Book review: Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

Published May 7th 2019 by Knopf Books for Young Readers


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.

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I was born with the taste of blood in my mouth. I was born with my hands in fists. I was born for war.

Aurora Rising is no sui generis but it is light and funny and reminded me a little bit of Illuminae, though it does not fit in the same alley of fame and splendor. But if you are into Legolas, it’s going to be an extra seductive, point-y eared incentive to give Aurora a chance *wink*

Aurora Rising matches the same profile as an average sci-fi young adult book: a band of misfits – who don’t really get along – find themselves tied together in a coup, and they have to tolerate each other slash become a team to slain a huge cosmic evil and reborn as galactic heroes. It’s quite a cliche and the characters do not particularly stand out, but the authors’ trend humor is in place, and if you were a fan of aforementioned Illuminae, Aurora, perhaps, will be a nice memory alley walk.


AIDAN, my love, is that you?

The biggest miss-miss of the book, in my opinion, is its writing style. It is composed in simple prose unlike its predecessor Illuminae, which was artfully done in epistolary style and was a huge hit because it added a lot to the storytelling. Honestly, I thought the authors would repeat the success of writing in the same way, but, alas, they’ve chosen the regular way, and in this case it did not help in making the story more engaging.

Anyway and anyhow, Aurora Rising is quite an average sci-fi, but with likable enough characters, and spcied with humor to keep you reading if you are in the mood for something light and easy. Just do not expect the-next-big-thing from the story, and you won’t be disappointed.

I hear Kal swearing in Syldrathi, and though his tone is ice-cold, I realize he’s far more creative at cursing than I thought. “Tiir’na si maat tellanai!” (Father of many ugly and stupid children!) “Kii’ne dō all’iavesh ishi!” (Stain on the undergarments of the universe!) “Aam’na delnii!” (Friend of livestock!)

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