Can I confess that this is my first ever book by Kaufman and Kristoff? I know, I know, I haven’t read the super hyped Illuminae series…but I adored the SF setting in Aurora Rising! And now I’m ever more hyped for the rest and the previous trilogy!
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Aurora Rising is a high stakes space adventure. I haven’t read their previous work, but now I’m going to blast away to my TBR pile and do so. The story immerses us in mystery, danger, and tension. I will always be a sucker for groups of misfit heroes and Aurora Rising is exactly that. Talk about characters with rough edges coming together to smooth each other out, to work in harmony. And I already need to read the next one!
The story is both beautiful and intricate. The question of the ships getting lost in the Fold, layers upon layers like stars behind your eyes. There’s the mystery of Aurora and what happened. Why all the ghosts floating through space, lost to the world, and in the silence? It’s like being stuck in orbit of something wonderful and when you step away the beauty and wonder strike you.
There’s so much intrigue building and the cast of misfits reminds me of A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and The Disasters. Every one has their own mistakes, hidden secrets, and fragments of their heart orbiting around, threatening to collapse. With characters that appeal to pieces of you – your sense of honor, your desire for chaos, your deeply rooted needs for acceptance, and your desire to live steering your own ship and carting your own course. They face brave decisions, to stand against impossible odds and to have faith, faith in a larger plan, in the existence of miracles and the strength of friends.
It is a story that will sweep you away, it will transport you to the stars, far away from our earth bound feet. A story about found family, about pieces of people coming together, fitting to form new shapes, symbiotic organisms that take a few turns to work in harmony, but that make up something wonderful. While it’s also a story about characters, universal stakes against a force we are never sure we have a handle on, and the struggle to find our ways through the darkness, the silence, the last dying light to find our people, to flare, brilliant in the embers of the night.