Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)by Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman Published 07 May 2019
|Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1).pdf|
|Publisher||Knopf Books for Young Readers|
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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.
"Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)" Reviews
So this is our new YA sci-fi action adventure thing. It's kinda like this:
We have the goldenboy of an interstellar military academy:
Who finds himself saddled with a squad of losers, discipline cases and psychos:
And a girl who's been cryogenically frozen for two centuries:
And as you can imagine, everything turns out splendidly:
It features (in no particular order) hawt space elves with anger management issues:
Daring heists in search of ancient alien artifacts:
At least one masquerade ball on a space station:
Some angsty space romance (because everything is angstier in spaaaaaace):
And an ancient evil (that only our squad of misfits and reprobates can defeat):
So, yeah. It's out in April 2019. We hope you enjoy it.
Squad up, bitches:
Is this book set in the Illumiverse?
Nope. Totally new universe.
Will the book be alt-format like the Illuminae Files?
Nope. We did that already. There's no sense repeating yourself. :)
How many books are in the series?
At least three.
Was this the book formerly known as Andromeda?
Yes. We changed the title because the book was originally set in the Andromeda galaxy. But space is huuuuuge (like really, really big), so we decided to bring it back to our galaxy, the Milky Way. And "the Milky Way Cycle" sounds less like an epic action-adventure in space, and more like a chocolate bar.
Will there be pre-order goodness?
Yes! We're working out details now, but hold onto your receipts. We don't know details about pre-orders outside the US, but please be patient, we'll get word to you ASAP. And thank you for pre-ordering, we love you!
Your MC sounds bi-racial. True/false?
True. Auri is half Irish, half Chinese.
How much gay can we expect in this book?
Real space is rainbow-colored. Ours is no exception. :)
When can we see the cover?
Very soon! And we have loads more (very) exciting news to share on this one, so stay tuned. And thanks for the support.
#1 Aurora Rising ★★★★★
#2 untitled ???
#3 untitled ???
They’re all dead. Hundreds. Thousands. Every single person on this ship is dead, except her.
I want to come up with some sort of witty introduction to this review, something to “hook” you and convince you that whatever I can ramble onto this page will be worthy of this book, but honestly, I’ve just gotta tell you up front. I'm calling it now, in April: Aurora Rising is going down as my favorite book of 2019. I honestly don’t know if anything I read for the rest of this year will come anywhere near the magnificence that is this wonderful, hilarious, heart-wrenching, suspenseful adventure in space.
Thing is, impossible always comes with a price.
I already knew I was going to enjoy this; after all, it’s another gorgeous brain-child from Jay and Amie, the authors of one of my all-time favorite series, The Illuminae Files. What I didn’t know was how well Aurora Rising would hold its own against their first trilogy, how easily it would set itself apart (despite being another banter-filler, emotional roller coaster in the stars), or how singularly consuming it would be. I constantly alternated between reading this slowly to savor it and devouring massive chunks at a time because I just never wanted it to end, but I couldn’t get enough.
Once we walked the dark between the stars, unequaled. What have we become?
While the plot is fantastic, the banter is hilarious, and there are some surefire swoon-worthy moments, what really sells Aurora Rising is the rag-tag bunch of misfits in Squad 312. These characters are easily some of the most lovable, precious beans I’ve ever read in my entire life. I am endlessly amazed by how well these authors can make their characters feel so real that I want to protect and love them at all costs, forever, and become so attached that I literally miss them when the book ends.
I was born with the taste of blood in my mouth. I was born with my hands in fists. I was born for war.
The chapters alternate between their perspectives, and there are quite a few of them, but each of their voices are so particular to that character that I felt like I could’ve easily recognized whose eyes I was looking through, even without the chapter headers informing me. That alone is a nearly impossible feat for writers to manage, but it works so well here. We have:
👑 Tyler Jones, Alpha: Iconic golden boy image; he doesn’t drink, doesn’t swear, treats people fairly, does what’s “right” whenever possible, and manages to be totally lovable despite his absolute Lawful Good alignment.
❤ Scarlett Jones, Face: Tyler’s twin, absolute queen, can be sweet as pie but would probably skin you alive if you harmed a single hair on her brother’s head. We stan.
🚀 Catherine ‘Cat’ Brannock, Ace: Pilot extraordinaire, hot-headed, tattoos everywhere, definitely not in love with Tyler, recipient of mixed feelings from readers and characters alike.
👽 Finian de Karren de Seel, Gearhead: Betraskan (alien) force who lives for sarcasm, rude jokes, and hotties of any and all genders. He’s disabled and lives inside a mechanical exosuit, and I would probably do just about anything to keep this little jerk safe. (Side note: as a queer reviewer who has invisible disabilities, I personally gave Fin’s diverse rep an A+ score and thought it was brilliantly and thoughtfully written.)
🧝♂️ Kaliis ‘Kal’ Gilwraeth, Tank: Syldrathi, AKA hot/tall/muscular/scary space elf, and also did I mention MY SWEET BABY. Mostly violent and generally misunderstood, a quietly angsty little soul. Jay and Amie, so help me if you do ANYTHING to hurt him... 😡😡😡
🔫 Zila Madran, Brain: Small, adorable, owner of oddly specific earrings, and a raging beastie who shoots first and asks questions never. Zila is… strangely and incredibly endearing.
✨ Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley: Last but not least, the title character, Aurora. Lost in cryo-sleep for 200 years, she’s understandably baffled, terrified, and a little bit furious. Oh, and she does freaky, scary, violent things with her mind. It’s dope.
“Who am I to deny gravity? When you shine brighter than any constellation in the sky?”
Seriously, I could spend another twenty pages gushing about this book. I’m already dying to reread it (and have the audiobook pre-ordered for exactly that purpose!), and can’t wait for the second book. Reading Jay and Amie’s work always means signing up for equal parts laughter and heartbreak, and a healthy dose of literally counting the days until the next installment, and it’s worth every damn second.
All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
I missed getting the special purple edge copy from Goldsboro because their freaking website went down after they announced it and they sold out. BUT! I know how to make my own stained edges so I’m good!! 😉 Plus, me and mom are just leavin Captain Marvel!! My celebration of being another month cancer free!! Woot! Freaking movie ROCKS!!
Omg! Look at that cover!!
As Cat would say, "Hold on to your undies, kids!"
Thank you so much to Allen and Unwin for sending me a review copy!
This was SO good. I never do reviews like this, but I think the best way to sum up this book is through the AMAZING cast of characters AKA Squad 312.
Tyler --> squad leader, golden boy, "captain hotness" with a heart of gold, Scarlett's twin.
Auri --> biracial (she's Irish & Chinese!), woke up with weird powers after being frozen for 200 years......as you do.
Scarlett --> Tyler's twin, sarcastic queen, sweet-talker and serial dater with who knows how many ex boyfriends (we stan, you get that d, girl lol)
Cat --> Tattooed, tomboy badass who may or may not be in love with captain hotness, also is a queen of sarcasm
Fin --> disabled, hilarious and bi?? pan?? It's not explicitly stated but he's definitely queer!
Kal --> sexy elf alien with purple eyes and silver hair. YES PLEASE.
Zila --> the smartest person alive...possibly in the whole universe??? She's also black and barely says anything, but when she does, my brain explodes.
Basically, this book was hilarious, action-packed and emotional while also having parallels to our world with themes of displaced people and refugees as a result of war.
HIGHLY recommend you pick this up when it comes out (May 6!!!!!). You don't want to miss this one!
So this has a heap of hype and I was so ready to see what I'd think! 🙌🏻 I confess to not being the world's most avid sci-fi fan, but I mean, hi Illuminae, which is a masterpiece. I also am just here for Aussie authors who are globally recognised?! Bc half the time Aussie lit doesn't get off our shores. I assume this is bc we strap it to the backs of wallabies to make the swim to america and the wallabies, idk, eat the books or something. Regardless, I enjoyed this one a lot.
Although, it's kinda impossible not to compare it to Illuminae? And because there are a lot of similarities and Illuminae is done in such a alternate unique style -- I did like the Illuminae Files better. This is more a straight-up sci-fi, and it hits on a lot of loveable sci-fi cliches (I don't mind! But I wasn't surprised with most of the plot?) and I could totally envision it as a movie.
| heart of the book |
Definitely the squad vibes! I've seen the authors talking about how they wanted the squad to be the feature of the book, that found-family for a bunch of rejects. Although tbh, only 3 of the 6 are actually the dysfunctional ones. (Minus Auri who is there bUT HAS NO TRAINING WHAT'S GOING ON. She's like the icing for your packet mix cake, just add water and Auri, and oh btw the cake is about to explode.)
And I liked the crew! The only one I was really attached to was Finian though? But we have:
→ Tyler: basically called Goldenboy because he's the academy's best and brightest. Blonde, dimples, perfect etc etc. Ya know Jason from the Heroes of Olympus? Tyler is his long lost twin. Look I like him, but also he was all YA GOTTA HAVE FAITH and such an optimist which is...against my entire code. So anyway.
→ Scarlett: She's Ty's twin and like the super tall, cold as hell, epically smooth girl who everyone is in love with including me idk what to tell you she's gorgeous. She also cares about the crew. She's simultaneously the MUM-FRIEND and the one who will flirt half the galaxy into giving her anything. The flirty-mum-friend??
→ Cat: super tattooed badass, the fighter-pilot, also desperately in love with Ty but neither of them is going to acknowledge it.
→ Kal: he's an alien from a race that is kind of elfin? so he has pointy ears and they call him Elrond, on occasion, which is fab. He's born to hit people and he's so standoffish and better-than-thou and his reaction to getting a crush on a human is "OH WELL PROBABLY NEED TO KILL MYSELF." So Kal? Drama queen.
→ Aurora: She does rise, believe me, like a packet of hella scary bread. She's biracial American/Chinese and has been in cryo-sleep for 200 years. So also she's a 200-year-old teenager who spends the whole time freaking tf out AND then she realises she has creepy powers. She's not !!! suppposed !!! to be here !!!
→ Finian: Aka my LOVE. Honestly 10/10 would die for Finian, dunno about the rest of them. He is disabled and wears a special suit to help him walk, but the book also acknowledged his disability a lot -- like how the suit was his sci-fi version of, say, walking with a cane. But he can't do it forever and he really was overtaxing himself by the end. He's also hella gay and basically did an "eenie meenie miney mo" between Tyler and Scarlett to see who he wanted to hit on. Also he's a sassy little asshole and honestly? Love it. Here for him.
→ Zila: Zila said about 30 collective words through the whole book, did about nothing useful to the plot or the crew and why is she there. Also, not to be a super sensitive picky person, but she seemed thoroughly coded as autistic BUT!! they chose!! To call her a sociopath!!! Nice. Thx. Love that kind of rep. Could you also not. Anyway, hopefully she isn't autistic or else everyone starts frikkin apologising. But she literally does nothing for the book.
tl;dr -- I love Finian.
| the plot |
Like I said, it hits a lot of cliches BUT we're here for a sci-fi romp!? So I didn't mind! My only problem was how many were also in Illuminae lol. Like the "omg we're gonna get caught quick kiss!" and "oh the government is hiding a planet and killing the survivors to cover up!!" Amongst others. Lol. But we also have like telekinesis stuff going down, we have teens throwing themselves into the accidental criminal life, and it had the whole space-opera vibes of The Good Kids™ strolling into the criminal space underworld and being adorable and bad at being bad and I LOVE THAT TROPE.
Also they sassed each other to hell and back and I busted laughing out loud a few times. A family member also came into my room and asked if I was crying so...?? Thx. That was a laugh. How dare you.
I appreciated the lack of toxic masculinity in here too!! Tyler deferred to Scarlett's advice, Kal and Tyler end up [spoilers removed] it was just chill. And I thought, overall, the diversity was done well. Lots of races and abilities and some bi rep and girls being badass and very feminine. 🎉(Just putting a big red X over the *possible* autistic rep and just hoping IT WASN'T.)
They steal things! they blow things up! They run screaming from very big bad enemies! The tag line is basically: they're not the heroes the world deserves...or asks for...or even wants, lol, send them back pls what the hell.
| overall |
solidly good story! I enjoyed myself, it was fun if predictable. (My only real concern is that I had no feels lol and the ending didn't hit me emotionally at all.) But the cast was fab and the dialogue meshed together so well and was so sparky! I'm concerned that these kids seemed to eat ONCE and that was like, a reheated synthesised pork dish. So they need to work on nutrition. But they were also nearly dying and uncovered something super bad and everyone's gonna die if they don't fix it. SO. 🎉 Good luck, Squad 312!!!
Five gazillion misfit, outsider but truly entertaining stars!
For so long I didn’t have so much fun when I was reading a page turner, captivating science fiction/ action book with witty, sarcastic characters!
This was like reading a great combination of Guardians of Galaxy, Firefly( without space cowboys and hottie Captain Mal, don’t worry we have Tyler reminds of us new Star Trek’s Chris Pine)and80’s Brat Pack movies!
Let me introduce you the misfit and magnificent seven!
Tyler: Hottie Golden boy, young Chris Pine, but not arrogant and womanizer, he just knows how to use his dimples to attract opposite sex’s attention. Quiet work oriented, disciplined leader with his own principles.🤗
Auri a.k.a Aura or a.k.a Sleeping Beauty: As soon as she wakes up after 200 years long sleep, she starts to discover her new powers. She’s strong, kind, smart and amazing hair with white highlights 😀
Scarlett: Tyler’s twin, great negotiator, sweet talker, inventor of new term man-izer because she’s serious dater and score her dates with their pros and cons!
Cat: Badass pilot who has deep feelings for our captain. With her tattoos and tomboy style, she would be a great MC member if they were not stuck in space😊
Fin: Most entertaining character of the gang with his fast paced , quirky but funny answers to every problem. He may be disabled and he admits that he is not a warrior but please don’t believe him!
Kal: He seems like callous, tough, strong alien/ elf with purple eyes and silver hair! But he’s loyal, trustworthy, devoted fighter and when he doesn’t act like a douchebag around Auri not to show his feelings for her, he is absolutely sweetest guy of the gang! ( sorry Captain but he is brave enough to talk about his feelings)
And Zila: Smartest person , the brain of the gang. She keeps her silence, observer, analyzer but as soon as she opens her mouth you feel like hit by truck because of her statistical informations.
I loved this gang! I loved the twists on this book. Can’t wait to read the upcoming books of the series. And now I’m slapping my head why Illuminae Files are in my sooo long tbr list! I should have read them !!! Shame on me!