Book Reviews, Sci-Fi, YA

Aurora Rising- Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

“Do moons choose the planets they orbit? Do planets choose their stars? Who am I to deny gravity, Aurora? When you shine brighter than any constellation in the sky?”

Kal – Aurora Rising by jay kristoff & amie kaufman

Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Knopf Books
Genre: Sci-Fi
Pages: 470
Dates Read: July 7-8, 2019
Format: Hardcover

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๐Ÿ“– “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 touchโ€ฆ

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 galaxyโ€™s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot whoโ€™s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Tyโ€™s squad isnโ€™t even his biggest problemโ€”thatโ€™d be Aurora Jie-Lin Oโ€™Malley, the girl heโ€™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 Tylerโ€™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.” ๐Ÿ“–


I had never read a Kaufman/Kristoff book in my life before this one, but I saw a lot about them and knew there was a lot of hype. After reading Aurora Rising, i’m so confused as to why I didn’t pick any of them up sooner!

Aurora Rising is a fast paced, action packed, super humorous, and entertaining read. It was truly one of the most immersive stories I have read in a while. The hype around this book was REAL, but it turned out to be everything i was hoping it would be. I was SO relieved it didn’t fall in the hype-trap. I can totally see this as a movie or a tv show which- Look here it was announced that it is going to be.

This first book in the Aurora Cycle Series is told from the POV’s of each MC. Sometimes if the author doesn’t get the characters right, this can be confusing. I feel that Jay and Amie developed the characters perfectly and uniquely enough that the multiple POV’s flowed seamlessly.

โ†’Tyler: The Alpha, the Goldenboy. The good-looking blonde who is the Academy’s best and brightest. He is the eternal optimist, and the Leader of squad 312. I felt like we didn’t really get to know Tyler for who Tyler is. We know he is smart, and that he is good-looking [This part did kind of annoy me… we heard he was attractive like 1000x]. I’m hoping that in the next two books in the series we delve deeper into his characterization.
โ†’Scarlett: The Face. The Diplomat. Scarlett is Tyler’s twin and obviously also gorgeous. She is the smooth girl who will flirt half the galaxy into giving her whatever she wants. Scarlett is also everyones best friend and cares deeply about everyone on the crew. All of these things make her extremely relatable and lovable.
โ†’Cat: The Ace. The Pilot. The tattooed badass who was roommates with Scarlett at the Academy and has also been best friend’s with Ty and Scar since childhood. She is brutally honest and headstrong, but she also has her funny moments. She is also head-over-heels in love with Tyler, though neither of them will acknowledge it.
โ†’Kal: The Tank. The Warrior. He is from an alien race who is almost elfin? He was born into a warrior clan and was born and bred to fight. He is tin charge of combat and strategy. He is pretty standoffish and comes off better-than-everyone. He is also a HUGE drama queen.
โ†’Zila: Zila said less than 100 words in the whole book. I felt that she hardly did anything useful to the plot or the crew and I didn’t understand why she was there. BUT I am hoping that we get to dive deeper into her later.
โ†’Finian: The Gearhead. The Techy. Fin is one of the many comic reliefs in the novel, and had so many laugh out loud quips. He is also disabled and wears a special suit to help him walk, but the book also acknowledged his disability a lot which I loved. He is bisexual, and crushes on Tyler and Scarlett and he is super duper sassy and I love it. Here for him.
โ†’Aurora: The Mystery Girl. The teenage girl who has been in cry-sleep for 200-years. She is biracial American/Chinese. She honestly spends most of the book freaking out and trying to figure out where she belongs in this new world she wakes up to.

The Tagline says it all– they’re not the heroes we wanted, they’re just the ones we could find. They steal things. They blow things up. They run screaming from the bad guys. This story line for sure hits a lot of cliches. A bunch of misfits coming to together to try and save the universe? Yup, BUT I am not one to mind a good cheesy cliche. My very favorite part of the plot? We have these teens throwing themselves into the accidental criminal life. I love that they just strolled into the space-criminal underworld all adorable and totally bad at being bad. They were also all sassy to each other and I busted a gut laughing out loud a few times.

I appreciated that the women were equal to the men in this book. All three of the guys let the women take the lead at certain times, or deferred to the women when big decisions needed to be made. The women were all strong characters who could be fierce and feminine at the same time. I also thought, overall, the diversity was done really well. There were lots of races and abilities and identities which was great.

This was a fantastic story! Great character development and fun dialogue. It was truly an enjoyable fast read. I was a little concerned that the ending didn’t hit me quite as emotionally hard as I thought it should have, but I’ll get over it! I honestly can’t wait for the next books in the series! Like literally DYING to get my hands on it! When does the next one come out again? Anyone have a connection to Jay or Amie and wanna hook a girl up? *lol*

Language: Some, but not much as it is a YA novel
Violence: A few scenes with mild violence
Religious: No
Other: Some sexual innuendo, but nothing above a PG-13 level

2 thoughts on “Aurora Rising- Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman”

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