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Starshine: Aurora Rising Book One

(Aurora Rhapsody #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,044 ratings  ·  229 reviews
Space is vast and untamed, and it holds many secrets. Now two individuals from opposite ends of settled space are on a collision course with the darkest of those secrets, even as the world threatens to explode around them.

The year is 2322. Humanity has expanded into the stars, inhabiting over 100 worlds across a third of the galaxy. Though thriving as never before, they ha
ebook, 583 pages
Published March 23rd 2014 by Hypernova Publishing
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G.S. Jennsen Thank you! I really enjoyed designing the cover; it makes the novel feel that much more personal for me.

My favorite thing? The book itself - that it…more
Thank you! I really enjoyed designing the cover; it makes the novel feel that much more personal for me.

My favorite thing? The book itself - that it exists, that other people enjoy it, the characters that continue to live in my head and perhaps a few other people's heads, too, now :). I do have a couple of favorite scenes, but - spoilers!(less)
G.S. Jennsen Absolutely. All the ebooks are available on Amazon UK, Kobo UK, Google Play UK, and likely others, and the Starshine ebook is free; the paperbacks is…moreAbsolutely. All the ebooks are available on Amazon UK, Kobo UK, Google Play UK, and likely others, and the Starshine ebook is free; the paperbacks is available at most major online retailers. Links to most retailers are here:

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,044 ratings  ·  229 reviews

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Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read and definitely one of my favourite books this year!

This book was a bit slow to start but once it got going it was incredible. The story follows two main characters: Earth Alliance star-ship captain and explorer Alexis Solovy and Senecan Federation special intelligence agent Caleb Marano. Although they are the main characters, the narration of the story constantly changes from their immediate situation to the happenings surrounding a host of other minor characters scattered throu
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Jennsen has crafted a very good story with interesting, complex characters and--as we see with the best of SF--big stakes. My enjoyment of the book was hampered, though, by a number of excesses and missteps which I've found are not unusual in the genre: too many characters, too much technical detail, too long to get to the crux of the story.

The two main characters didn't meet until nearly a quarter of the way through the book. The action really didn't pick up until about the half way mark even
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
G.S. Jensen magically weaves a wondrous tapestry that pulls us in and spurs us across a galaxy of her own making. As slaves to her whims we are taken along for a ride of intrigue, murder, adventure and a bit of romance. All woven so completely that she sucks you in head over heels, leaving her readers salivating for more.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I enjoyed her amazing universe, depth of the characters and vast unpredictability of plot. She left me feeling emerged in the tastes and sounds
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book commits one of my biggest book pet peeves. The entire thing is just a long build up for the next book. There is no kind of story resolution whatsoever. I realize a lot of books in a series end on minor cliffhangers, or leave questions, but this book is 100% ramp up for the main story. It ends with nothing but questions and unresolved issues. It makes me wonder why I even bothered. Now, I have not only put in the time and money investment for this book, I have to put in another investme ...more
Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
First book by this author and it has less than 1000 ratings. And it's really good! I was quite impressed! I will be reading the second.
Oct 17, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I very much wanted to like this book but it's really poor and amateurish. Maybe a good editor might have knocked some shape into it as there are probably one or two good ideas hidden amid the mess. But the writing is leaden and cliched and the characters one dimensional. I read 150 pages before giving it up.

I can't believe that someone rated it the 14th best work of sci fi by a woman

It comes ahead of Ursula le Guin's The Dispossessed, as well as a number

Ugh, this story is a headache and I didn't even make it 15% in. I wanted to like this story but I just could not go any further.

The beginning is so slow and while we're trying to get introduced to our main characters we keep getting interrupted with other people's POV's. And I don't mean just one, not even two or three, or four, I seriously lost count. I did not like this AT ALL. But that's not even what makes it bad. The story is so damn confusing with all the technical descriptions and te
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazing
What a pure joy this book is, I’m only 100 pages in and I can't stop, nor do I want to!!(Correction, i've just finished the novel and good god sweet marry it was amazing, there are literally no words to describe the pure emotional adrenaline rush of a high im on after just finishing what is quite possibly my new favorite Sci-Fi novel ever.) It’s like an addiction, one I'm completely ok with having! I mean the writing is so crisp, stark, and intelligent it almost baffles the mind. While I may sti ...more
J.S. Bailey
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whoa. I repeat: whoa.

Every so often a story or a movie fills me with such awe that I really don't know what to say. (This is a good thing, I promise!)

Starshine is an intricate novel. There is the central story of Alex and Caleb, who go to investigate a mysterious anomaly at the center of a nebula independently of each other and find something far more terrifying than they ever could have imagined. In the meantime galactic war is erupting around them, and the reader gets to see things from the va
Beth Johnson
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-reads, quiltbag
I admit that I'm usually not a big science fiction reader as many of my early experience with the genre left me wanting. Recently, though, I have been making an attempt to get back into the genre, with varying degrees of success. This novel is definitely in the "success" column of the ledger, though. The book pulls you in quickly, doesn't spend huge amounts of time with needless exposition, keeps the techno-babble down a bit, does a great job with the astrophysics (a huge plus in my book any day ...more
I ended up skipping large chunks of the book. Things that put me off:
- Too many technical descriptions on the ship systems, which I really could have done without.
- The romance is predictable and cliched. (view spoiler)
- The chapters skipped between different worlds and after a while the names & characters just got too hard to
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved it! It started out slow, mostly because there are so many characters to introduce. But after that, the pacing was pretty good. It definitely kept me interested. This book is a great mixture of sci-fi and romance. There is plenty of both, but not too much of either. I adore Alex and Caleb, they are perfect for each other. :-) I'm definitely reading the next one in the series!
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

Starshine by G.S. Jennesen is a fantastic science fiction thriller with a tiny twist of romance. Great characters, cool science and an amazing heroine make this story work. I was so intrigued by the spaceship Siyane that I really hope it is even more of a feature in the later books.

Loved it
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ends in a cliffhanger, second book planed for winter. Great romance, intriguing conspiracy.
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a really long time to finish this book, but that doesn't mean that I didn't like it. It is a long book, to be sure, and I think it could easily have been shortened by a hundred or so pages without losing anything, but the length is not necessarily what gave me so much trouble. It was the politics and, to a much lesser extent, the science.

The technobabble at least seemed reasonable. There wasn't any "magic" technology that could act as a deus ex machina, and the sLume (superluminal) dr
Peter Samet
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love science fiction, and I’m always on the hunt for new voices in the genre, so when this book exploded with positive reviews, it got my attention. I wasn’t disappointed. I started reading it at an auto garage while waiting for minor repairs, and after I finished the first two chapters, I remember thinking, “Damn, I kinda wish my car had gotten totaled so I don’t have to stop.”

The first thing I noticed was how much I liked the characters. The two leads, Alex and Caleb, are different in almost
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Starshine is a fantastic science fiction adventure that will take you across the galaxy to vivid and exciting worlds. GS Jennsen weaves a complex and intruiguing plot, and you will keep turning the pages, eager to see how the pieces all fall into place. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next in the series. The two main characters were absolutely endearing and I can't wait to read more about them. Jennsen's writing is superb, and at times there are sentences or phrases so ...more
Nov 22, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First things first, I didn't finish the book.
I really tried to like it, but it became exceedingly harder and finally I failed, just because there are too many issues I could ignore any longer.

When I read the blurb, all the right buttons were pushed and I thought that sounded really promising. And the first chapters continued pressing the right buttons in the right way. Nothing extravagantly new was invented, but but that's not bad, as some well-loved tropes were woven into the background that w
Jan 23, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this book. The plot and the main characters where great. BUT it was slow reading for me and I'm not used to that. I wanted to know what happened to the characters but at the same time this book had a hard time keeping me reading. Why? Because of two things:

1. The multiple POW:s. I was seriously looking for a chart somewhere with descriptions of the who's who and I usually hate that. But I needed one for this book. It jumped between planets and persons way to much for me to keep track of
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is only the 2nd science fiction book I've read so I don't have much to compare it to but I really loved reading it. The author has built a fantastic galaxy of places and worlds that feel real, and I like that fact that it even after all those years exploring space humanity still finds itself alone and the consequences of that.

The story with all the political intrigue and great characters had me hooked from the beginning. In fact this is the first book I've read in a long time where I've im
Tor Pettersen
Aug 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ham-handed romance wrapped in scientifically illiterate technobabble.

The story is fundamentally incompatible with the technology level claimed - or even today's technology.
In a setting with femtotech (like nanotech, only several orders of magnitude smaller) we're supposed to believe in high-security settings where they can't monitor the elevators. We're expected to buy that a costume that, as described, would be easily detectable (at least after the fact) with today's surveillance technology som
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the initiation of the minor romantic sub-plot implausible, going from literal enemies (with at least one holding a decades long grudge) to lovers in less than 2 weeks, but I'm beginning to think that's one of my unique reader quirks considering how often it comes up in fiction and how little anyone else seems to care.

Otherwise I found this one thoroughly awesome read full of deep conspiracy, multiple motivations and agendas from all sorts of places working with or against others, and som
Katie Cross
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is my first space opera. I think I'll be forever jaded, and I want to have Caleb's children.

I listened to this as an audiobook, and plan on buying it in paperback because I want to properly sit down and visually see the words. While the audiobook left nothing wanting, I'm "one of those" people that tactically need to touch it. I actually listened to this while driving 1700 miles across the country. It accompanied me for 1250 miles, and probably saved my life. I couldn't stop listening. I ha
Jeremy Petschke
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have never been more confused about how I have felt about a book, immediately after reading it. On one hand, this novel tells the very interesting story of a futuristic human race that has colonized a good section of the Milky Way. On the other hand, it also tells the extremely heavy handed romance of its two main protagonist. Now I am not one to criticize romance, (I love Austen like the best of them) but the development of the love between Alex and Caleb was so destined from the very first p ...more
E.D.E. Bell
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, romance
This book is so fun! It's science fiction, romance, mystery, and adventure all in one. There are plenty of reviews out there so I don't really need to recap.

I will make just a few notes:

1) I really liked the main characters. This is a big deal for me; you have to care.

2) I *loved* how the author handled the technology concerns of the future, the stuff everyone frets about now. Not much privacy? Nope. But you can always hack that. Clone your baby? Sure, but it's kind of lame. Greet people with sc
Sabine Priestley
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I deeply enjoyed this book. Jenssen is brilliant in her descriptions and use of technology. Alex and Caleb both had me early on. The transformation in Caleb was very well done and very believable. Ironically one of the things that annoyed me about this book is also one of its strengths. Jennsen uses deep description on virtually every page and at times it’s simply tedious. From a personal perspective I like my romance hot, heavy and early on. The fact that I continued reading until %70 through t
L Bongiorno
I kept debating about quitting this one. It is very slow, unclear at times, and way too many people are thrown in out of the blue with a blurb that is not always clear and then their name changes immediately with ranks, first names, nick names and it goes back and forth. Also, I don't need upteen pages describing a ship and it's hallways, especially before I know the characters. I was skipping pretty big chunks in the beginning. There were also a lot of writing mistakes... like his for her, doub ...more
I'm not really quite sure what to make of this book. The plot is exciting and the characters are compelling. However, I am pretty sure the writing itself is only average in quality and could use a bit more editing/less technobabble. NEVERTHELESS I am starting book 2 because I can't wait to see what happens next. It's like a chocolate binge on Hershey, it's good enough you can't stop, but it's hardly a high quality truffle.

Oh yeah, if you like spaceships, milSF, political conspiracy, or secret ag
Nov 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Don't start this book unless you're prepared to read the next two. The story lines cover all three books. Also, there is a lot of scifi, details on the technology, many many storylines (which I admit I skipped over and just kept track of the main characters :). Overall a not bad story. I didn't feel a lot of growth from our heroine, others yes and the story was so big that this was okay. It was a slog at times to make it through but I'm glad I hung in there and kept reading (and skipping :)
Jun 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were so many things I enjoyed about this book - the world-building, the main characters, the technobabble, the layered plot, etc. Unfortunately, these were balanced by things that frustrated me. There were too many characters, it was too long, and there was too much exposition and build-up for the rest of the series (I should have been prepared for that...) I was ready to have my socks knocked off by this book, but it just didn't hit my sweet spot.
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G. S. Jennsen is a science and speculative fiction author, as well as a futurist, geek, gamer, programmer and editor. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two dogs. She has written ten novels, all published by her imprint, Hypernova Publishing, and has become an internationally bestselling author since her first novel, Starshine, was published in March 2014. She has chosen to continue writin ...more

Other books in the series

Aurora Rhapsody (9 books)
  • Vertigo (Aurora Rising, #2)
  • Transcendence (Aurora Rising, #3)
  • Sidespace (Aurora Renegades, #1)
  • Dissonance (Aurora Renegades, #2)
  • Abysm (Aurora Renegades #3; Aurora Rhapsody #6)
  • Relativity (Aurora Resonant, #1)
  • Rubicon (Aurora Resonant, #2)
  • Requiem (Aurora Resonant, #3)
“We don’t get to choose what happens to us—but we always get to choose how we react to it.” 13 likes
“The brain represented the most complex organism ever to exist, and impossible to tame. Morality could not be spawned by tweaking a few genes or shutting off a few neurons. Not yet. So though humanity conquered the very stars, it remained unable to conquer the darkness within.” 8 likes
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