ARC Review: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Title: Aurora Rising
(The Aurora Cycle #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff 
Genre: Science Fiction 
Source: Random House via NetGalley 
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 7th 2019

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 issuesA 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.

It's been a solid three days since I finished Aurora Rising and I still don't have words. Well, I have words. They just aren't professional enough for the blog. Because currently my brain is: ASDFGHJKL and basically my emotions are all over the damn place. To say that Aurora Rising exceeded all of my expectations is the understatement of the year. Whether you are new to Jay and Amie's writing or you are already familiar with the writing duo from the Illuminae Files, their newest novel does not disappoint. 

After rescuing Aurora O'Malley from the Fold and her impending death Tyler Jones misses out on recruiting the squad of his dreams. Instead he is stuck with the recruits that nobody wants. Aurora Rising is told from the POVs of each of the squad mates: Tyler, Scarlett, Cat, Aurora, Kal, Zila and Finian. Each character has their own unique voice and their own internal battle as they race across the galaxy to stop an impending war and seek answers to the lost Octavia Colony and keep Aurora out of the hands of the authorities who are bent on killing her. 

Tyler: I really really loved Tyler's character growth from the beginning to the end of the novel. We see him and his anger towards having to have the bottom of the barrel recruits. But through out the book we see how his views of each of his squad mates change and how he learns that each has their own individual asset that they bring to the squad. 

Aurora: The girl who started it all. After being in cryo-freeze for 200+ years Aurora was expecting to wake up on the Octavia Colony and not in a cell on an intergalactic space academy. But soon things are turned upside down when the authorities want her, and we learn that Aurora plays a bigger role in the sake of the universe then just being 216 years old. 

Scarlett: Scalett is Tyler's older sister and complete sarcastic wise ass and I loved every moment of reading from her POV. A lot of times we see characters go from weak to strong, but not Scarlett. She was strong from the moment you meet her. I loved the fact that everyone just embraces the fact that Scarlett has dated A LOT of guys. No one shames her for her and she doesn't shame herself. I absolutely love that! Also, do I smell a crush brewing? 

Kaliis "Kal": Kal is one of the alien species that we get to meet in this book. After his home planet is destroyed he joins Aurora Academy to make a difference for himself and his species. Kal was one of those characters that grew on me, the more you got to know him the more you understood why he behaves the way he does. I am really excited to see where Jay and Amie are going to take Kal in the next book. 

Finian: I found Finian to basically be the male version of Scarlett. In short: Finian is a brilliant wise ass. He is the other alien species that we are introduced to in Aurora Rising. After over coming a virus when he was a child Finian has to wear a mechanical exoskeleton to function in his day to day life. I found to crack up at a lot of the things he said. I enjoyed seeing Finian grow throughout the novel and overcome some of his limitations. 

Cat: I didn't realize how much I loved Cat's character until the final chapters of Aurora Rising. Cat is hard core and isn't going to take shit from anyone. We see through her chapters how she is in love with Tyler but how they could never be together because he is her superior officer. I am intrigued to see where Cat's character is going in the next book considering the end of Aurora Rising

Zila: I LOVED Zila's character. I related to her on a deeper level on how she doesn't have a group to fall back on. I also really loved the fondness she had for shooting her squad mates at the most inconvenient times. But Zila gets shit done and I am so ready to see her in book two. I just wish there were more chapters in her POV. 

There is so much I want to talk about but I can't because of spoilers. *sobs* 

I really loved how the story is seamless. Amie and Jay said that they each wrote specific characters but you can't tell who wrote who. A lot of times in books that are co-written they don't flow seamlessly and you can tell the difference in writing styles. In Aurora Rising you can't tell the difference and I loved that. 

Each chapter held unexpected surprises that moved the story forward in cool and unbelievably cool ways. Though the ending ripped my heart out, it was interesting the see the different alien species and the massive "Oh shit!" moment at the climax of the story. Overall I really loved Aurora Rising and I can't wait to see what this writing duo has in store for Squad 312! 

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