Aurora Rising – Book Review

Title – Aurora Rising
Authors – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristof
My Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre – Sci-Fi
Publication Date – May 6th 2019

This art is by @kiranight_art.


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.

First Thoughts ✨

When first diving into this book, I didn’t know what to expect. This was my first ever Sci-Fi (full-read) and my first ever dual-written book and putting those two together – it became quite daunting. I’m normally not one to read or enjoy Sci-Fi but I was surprised by how this book explained everything. It didn’t feel science-y, which is a huge problem I normally have with Sci-Fi (long, boring descriptions.), it was written so perfectly for any Sci-Fi starter, just like me. That’s not to say that a veteran of the genre couldn’t be surprised – because, believe me, the stuff Kristoff and Kaufman will blow anyone away.

Overall: I really enjoyed the start and it didn’t feel suffocating.

Story 📚

The story of this book was so well written. The plot was always moving, it never felt stagnant. It was quite fast paced as we were constantly hopping from one adventure to another – which I loved. The characters were constantly experiencing something new and trying to figure out how to overcome obstacles that were constantly getting thrown at them. I would say, though, that this story is more character driven than it is plot driven. The characters lit up any scene that would have been dull otherwise. That being said, the story and plot were still fantastic and constantly kept you on your toes.

Overall: This story is more character driven, but the story and plot were fantastic also.

Characters 👩‍👧‍👦

Before evaluating every character separately, I just wanted to say that all of these characters were written flawlessly and with such fluidity that you would never know two different people were writing them. I haven’t read such amazing group dynamics in a very long time.

Tyler: The leader (Alpha) of the group was so great. He really was a leader. He did everything for his team – he put everything on the line which I loved. He was also very kind and “golden boy-y.” Tyler added that needed filter to the team because otherwise, they’d be all over the place. We were constantly shown that, yes, in fact, he was the best student of Aurora Academy, and I loved that we saw it – instead of it being constantly told to us. His feats speak for himself – and it showed that he was an amazing Alpha.

Overall: Tyler was a great leader and a very smart character.

Scarlett: The diplomat (Face) of the team was by far my favourite character, and that’s saying something as every character was AMAZING. She was witty, sassy and fierce. She like her brother (Tyler), was very smart – but in a different way. She always knew what was wrong with other members and was the mother figure of the team. She really looked after everyone and loved them – she did it because she cared, Tyler did it because it was his responsibility.

Cat: The pilot (Ace) of the group was pretty mediocre. For me, she just fell into the shadow of Scarlett. She didn’t add anything to the group that Scarlett already had. She was mean to Aurora so many times – even though Aurora lost everyone and had no where to go except stay with the group. She also wasn’t the smartest character – so she really didn’t give the group anything, except her flight expertise.

Overall: Cat wasn’t my favourite as she didn’t bring anything to the group.

Zila: Oh. My. God. Zila was the most precious team member. She was the brain – pretty much the doctor – and if you thought Tyler was smart, she was on another level. She was such a great edition to the team, as her remarks were hilarious and her intellect saved the team more times than I can count.

Overall: Zila was precious and the smartest (god-smart) character.

Fin: The mechanic (Gearhead) of the group wasn’t that special. His whole I’m-cruel-because-of-my-past thing got boring real quick. As Fin evolved and started bonding with the team, he grew on me. He still isn’t my favourite but he isn’t the worst either.

Overall: Quite boring compared to the others, but not my least favourite.

Kal: The bruiser (Tank) of the team was AMAZING! Kal was my favourite male character. He was an alien that looked like an ELF! What more do you need? He was also a very cool fighter and a hilarious team member – for the whole book, I thought he was purple, till I saw the fan art above……

Overall: An alien that looked like an Elf and he was very funny. My favourite male character.

Aurora: This book’s namesake character started off quite slow for me, but as I started to release everything she went through – she grew on me. She felt the closest to reality because she wasn’t that far into the future. She was a full Terran (person from earth). Aurora was so complex and a big part of the book’s mystery.

Overall: Slow character development for Aurora, but she grows on you.

Last Thoughts 💭

The end of the book left me deceased. My Twitter name is now ‘Nick needs Aurora Rising book 2’ after what it did to me. A lot happened at the end of the book – the book sped up a reasonable amount. It went from pretty fast paced to Usain Bolt speed. The ending was done really well, as it gave us enough to keep us happy, but also wanting more. I can’t wait to see what Kaufman and Kristoff come up with next.

Overall: It became really fast paced and paved the way for book 2.

My Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Find it on: Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Book Depository and Goodreads.

Have you read Aurora Rising? If so, let me know what you thought.

Thanks for reading – Nick

7 thoughts on “Aurora Rising – Book Review

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