Wednesday, June 26, 2019
ARC REVIEW: Aurora RisingAurora Rising
(The Aurora Cycle #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Published: May 7th, 2019 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: young adult, science fiction
Source: NetGalley
Format: eARC, 480 pages

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.

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5 Stars

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley (thank you!) in exchange for my honest review.
Let me start off by saying that I’d never read an Amie Kaufman of Jay Kristoff book until I requested this one off of NetGalley. (Thank you SO MUCH for letting me review this book, by the way!) I’d heard so much about them, and how they were a great writing duo, but I’d just never took action to pick up one of their books. (It was my loss, really.)

So I requested this, one, because of the stunning cover art; that purple & orange pastel combo is just beautiful in my eyes. And then, two, the description was out of this world (yes, pun intended, because it’s sci-fi). I just knew I had to read this book. 

I started reading it after I finished House of Salt and Sorrows when I was halfway through my beach vacation in early April. I was so impressed by HoSaS that I wasn’t sure if another book could top it right away. Wrong. I dived into Aurora Rising, flinging myself into the awesome galaxy-building and loving the rag-tag band of characters and what they all brought to squad #312.

The Characters 

01_TYLER JONES: AKA Goldenboy. Top student, blonde, dimples, you know the drill. Always does the “right” things.
02_SCARLETT JONES: Tyler’s good-looking twin sis. Probably would be dubbed “mom” of the crew, and is also a hell of a diplomat.
03_CAT BRANNOCK: Epic pilot, complete with tattoos and badassery, who has an underlying love for Tyler.
04_KAL GILWRAETH: a standoffish alien, but has elfin features. Everyone always gets the vibe that he thinks knows he’s better than them. Very good at fighting. Much brooding.
05_ZILA MADRAN: Very quiet, but extremely smart, and I got an autism vibe, but not 100% sure. Also, she has pizza earrings. Here for it.
06_AURORA O’MALLEY: Biracial American/Chinese teenager who is, in fact, 200 years old. Tyler woke her from cryosleep on a ship full of dead people, but somehow she was the sole survivor. 90% of the time, you can find her freaking out about that fact, along with the realization that she has some new freaky powers. 
07_FINIAN DE KARREN DE SEEL: The best in the squad (he would say so himself, probably), who has a disability rep and bisexuality rep. He’s sassy and a lot smart-assy, live for sarcasm, and digs boys and girls. He wears an exosuit to help him walk, and he was my personal favorite.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

This magnificent art is brought to you by Kira Night. Website + Instagram.

I loved each and every one of the characters, and how most of the time, they struggled to get along.The chapters alternate between each of their perspectives, and I really liked that. 

The Plot

Tyler, Scarlett, and Cat are about to form their absolute perfect dream team, but Tyler is late to the draft when he answers a distress call and saves a girl inside a cryopod from a ship full of dead people. And this equates to a whole bunch of trouble for his squad, who automatically adopts the ‘rejects’ left from the squad: Fin, Kal, and Zila. They’re thrown together against their will, and at first it’s a very rocky start. And then they are basically brought together when they discover something in their first mission.

‘This sounds like a bad idea.’
‘Yeah, but they’re the only kind we have left.’

If this quote isn’t the exact premise of the whole book, I don’t know what is!

The squad seems to have round after round of bad luck, but through adversity, they find themselves to be a rather impressive team. As they escape capture at every turn, and perform an epic heist, they realize some major issues going on in the galaxy and try to solve a mystery: why was Aurora O’Malley floating through space for 200 years, and what happened to the rest of the people on the ship?

‘And looking around the bridge, I realize maybe, just maybe, I’ve found my clan in this squad.’

This book was an intense ride, and I can’t wait for the sequel! I hope if you’ve considered giving this one a try, that you do so IMMEDIATELY and love it as much as I did! Did you guys also know that there’s already talk of it being adapted to a TV show!?

SIDE NOTE: Another blogger commented that the audiobook was FANTASTIC and now I really want to listen to it. Can anyone else attest to this?


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