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Aurora: Darwin

(Aurora #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  197 ratings  ·  43 reviews
A distress signal on the edge of inhabited space. A mission that is far outside normal parameters. Two very different people with one common goal survival.

When a distress signal is received from a black-ops space station on the edge of inhabited space, Captain Saul Harris of the UNF Aurora is called in from leave to respond. But the mission is not what it seems. Female mem
ebook, 532 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Momentum (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  197 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Patty Jansen
May 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: space-opera
I'll try to write this without too many spoilers.

Overall: this is a book that sees some very tense action and good characterisation, but suffers a bit from a lacklustre ending and lack of believable detail about space travel.

The good first:

There were some times that I didn't want to read any pages of this before going to bed. Parts of this book are downright scary and very, very tense.

I loved the characters and their interaction.

This is an easy and enjoyable read.

Concerns (other people may not
C.A. Larmer
An Action-Packed Ride

I don't often read sci-fi but this one had me intrigued from the start, and I could barely put it down. Great, realistic characters, superb writing and, most importantly for me, a clever, nail-biting plot. I so look forward to joining the Aurora crew on their next assignment (although I'm kind've terrified, too!)
Jun 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
I've been sitting on this review for a while now as I've been trying to think of some nice, polite and constructive way of writing it. I really cannot be bothered wasting any more time thinking on it, or gathering extensive citations from the text, so here is my overall view.

Aurora: Darwin has a great premise and a long-time Aliens fan I was immediately hooked. Colonial marines! Aliens! Action!

Sadly however, this doesn't deliver on the promise and is a limp and mediocre shadow of a greater theme
Benny Coquet
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story with fine caracters. I will surely read the next books in this series!
T From
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Aurora: Darwin was a great read - interesting, realistic characters who pulled you in straight away. The story develops at a great pace with plenty of action along the way. Although it is 'sci fi', it would appeal to range of readers. Its not overly 'techy' and you get the sense that (scarily) this story could really happen in the not too distant future! There is obviously more of this story to come - can't wait for the next installment.
Danny Mckenzie
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-sci-fi, sci-fi
A very good read in the genre of hard Sci-fi. This book has everything, good plot, solid characters of depth and feeling, sound settings and plausibility. So believable it could almost be a documentary from the future.
The story follows three new recruits on their first mission amongst seasoned soldiers. What have their superiors got planned for them, who can be trusted. There's hostility, hidden agendas, action, deception, betrayal, heroism, danger, death and a whole lot more in store for everyo
Originally published at West Coast Book Reviews.

Aurora: Darwin is the first in a science fiction series by Amanda Bridgeman.

I feel like I've been a fan of this series since before I read it. Book 3 Aurora: Meridian was available on Netgalley so I bought the first two to get ready for the third but instead of reading them, I put them away, then bought Meridian, tucking it away as well. That was months ago. I didn't start them until a week ago since I was waiting for the 'right time' like waiting
S.B. Wright
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Aurora: Darwin is the debut novel from Perth author Amanda Bridgeman. The folks at Momentum publishing have done a great job with the cover art (reminiscent to my mind of the Astropolis covers that Orbit did for Sean Williams) and associated extras. They can be found here. Not entirely necessary for your enjoyment but good art can shape your perceptions.

Bridgeman is a fan of sci-fi thrillers and that shows in Aurora: Darwin. If you are a fan of Aliens 2 and other Sci-Fi films of that era then yo
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, sci-fi, own, read_2013
A United National Forces (UNF) Space Patrol crack team is dispatched to a deadly and secretive corner of space to investigate a breakdown of communication at a classified government facility known to have been dabbling in dangerous scientific experiments. Aboard the Aurora, Captain Saul Harris knows this isn’t a simple mission – for one, he’s been given three additional crew members; all female, something unique to space patrol, secondly; command are sketchy on the details of the communications ...more
Wayne McCoy
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Aurora: Darwin' by Amanda Bridgeman is a pretty fair space opera full of decent suspense and action. That sort of tails off in an ending that seems to drag on too long.

In a not too distant future, we have conquered space flight and we are out fighting space pirates. That's what Captain Saul Harris and his crew of the Aurora do for the United National Forces. This time around, they are responding to the lack of communication from a science station. To make things more interesting, they have thre
Ingrid Jonach
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was a total adrenalin rush. I rarely read action novels (although I do like the occasional action movie), but this had me hooked from the first page. It read like a movie with very clever dialogue, and very thorough character descriptions and back story.

Aurora: Darwin is edge-of-your-seat stuff. A team of soldiers go to check out an unresponsive space station called the Darwin with some surprising (and extremely terrifying) results. I spent at least one sleepless night jumping at shad
Kristian Thoroughgood
Near-future military sci-fi with some great tense action and a dark conspiracy. What’s not to love?


It’s not amazingly original, and I felt some of the tropes a little worn. But by far the biggest crime was acres and acres of exposition at the beginning.

This book is walking on well trod ground, but it does do credit to its source materials. Excepting the exposition at the start of the book, it had enough character, drama and action to keep me turning the pages.

Overall an entertaining read.

Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh wow! I LOVED this book. I'm a huge fan of space operas without the heavy sci fi details that can sometimes drown a good story. This is perfect for sci fi fans who also love a story about capable women who are more than Decorative figures, strong characterization driven stories, and a sense of adventure without having to run into aliens or distant galaxies.
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all
I love this book so much I am giving it 6 stars ... even though I am allowed to give only 5. :)
dennis barron
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aurora: Darwin Amanda Bridgeman

This is a sci-fi thriller set in the future. We are exploring other has become crowded, somewhat depleted, that's a given. A space vessel is dispatched on a routine mission. It's crew is very special, highly trained, and for the first time , women are aboard. Is the mission real or a ruse? This is an explosive and extraordinarily well written novel. It's primary characters are extremely talented, professional, the best. Action explodes on every page.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a decent book. I recommend it, mostly because there is a good chance you will like it much more than I did. And, it is the first of a series, so if you like it, you have found a long reading list, which is gold for anyone who devours books.

Too slow to get going, and then too slow to end, and not inventive enough, to rate a 4, but it is more than a flat 3. Say 3.5?

Other reasons why it is worth reading:
* It has some surprises, especially from the viewpoint of the "rules" of what happens in
I quite enjoyed it, but it was slightly over-long and she deliberately left everything up in the air so we’d buy the sequel, which always pisses me off.
Oct 08, 2014 rated it liked it
interesting - I'm somewhere between the other readers who gave it four or five stars, saying it was a great read, thrilling, suspenseful, and the ones who gave it one or two because they found the characters unconvincing and the setting implausible.

I certainly found it readable - read it all in one go - but there were problems with the space setting and the military aspects that I just couldn't swallow, and there were indeed some paper-thin characters.

Why such a space vessel as big as Bridgema
Online Eccentric Librarian
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi

More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

Aurora:Darwin is a decently, if densely, written military science fiction with uneven pacing and quite a bit of egregious violence. It is also a strange throwback to an era where the military is all macho, women are supposed to weak and are sex objects, everyone takes note of color of skin and nationality, and homophobia is common. And there is a strange paranormal undercurrent as well.

The story is told from two perspect
Anni (Tea in the Treetops)
It’s been a while since I read a proper hard military sci-fi. Often they are cold, violent stories with few realistic characters, and while Aurora: Darwin doesn't hold back with the violence, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with the crew of the Aurora before the action starts. I was even a bit disappointed when they arrived at the Darwin because I was quite enjoying reading about how the original crew were reacting to suddenly having three women in their previously all-male domain.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What's the first thing I do after signing up for a fantasy reading challenge? Why, dive into some science fiction, of course! What makes this weirder is that I'm not a huge sci-fi reader. However, Amanda and I travel in some of the same circles, so when there was an opportunity to check out the first of her series on NetGalley I decided to give it a go.

I'm glad I did. If you're the sort of person who wants
Jun 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Aurora: Darwin is Bridgeman's debut novel and the first in a projected series.

When Captain Saul Harris is summoned from leave and given a new mission, he is already a little uneasy. He and his crew are to visit a black ops space station with communication problems and determine if that is all that is wrong. Harris and his crew are not usually sent on minor assignments involving communications. The details of the mission leave a lot of questions unanswered and Captain Harris a little concerned a
Steven Cole
I received this book as part of the Goodreads first-reads program, which means: free!

But hm. So this is sort of supposed to be military sci-fi, but it feels that way only in the way it hits all of the most negative of military stereotypes. The misogyny was so thick you could cut it with a knife. We had our protagonist, a woman with a military father, joining an existing all-male team (along with another pair of women) as an “experiment” in how women do in the military. The men all acted cringing
Lily Malone
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I won the Aurora series (first 3 print books) in a giveaway.

In my time, I've loved a lot of Sci-Fi movies (Alien is a huge fave, plus all the Star Wars and things like Total Recall, Pitch Black, Chronicles of Riddick etc) ok, anything with Vin Diesel (drool).
So when I heard I'd won these books, I thought: "awesome".
Amanda Bridgeman has built a credible and intriguing world with the Aurora series.
The tension leading up to the fights on the Darwin space station were really well done,
Sean Randall
May 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
This sounded good, from the synopsis, and I'm not saying it wouldn't suit some people. For my own taste, 227 uses of the word fuck is a real off-putter, especially when the prospect of a single cigarette causes genuine consternation among the characters. The machismo was worryingly flat, characterisation bland, the plot slow and the UNF organisation seems silly, ineffectual and disturbingly reckless.

Space seemed to be incidental to the whole story; which I understand in a not wanting to focus on
Todd Simpson
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly entertaining. It doesn’t take long to realise that Amanda Bridgeman has an obvious talent for writing Sci-Fi books. I really enjoyed the plot. Especially since it had me guessing, with what was going to happen from one moment to the next. I really liked not knowing what was going to happen at the Space Station. Captain Saul Harris is a bit surprised when he’s told him, that he and his crew are being sent to investigate a distress beacon on a small Scientific Space Station. It’s even m ...more
Rick Keuning
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I first encountered Amanda Bridgeman at the new authors show case at Conflux 8 back in
April. This got me interested enough to buy her newly published book, Aurora: Darwin. It took be a while to read it, but I’m glad I did.

Aurora: Darwin is a good book.

As it is clearly the first book in a series it spends a fair chunk of the book establishing the characters and setting the scene. This was done very well, I almost never got bored or tempted to skip a bit. I wanted to know about them. There was ju
Justin Woolley
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I think the best way to describe Aurora: Darwin is as the love child of Battlestar Galactica and Alien (just without aliens). The reason I say that is Bridgeman writes the military space-opera of life aboard the Aurora and the interplay between the crew very well, particularly when it comes to the dynamics developing around the introduction of new female recruits. This reminded me of that Battlestar-type focus on the crew's daily life. We get to know them as people rather than just a bunch of ge ...more
Jason Franks
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cracking action-packed space opera by debut author Amanda Bridgeman.

With the POV sections divided between optimistic young recruit Carrie Wells and the ship's grizzled captain Saul Harris, Bridgeman gives us a terrific view of life on board the ship and the place of the individual crews in the UNF organization.

The book is a bit slow through the first half as Bridgeman carefully introduces all of the characters and sets up the relationships between them. There's quite a large cast and it's great
Mark Harding
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Aurora: Darwin is great military sci-fi in the style of Leviathan Wakes or Aliens. Amanda Bridgeman constructs a very convincing not-too-distant future in which the furthest reaches of human explored space are populated by military and research space stations and bases. When contact is lost with the station known as Darwin, a team of Space Duty soldiers are sent to investigate. But there are last minute additions to the team in the form of three female recruits, and these sorts of missions don't ...more
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Amanda is an Aurealis Award finalist and author of several science fiction novels, including the best-selling space opera Aurora series, alien contact drama The Time of the Stripes and the sci-fi crime thriller The Subjugate.

Born in the seaside/country town of Geraldton, Western Australia, she moved to Perth (Western Australia) to study film & television/creative writing at Murdoch University,

Other books in the series

Aurora (7 books)
  • Aurora: Pegasus (Aurora, #2)
  • Aurora: Meridian (Aurora, #3)
  • Aurora: Centralis (Aurora, #4)
  • Aurora: Eden (Aurora, #5)
  • Aurora: Decima (Aurora #6)
  • Aurora: Aurizun (Aurora 7)