  Almost like magic both him and the mysterious girl are back on the ship and even more magical is the fact his lungs are full of oxygen and not deflated and pulverised from the abyss of space. 

This book has everything I adore about Sci-fi (and I do have a love hate relationship with the genre because I have read so many that just annihilate the premise of space and shit over something that should be an amazing fucking world building opportunity).  Kaufman & Kristoff nail it to the fucking floor.  The Aurora interstellar training camp, heists to reclaim artefacts, creepy plants that remind me so much of those creepy AF creatures in the Alien Franchise.  Want Aliens? This novel has it by the motherload.  I enjoyed reading the POV’ from all the main characters.  I loved Cat’s, Kal’s and Aurora’s the most.  Kals POV was fucking awesome.  I love a torn character and his was obvious and heartbreakingly painful.  He struggled with his ascension to joining the Aurora Legion (A modern space idea of The United Nations).  He was a war breed and it was his natural instincts was to be stoking the fire of conflict.  His people ended up obliterated during the war and Kal struggles with the internal battle of wanting to end people and wanting to bring peace to the outer reaches of space.

The hilarity in the story had me full on belly laughing.  The references to The Lord of The Rings were the best though – high five to Aurora being able to confuse these aliens with the best one liners. The technical descriptions were believable but intelligent enough to flummox me at points.    I loved the diversity in this book and I have it on very good authority that Kristoff is the King of inclusion.  I think there is going to be a LGBQT+ relationship and it’s going to be a slow burn into the next two instalments.  Finnian seems to be bisexual and is happy to have flirtatious thoughts for both the Jones twins.  Interested to see just how this plays out. 

Aurora Rising is a fantastic YA fantasy that fires into hyperdrive and doesn’t stopIf you want a book with the thrills, the aliens, the drama and humour then look no further.  Kaufman & Kristoff bring the squad goals. 

13 thoughts on “Review: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff @AmieKaufman @misterkristoff

  1. Oh I’ve seen so much hype about this book so I was already excited about it, but this review makes it seem even better. It’s definitely going on my Wishlist now – those characters sound amazing, I love your descriptions!

    Liked by 1 person

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