REVIEW: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

by |March 11, 2019

aurora risingYou know the feeling you get when your imagination is totally captured by a story and you just can’t read quickly enough to match the breakneck pace of the plot as it wildly unfolds before your awestruck eyes, and you love the characters so much that it hurts, and everything is just SO GREAT you feel like your brain might actually implode? You know that feeling?

It’s very rare these days for a book to fill me with that kind of pure, childlike wonder. It happens every now and then, but not as often as I’d like. Luckily, we have authors like Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff to write the kind of stories that tap directly into the part of the brain that triggers slack-jawed amazement and sets imaginations on fire!

Just in case the tone of the above paragraphs hasn’t made it clear, I really enjoyed Aurora Rising, the first book in a new series by the dynamic co-writing team that gave us the Illuminae Files.

Fans of rollocking space opera adventure are basically guaranteed to love this action-packed tale, which follows a seemingly incompatible group of teens on their journey to becoming a loyal, ride-or-die squad (while also potentially saving the universe along the way!)

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find.

When Tyler Jones, the golden boy of the Aurora Academy, misses his opportunity to select the best cadets for his squad (being somewhat preoccupied saving the life of a 200+ year-old frozen girl at the time) he gets stuck with a motley crew of rejects. Of course they have nothing in common with each other at first, but when the aforementioned frozen girl (AKA Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley) wakes up, life starts getting complicated for everyone and it’s time for Squad 312 to find a way to work together … or else!

The world of Aurora Rising has a slightly different feel to the world established in the Illuminae Files. Our crew of main characters includes a mix of humans and aliens, which gives this series a bit of a Guardians of the Galaxy vibe. I have heard Aurora Rising pitched as “Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Breakfast Club” – which is both a ridiculously alluring description as well a charmingly accurate one!

The overall tone here is one of joyous suspense and explosive emotion – you’ll be gritting your teeth in abject terror one second and then grinning with mad glee a few pages later. Most of all, you will find yourself cheering as this glorious gang of talented misfits comes together to save the day.

The stakes are high in this epic space adventure. The witty banter levels are even higher! Familiar tropes are cleverly turned upside down and inside out as the deeply lovable cast of characters hurtle across galaxies in a madcap and full-throttle thrill ride that will leave readers breathless for more.

Completely addictive and insanely entertaining, I am thoroughly hooked on The Aurora Cycle series and anxiously awaiting the next book!

Aurora Rising will be published on May 6th 2019 by Allen and Unwin and is available to order from Booktopia.

 Sarah McDuling reviews Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
Aurora Risingby  Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising

The Aurora Cycle 1

by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

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.


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About the Contributor

Sarah McDuling is Booktopia's Senior Content Producer and Editor of The Booktopian Blog. She has been in the bookselling game for almost a decade and a dedicated booklover since birth (potentially longer). At her happiest when reading a book, Sarah also enjoys talking/writing/tweeting about books. In her spare time, she often likes to buy a lot of books and take photographs of books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instragram @sarahmcduling

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