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The Aurora Cycle #1

Aurora Rising

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From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

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.

They're not the heroes we deserve. They're just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

473 pages, Hardcover

First published May 6, 2019

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About the author

Amie Kaufman

33 books12.6k followers
Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her multi-award winning work is slated for publication in over 30 countries, and is in development for film and TV. Raised in Australia and occasionally Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and daughter, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library. She is the host of the podcasts Amie Kaufman on Writing, and Pub Dates.

You can sign up for her newsletter to see what she's working on, hear when she releases a new book, and be automatically entered for giveaways: https://amiekaufman.substack.com/

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,993 reviews
Profile Image for chai ♡.
321 reviews153k followers
August 9, 2022
(leaning forward so my lips touch the microphone) it's a YIKES from me!

I, a keen admirer of Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman since 2017 when I read The Illuminae Files, felt fairly positive about this book. I tried to hold on to that wide-eyed optimism while reading this book, but it was like trying to hold on to smoke or shadow. Boredom had its hooks in me before I was even halfway through the novel, and I was ju glad when this one was over, not gonna lie.

That said, Aurora Rising does kick off with a high-concept punch.

When Legionnaire Tyler Jones investigates a distress call mere hours before the squad Draft and discovers a 220-year-old cryogenically frozen girl, what he should do and what he would do had no bearing upon each other. Jones misses the Draft but rescues the girl—an endeavor which, heroic though it was, is bound to catch up with him sooner or later. He is assigned Squad Leader to a crew of leftover misfits, and their first mission ends with cataclysm and apocalypse: Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley is explicably no longer encased in frozen cryogel, but is more inexplicably on their ship.

Mistrust immediately spools out between them and Aurora, but a cryptic message from two of their superiors in which they implicitly—but fervently—insist that they protect her, and in light of their acceleration toward doom, the squad decides to mine for answers that will hopefully cast a decent enough light into the depths into which they had all unwisely ventured. However, they quickly find out that they’re facing inexorable forces and they had at best a coin flip of coming out of it alive.

There are a few things Aurora Rising does relatively well—from its sturdy premise to its attempts at subverting well-worn tropes (though some elements wind up being huge red herrings) to even some finer points of morality and responsibility pulsing beneath the surface (the novel, however, allows them very little space to grow a thematic argument of any complexity)—but being a gripping read isn't one of them.

As bursting with enthusiasm as Aurora Rising is, not all of the authors' choices pan out. The novel is overstuffed with sci-fi spectacle, little of it being particularly fresh. The story sprints past most of its poignant moments to unrelentingly pursue the next plot objective instead, which comes at the cost of a winning story. The plot feels rushed, and the many point-of-view characters are flattened by so little page-time, and regularly cutting to some of them didn’t feel organic either. I soon found myself becoming indifferent to them (except maybe Finian whose shoulders must be strained from hefting the weight of this entire book). I simply didn’t care. I didn’t care so profoundly that a well of cynicism rose in me, and the boredom of it all almost bled my brain front to back. It doesn’t do the story any favors that the book's entire narrative bends towards an ending that's frustratingly glib, and it was all I could not to fling my kindle against the wall.

Here is the thing: I signed up for a swashbuckling romp packed full with camaraderie, charisma and quick wit, featuring a crew of diverse misfits wrestling with rejection and the choices that got them into this mess in the first place. But Aurora Rising carries itself with nothing of the funny dialogue, and the yanked heartstring that made The Illuminae Files so winning. With an unexciting plot, characters that are as compelling as a wet ball of yarn, relationships that have zero chemistry (you have SEVEN characters and you decide to pair them all into heterosexual ships? Please. I am bored. I feel like yawning. I am already yawning), and girl-on-girl hate that outstayed the acceptable page limit by a factor of at least three, this novel was a huge let down.

You’d think some cosmic authority would put a limit on how many disappointments one gets in a lifetime, but oh well.
Profile Image for Jay Kristoff.
Author 38 books23.9k followers
July 26, 2018
So this is our new YA sci-fi action adventure thing. It's kinda like this:


Meets this:


We have the goldenboy of an interstellar military academy:


Who finds himself saddled with a squad of losers, discipline cases and psychos:


And a girl who's been cryogenically frozen for two centuries:


And as you can imagine, everything turns out splendidly:


It features (in no particular order) hawt space elves with anger management issues:


Daring heists in search of ancient alien artifacts:


At least one masquerade ball on a space station:


Some angsty space romance (because everything is angstier in spaaaaaace):


And an ancient evil (that only our squad of misfits and reprobates can defeat):


So, yeah. It's out in April 2019. We hope you enjoy it.

Squad up, bitches:



Is this book set in the Illumiverse?

Nope. Totally new universe.

Will the book be alt-format like the Illuminae Files?

Nope. We did that already. There's no sense repeating yourself. :)

How many books are in the series?

At least three.

Was this the book formerly known as Andromeda?

Yes. We changed the title because the book was originally set in the Andromeda galaxy. But space is huuuuuge (like really, really big), so we decided to bring it back to our galaxy, the Milky Way. And "the Milky Way Cycle" sounds less like an epic action-adventure in space, and more like a chocolate bar.

Will there be pre-order goodness?

Yes! We're working out details now, but hold onto your receipts. We don't know details about pre-orders outside the US, but please be patient, we'll get word to you ASAP. And thank you for pre-ordering, we love you!

Your MC sounds bi-racial. True/false?

True. Auri is half Irish, half Chinese.

How much gay can we expect in this book?

Real space is rainbow-colored. Ours is no exception. :)

When can we see the cover?

Very soon! And we have loads more (very) exciting news to share on this one, so stay tuned. And thanks for the support.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,659 reviews5,137 followers
April 21, 2022
#1 Aurora Rising ★★★★★
#2 Aurora Burning ???
#3 untitled ???

They’re all dead. Hundreds. Thousands. Every single person on this ship is dead, except her.

I want to come up with some sort of witty introduction to this review, something to “hook” you and convince you that whatever I can ramble onto this page will be worthy of this book, but honestly, I’ve just gotta tell you up front. I'm calling it now, in April: Aurora Rising is going down as my favorite book of 2019. I honestly don’t know if anything I read for the rest of this year will come anywhere near the magnificence that is this wonderful, hilarious, heart-wrenching, suspenseful adventure in space.

Thing is, impossible always comes with a price.

I already knew I was going to enjoy this; after all, it’s another gorgeous brain-child from Jay and Amie, the authors of one of my all-time favorite series, The Illuminae Files. What I didn’t know was how well Aurora Rising would hold its own against their first trilogy, how easily it would set itself apart (despite being another banter-filler, emotional roller coaster in the stars), or how singularly consuming it would be. I constantly alternated between reading this slowly to savor it and devouring massive chunks at a time because I just never wanted it to end, but I couldn’t get enough.

Once we walked the dark between the stars, unequaled. What have we become?

While the plot is fantastic, the banter is hilarious, and there are some surefire swoon-worthy moments, what really sells Aurora Rising is the rag-tag bunch of misfits in Squad 312. These characters are easily some of the most lovable, precious beans I’ve ever read in my entire life. I am endlessly amazed by how well these authors can make their characters feel so real that I want to protect and love them at all costs, forever, and become so attached that I literally miss them when the book ends.

I was born with the taste of blood in my mouth. I was born with my hands in fists. I was born for war.

The chapters alternate between their perspectives, and there are quite a few of them, but each of their voices are so particular to that character that I felt like I could’ve easily recognized whose eyes I was looking through, even without the chapter headers informing me. That alone is a nearly impossible feat for writers to manage, but it works so well here. We have:

👑 Tyler Jones, Alpha: Iconic golden boy image; he doesn’t drink, doesn’t swear, treats people fairly, does what’s “right” whenever possible, and manages to be totally lovable despite his absolute Lawful Good alignment.

Scarlett Jones, Face: Tyler’s twin, absolute queen, can be sweet as pie but would probably skin you alive if you harmed a single hair on her brother’s head. We stan.

🚀 Catherine ‘Cat’ Brannock, Ace: Pilot extraordinaire, hot-headed, tattoos everywhere, definitely not in love with Tyler, recipient of mixed feelings from readers and characters alike.

👽 Finian de Karren de Seel, Gearhead: Betraskan (alien) force who lives for sarcasm, rude jokes, and hotties of any and all genders. He’s disabled and lives inside a mechanical exosuit, and I would probably do just about anything to keep this little jerk safe. (Side note: as a queer reviewer who has invisible disabilities, I personally gave Fin’s diverse rep an A+ score and thought it was brilliantly and thoughtfully written.)

🧝‍♂️ Kaliis ‘Kal’ Gilwraeth, Tank: Syldrathi, AKA hot/tall/muscular/scary space elf, and also did I mention MY SWEET BABY. Mostly violent and generally misunderstood, a quietly angsty little soul. Jay and Amie, so help me if you do ANYTHING to hurt him... 😡😡😡

🔫 Zila Madran, Brain: Small, adorable, owner of oddly specific earrings, and a raging beastie who shoots first and asks questions never. Zila is… strangely and incredibly endearing.

Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley: Last but not least, the title character, Aurora. Lost in cryo-sleep for 200 years, she’s understandably baffled, terrified, and a little bit furious. Oh, and she does freaky, scary, violent things with her mind. It’s dope.

“Who am I to deny gravity? When you shine brighter than any constellation in the sky?”

Seriously, I could spend another twenty pages gushing about this book. I’m already dying to reread it (and have the audiobook pre-ordered for exactly that purpose!), and can’t wait for the second book. Reading Jay and Amie’s work always means signing up for equal parts laughter and heartbreak, and a healthy dose of literally counting the days until the next installment, and it’s worth every damn second.

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,537 reviews9,798 followers
May 19, 2023
Squad 3-1-2 forever. We are the legion. We are the light.

Reading Aurora Rising for the second time was such a treat. I think I am ready to be rid of that pesky 4.5-stars rounded up thing we did the first time round.

It felt so incredibly good to be back with these characters and in this world.

I felt like I was able to relax more into the story this time, as I wasn't flipping the pages a million miles per hour to see what was going to happen next.

Therefore, I was able to learn more about and become even more attached to this cast. Each character is unique and brings their own special blend of something good to the table.

My plan is to move directly on to the second book, Aurora Burning, and then straight on through to Aurora's End.

My copy of Aurora's End just arrived today and I am so excited to see how this is going to turn out. I literally have no predictions.

If you are a Scifi fan, if you loved the Illuminae Files, if you love stories set in space, if you love stories featuring a ragtag group of individuals fighting for survival, you should pick this up.

Heck, everyone should pick this up! It's a great book, an action-packed story and a phenomenal start to a series.


Now that the final book, Aurora's End, has been released, I am rereading this, because I hope to actually binge the entire trilogy this month!


Let's do this!!!


**4.5-stars rounded up**

Apparently, this is what it feels like to have your still beating heart ripped violently out of your chest?!

The year is 2380; our story begins on the eve of graduation at Aurora Academy. Traditionally, immediately following the graduation ceremony, squad leaders choose their teams and are given their first real assignments.

Tyler Jones, star pupil and known leader, cannot sleep.

Call it nerves, call it excitement for the future, whatever it is, sleep is not happening.

During the course of his restless night, he hears an SOS over the comm system and sets out to see if he can help.

He reasons, since he is incredible in almost every way, he will definitely be able to help.

When he comes across the starship emitting the SOS beacon, he finds hundreds of dead aboard, with just one survivor locked in cryogenic sleep state.

Fortunately, he is able to save her and bring her back to the Academy with him. But just who is this beautiful lone survivor?

Coming out of cryosleep, Aurora is shocked to find herself at an Academy for space cadets and not at Octavia Colony, her original destination.

As she struggles to clear her head and put the pieces of the puzzle together, she also discovers she has some sort of mysterious powers awakening.

Tyler is disappointed and confused upon returning to the Academy as well.

Due to his late night rescue mission, he missed graduation and as a consequence, the selection of teams.

As a new squad leader, what is he left with?

His sister, a loyal friend and a few other miscreants: Scarlett, Cat, Kal, Fin and Zila.

Thusly, Squad 312 is formed. The most lovable bunch of misfits the galaxy has ever seen!

The story follows all of their perspectives as they go on their first mission and learn more about Aurora, as well as her puzzling claims about the nonexistent Octavia Colony.

Guys, to say I am anxiously anticipating the next book would literally be the understatement of 2019.

I loved this story a ton. My only negative is that I found the numerous POVs a bit jarring at times. Other than that, nothing but love from me!

Squad 312 against the whole galaxy?

This author duo is hard to beat in my eyes. I hope they continue to collaborate for years to come!!!

Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,465 reviews9,621 followers
June 18, 2019
Yay! Goldsboro came through! They had an extra copy and look at it!! I got locked out of ordering it when their site went down that day! They emailed me about the extra copy, I was all over it like white on rice! 🤣😂

I made a double sided bookmark today and once again, I didn’t practice with my new cutter and it’s a little off! But I love it anyway!

Loved it! Loved the characters! Hope to read the next two in the trilogy!

Omg! Look at that cover!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for Irina.
91 reviews143 followers
July 26, 2020
" Do moons choose the planets they orbit? Do planets choose their stars? Who am I to deny gravity, Aurora? When you shine brighter than any constellation on the sky? "

First I want to say that the only reason why this book got 4 starts from me is because the last 70 pages were AMAZING. I'm left speechless. After I finished the book I needed a few moments to process what I read. Those last pages were what I was expecting from the whole book when I started reading it.

I really liked the story line and I'm curious how the plot will develop in the next book. The ending left me with so many questions and I want to find out more. Another thing that I didn't believe I would encounter in this kind of book and impressed me is that the authors created some parallels to our world with themes like refugees as a result of war. I really like how this subject was included in the book and maybe we would see more of it in the next one.

Two things annoyed me at this book:
First: the change in povs. Why do we need 7 povs ? Why ? If the book had maximum 3-4 povs it would have been the perfect read for me. While I was reading I felt like I couldn't keep up with the story so I had to go back to read a few chapters again because I was confused about what was happening. I also started mixing up the characters and didn't know who is narrating. It was a mess.
The only pov that I enjoyed reading and I was expecting coming up every time was Kal's. I liked how he developed through out the book and in the end I also liked his relationship with Auri. I'm curious to see how this couple will develop in the next book.

An number two: the humor. Sometimes I felt like this book was written for middle scholars. I con count how many times I rolled my eyes at a joke made by one of the characters. I hope in the next book this fact will truly change.

Even though the book didn't reach my expectations(which were really high) it was a fun read and I look forward to the next book. 😊
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,199 reviews40.7k followers
September 20, 2020
Five gazillion misfit, outsider but truly entertaining stars!
For so long I didn’t have so much fun when I was reading a page turner, captivating science fiction/ action book with witty, sarcastic characters!

This was like reading a great combination of Guardians of Galaxy, Firefly( without space cowboys and hottie Captain Mal, don’t worry we have Tyler reminds of us new Star Trek’s Chris Pine)and80’s Brat Pack movies!

Let me introduce you the misfit and magnificent seven!

Tyler: Hottie Golden boy, young Chris Pine, but not arrogant and womanizer, he just knows how to use his dimples to attract opposite sex’s attention. Quiet work oriented, disciplined leader with his own principles.🤗

Auri a.k.a Aura or a.k.a Sleeping Beauty: As soon as she wakes up after 200 years long sleep, she starts to discover her new powers. She’s strong, kind, smart and amazing hair with white highlights 😀

Scarlett: Tyler’s twin, great negotiator, sweet talker, inventor of new term man-izer because she’s serious dater and score her dates with their pros and cons!

Cat: Badass pilot who has deep feelings for our captain. With her tattoos and tomboy style, she would be a great MC member if they were not stuck in space😊

Fin: Most entertaining character of the gang with his fast paced , quirky but funny answers to every problem. He may be disabled and he admits that he is not a warrior but please don’t believe him!

Kal: He seems like callous, tough, strong alien/ elf with purple eyes and silver hair! But he’s loyal, trustworthy, devoted fighter and when he doesn’t act like a douchebag around Auri not to show his feelings for her, he is absolutely sweetest guy of the gang! ( sorry Captain but he is brave enough to talk about his feelings)

And Zila: Smartest person , the brain of the gang. She keeps her silence, observer, analyzer but as soon as she opens her mouth you feel like hit by truck because of her statistical informations.

I loved this gang! I loved the twists on this book. Can’t wait to read the upcoming books of the series. And now I’m slapping my head why Illuminae Files are in my sooo long tbr list! I should have read them !!! Shame on me!
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,798 followers
May 23, 2019
full review posted

i'm going to be honest with you here, jay kristoff and amie kaufman were the duo to write one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE SERIES (this is high praise over here, so listen up), so to say the expectations were HIGH was a freaking understatement

and yet, here we stand: me, ready to exit into space from disappointment and you, observing me with confusion and mild distaste

okay, mayyybe i'm being a litttle dramatic. but i've tried to sit and write this review out in a coherent, professional way many times and each time i just wilted into a sad potato


- so, to start off, EVERYTHING in this ENTIRE book felt average. average characters, average plot, average conflict, average conclusion. it felt like something i've witnessed a million times and i was just soooooo underwhelmed
- the writing is really fast paced and you would think that would be a plus, but somehow it came off very abrupt because things were being thrown at me without reason or explanation and i was supposed to just ~roll with it
- sure thing, susan
- there are 7 characters and each of them serve a purpose in their little squad of misfits and theoretically, i LOVE that idea, but in reality, there wasn't ENOUGH depth and development in any character to warrant me loving them
- also there's a ship that grows from a 'mating bond' and i just 🤢
- and the other ship WHERE DID THAT COME FROM??? excuse me but they had exactly three limp conversations and you exPECT ME TO BELIEVE in THAT?!
- i'll take a hard pass
- and the characters
- it felt like the authors focused more on the characters having these outrageously witty comebacks, equip with all the sass and snark but they missed on them being actual, genuine characters
- they all felt so similar to me :(
- i'm being hard on the book for no reason (or maybe it's because my expectations were ridiculously high and yes that is my problem to deal with) but there were some aspects i did enjoy
- #1 being space, i just love anything that takes place in the big, scary, vast expanse of space
- #2 the ending, specifically the last 5 chapters were entertaining and offered some twists to catch my attention (and raise the rating from a 2 star)
- #3 fin is a pretty cute character (he was the most developed imo and i felt his personality was the most genuine)


i also compared nik (from the gemina) to cat (from this book) and nik, honey i'm so sorry

will i continue on with this series??? absolutely bc i can't seem to get a grip but also bc i hear the audiobook has a FULL CAST and maybe that's the approach i should take with this series

also, shoutout to my beb, amy for buddy reading it with me and having to endure my whining and spamming (complaining about it with you made it so much more entertaining)

3 stars


literally no one:

me: ☄️🛸🌌🌟🛰️💫🛸🌑☄️🌟🌠🌌💫🛸🌑🌟🛰️🌠

i feel like my entire career as an Illuminae stan has led up to this moment. much pressure.


I don't even NEED to read the synopsis to start fangirling over it fricken yEARS prior

Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, I give you permission to shatter my heart all over again.
Profile Image for emily .
241 reviews2,107 followers
August 23, 2020
jay kristoff: so what do we name this character who is woken up from cryosleep by a man

amie kaufman: um....... aurora? lol

jay kristoff: amie your talent is unparalleled. here are my keys go fuck my wife
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,009 reviews1,328 followers
August 30, 2019
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

“Do moons choose the planets they orbit? Do planets choose their stars? Who am I to deny gravity, Aurora? When you shine brighter than an constellation in the sky?”

🌟 My most anticipated books have turned into my most my disappointing books this year! I don’t know if my high expectations ruined this for me or it was really not that good. But Amie and Jay gave us the Illuminae Files which I adore and so I expected a bit more from this. But even when I was objective and putting my expectations aside, I think this book had many writing problems.

🌟 Getting into this book felt like getting into home after a long day of work, familiar and comfortable! I immediately got into the story, and the writing style that they used at first (Ending with one sentence and starting the nest paragraph with it in a different time and place) was wonderful! I felt happy because maybe I was staring at the pages of a new favorite book.

🌟 Dreams came tumbling down only a few pages in when I was reading Tyler’s point of view, there was mention after mention of his killer dimples and hot looks. You would think that if he flashed those dimples at me I would give this book a rating of 5 stars (plot twist: I don’t). The brilliant writing style was not there anymore and it was getting more and more annoying.

🌟 Now more characters were introduced, 7 to be exact and each chapter was written by a character’s POV so yes, you got that right, there are 7 POVs that were confusing and I had to go multiple times to the start of a chapter to see who the hell was it talking. I like books with multiple POVs but not when all the characters are carbon copies of each other and they all talk in the same way. Here is a short summary of those 7 characters:

* Tyler: The golden boy, the all around captain. I did a which Aurora Rising character are you before reading the book and I got this and so was excited when I first started reading his POV but his dimples had the opposite effect on me.
* Scarlett: I like this character a little bit, not that she is a favorite but she can speak many languages and she got some sass.
* Cat: She is supposed to be the kind of girl who do not give a lot of fucks and is a brave heart.
* Auri: Our girl from planet earth who is trying to figure what the hell is going on (I was also trying to figure the same thing with this book so don’t you worry about a thing).
* Zila: The brain of the group, she does not talk too much and her POVs are usually a sentence or a page maximum which gave her a place as my favorite!
* Fin: He is supposed to be the comic relief, the sarcastic guy in the group whose naivety is a material for a laugh out loud.
* Kal: the tough unearthly guy that has a dark past and is not supposed to fit in.

🌟 Now that was my short summary and take another look and you will notice 2 things: That the characters were a group of cliches and that I wrote supposed to many times and you my friend are right if you already found out why I said that, the characters were all the same, I felt they were supposed to be something but they were not, they told us that but never showed it. The 7 characters were all sarcastic and that was too much for me. I even thought “Man, this is the future, they may be talking in a different sarcastic way for all I know!” except that Auri is from planet earth and has been sleeping for the last 200 years and she wakes up and talks in the same effing way!

“Just because you’re not saying it doesn’t mean you’re not thinking it.”

🌟 This review is not over yet, it is a long one because I owe you all an explanation and I owe it to two authors who wrote one of my favorite series so let’s continue this rant.

🌟 So the characters are all sarcastic, all have the same voice and it could not get any worse, right?

O, Daughters! you are wrong because it can. The synopsis and how this book was marketed gives us the illusion that those characters are supposed to be bad (they are at the bottom of the academy’s list) but they just excelled at what they do and I thought that maybe there won’t be group work and chemistry but I did not find that, they were like the top students of the academy, the justifications we were given for their not successful ranking felt like half baked bad excuses. I.Did.Not.Buy.It!

🌟 The world building was good because it was not limited, this is space and we can have whatever we want in the story, there are no limits! But I could imagine it easily and did not have problems with this aspect.

🌟 The pacing was quite fast and there was a lot going on and event after event after event which I usually like, what I don’t like is that there were those huge obstacles that the build up for makes you think they are impossible to overcome, except every time they overcame them in the same way, Auri’s eyes glow and by her mysterious superpowers that she can’t control she saves the day! Auri was the Deus Ex Machina in the story that was just one more writing problem…

🌟There was the focus on physical attributes which I did not like, this can be hurtful specially for younger readers! Speaking of which, the dimples were not mentioned a lot in the second half which as a whole was better -but do not raise your expectations-.

🌟 Summary: An over-hyped book that had a lot of tropes and stereotypical shallow characters that were all the same. The plot did not blow me away and the sarcastic writing did not work for this one! Do I plan to continue the series? I think it is obviously no after this rant, life is too short for this and as Mr.Jay once said: too many books, too few centuries!

“The thing I was raised to be is acutely aware of how easy it would be to reach out and break this human boy. But the man I try to be keeps his arms folded instead.”

A BR with Kelly!!

you can get the book from here: Book Depository
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.6k followers
December 2, 2020
"Us outsiders gotta stick together."

There is nothing I love more than having zero expectations about a book just for it to tear me open, rip my heart out and make me ship pairings that will never ever ever ever be canon.

I had never read a Kaufman/Kristoff book in my life before this one came around and now I'm doubting all the decisions I have made in my life so far. Aurora Rising was good. Really good. YA Sci-Fi at its best. It's one hell of an entertaining ride.

This first of three books has countless POVs and a big squad of characters that was very well-balanced. Yes, there is room for more backstory, for more character development, but there are also two more books, so there's that. I really want to know more about Zila, and I kind of wish Ty was more fleshed out, cause for know he's nothing more than a cute but mediocre head boy. But I love Scar and Fin and I'm excited to see what other secrets Auri is holding. While we're talking characters, now's the time to be pety af. Beware of spoilers! I liked Cat at first, but her very annoying backstory with Ty got on my nerves real quick. I kind of anticipated her role in the finale and I'm not sorry to say that I'm glad about the way the book ended.

I also wish there was a little more originality. Although it didn't bother me much while I was reading, there are many similarities to other Sci-Fi and fantasy worlds. Stars Wars for once, Annihilation, and to my great disappointment Throne of Glass. Suffice it to say that I'm very much done with the concepts of mates/life-lovers. Instead of focusing on pairing up the characters without considering that queer parings are indeed possible, the authors should focus on giving us the LGBT+ content we deserve. Yes THAT SCENE had my hyperventilating but how dare they torture me like that and then trap these characters in heterosexual relationships?

Overall, this was a fast-paced, entertaining, funny space adventure that I devoured in no time. Can't wait for the sequel.

Big thanks to PRH International for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review!

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Profile Image for jessica.
2,534 reviews32.5k followers
June 13, 2019
'who am i to deny gravity, aurora? when you shine brighter than any constellation in the sky?'

jay and amie are the be all, end all for YA sci-fi, as far as im concerned, and its soooo good to be immersed in one of their stories again. the illuminae series is a pretty big act to follow, but this is everything i was hoping it would be. i am so relieved.

this is fast paced, action packed, deviously humorous, and undoubtedly entertaining. and i think thats what i enjoyed most about the story - how fun it is. it doesnt take itself too seriously and it feels like a worthwhile adventure with good company.

my only critique would be because this story is so dang fast-paced and there are so many character POVs, i found it rather difficult to really bond with all of the characters. there are maybe one or two that i really connected with, but other than that, the others are kind of just background noise. not necessarily a hinderance to the story, but definitely noticeable.

all in all, i am really pleased with this. i had high expectations, but of course jay and amie would meet them. cant wait for the series to continue!

4 stars
Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,199 followers
Want to read
December 6, 2019
*adds to "want to read" immediately after sees the author*
Profile Image for Maryam Rz..
220 reviews2,650 followers
July 17, 2020
me: *to the audience* hello everyone! I'm here with you today to talk about my newest disappointing read, Guardians of the Galaxy! I must admit with a heavy heart that I was no—
finian: *taps her on the shoulder*
me: excuse me *turns to Fin* can I help you, guy-who-is-me?
finian: that's not Guardians of the Galaxy you're holding. Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie, genius.
me: *scoffs* of course it's a movie, darling. I was just reading the novelisation and was saying how disappointed I am that they somehow failed to bring its flair onto the paper.
fin: did you even bother to read the title?
me: no. Should I have? It's Guardians of the Galaxy obvio— *sees the title* oh.
fin: yes.
me: no.
fin: yes!
me: well that proves nothing *waves him away* they just changed the name.
me: *turns to audience* as I was sayi—
cat: *walks into the review because she just has to be there* shut up, Mary.
fin: maybe we shouldn't be that harsh, we can reason wi—
cat: shut up, Finian!
me: that's not a g—
cat: I said, SHUT UP.
tyler: *follows her in with the rest, because he always has to clean up her mess* legionnaire!
cat: but no one is worth my ti—
ty: my love, Cat!
cat: *melts* as you wish, my one-and-only-Alpha, oh so amazing, oh so fearless.
me: *trying not to vomit, turns to audience, ignoring the bugs* the problems of this novelisation rose from purely bad writing in all fiel—
scar: it's not Guardians of the Galaxy, idiot! That movie didn't have my sassy awesomeness 😏
me: actually, it had bett—
ty: and it didn't have a Goldenboy who's defined by his dimples and is repeatedly said to be the best leader and tactician but has zero leadership abilities, being more of a follower.
me: okay maybe that's tru—
aurora: *pipes in uselessly* neither a girl who everything revolves around but somehow can't be told apart from the wall she's standing next to since she's so flat, until the very last chapters.
me: that's a valid point, bu—
cat: it also didn't have a thickheaded self-righteous pilot who lives to repeatedly note how life is crap and everyone's crap and she's always the only one who's right.
me: *looks to Zila and Kal for a rescue*
zila: *without looking up from her uniglass* based on evidence, Guardians of the Galaxy neither had a misrepresented sociopath, an structurally wrong academy of elite soldiers, or an insufficient attempt at humour and unfaltering focus on crafting the perfect sarcastic remark at the cost of character distinction. Thus, we can only conclude that you did not, in fact, read Guardians of the Galaxy.
kal: I agree with the...not-actually-sociopath. I enjoyed the said Terran movie much more than this poor attempt at a copy.
me: no. NO. I refuse to accept this! I have evidence!
ty: *sighs* get her out of here. We're taking this to court. Let the authorities deal with her.
kal and cat: *grab her arms*
me: don't touch me! I was reading Guardians of the Galaxy *they start pulling her out of the review* no I was reading Guardians of the Galaxy! Why won't anyone listen to me!? I have evide... *voice fades away*
magellan: *from inside Aurora's pocket* if I may venture an opinion—
ty: silent mode!
fin: oh-you-supposedly-mighty-leader, maybe Magellan had important information to add. That Mary girl did have a poi—
cat: *shouting from outside the review* SHUT UP, FINIAN.

NOTICE: The blasphemer Mary will be immediately taken in front of a judge, and a recorded script of the following court session will be written, in full, for further sinners to learn a lesson and not criticise such a hyped book.

• • • • • • •

PRE-READ: Here goes my first ever book by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufmanfreaking hype, get away from me! *grabs the damned leech, tries to get it off her skin* I said GET OFF *the leech clings, desperately* damn this hype! *sighs in resignation* FINE! I'm ready to find my next fave book...

Meet the squad:

And the mystery girl:

Which one do you think you are? Here's a quiz I've forced my friends to take to see which role they have in the squad 😂 to say that I am hyped is an understatement...

I am Fin apparently 😋 and his colour is PURPLE 😱 If my profile pic is not telling enough, I will spell it out for you: I. Adore. Purple! 💜
Profile Image for Lucie V..
973 reviews1,789 followers
March 6, 2022
“Tomorrow is worth a million yesterdays.”

✅ Gorgeous cover
✅ Band of misfit
✅ Found family
✅ Banter/sarcasm
✅ Characters (except Cat)
✅ Intrigue
✅🆗 Pace
🆗 7 POVs

4.5 stars

I apologize in advance for the length of this review (#SorryNotSorry) 😬

But my whole life, I’ve been on the outside looking in. A problem. A burden. An aberration. Just like her. And it’s taught me to be sure of one thing.
Us outsiders gotta stick together.

I really enjoyed the "band of misfit" vibe of this book. The characters are all unique in their own way and I liked them all (except maybe Cat..? I can't say why exactly, but I couldn't connect with her). There is a healthy dose of sarcasm and banter all mixed with action and a mysterious secret to uncover.

Squad 312. This pack of losers and discipline cases and sociopaths, these misfits nobody in the whole Aurora Academy wanted to get paired with.

Aurora has been stuck into cryogenic sleep for over 200 years and has finally been rescued by dashing Alpha Tyler, only to realize that she is the only survivor of her mission to colonize a new planet. Even weirder, she now has strange powers, such as visions and telekinesis and the Terran authorities are after her… And they are willing to do anything to get her back and kill everyone who knows about her or her powers.

The beginning of the book is a little slow, the intrigue is presented in bits and pieces and sometimes I was not so sure where this was going. The first third mainly focuses on world-building and introducing all the crew members. The pace does pick up after that though and I couldn't put it down. I couldn't wait to see how everything would turn out and how the crew would deal with the twists and turns that they encountered. The last 70 pages had me at the edge of my seat, but it was not as satisfying as I thought it would be... Still, I am left with so many questions and I can’t wait to continue this adventure.

Nothing is impossible.
But something is very, very wrong.

The book is separated into three parts. The first part is focused on getting to know the characters and figuring out why they all end up together (besides the fact that they are almost all misfits that nobody wanted in their team). The second part is full of scheming and action as the members of Squad 312 are now fugitives and need to escape the law enforcement, while also being on a mysterious mission set by Auri’s visions. Part 3 is where we learn just how messed up things are, and the tension just builds until the very end. While the beginning was a little slow, the ending made up for it, and overall, I really enjoyed the plotline.

“I think I'd like to be unconscious again, please.”

Poor Aurora is having a tough day… Or rather a tough week. She does not even have the time to grieve the loss of everyone she knew before she’s thrown into a spatial adventure with aliens and new technologies that she couldn’t even dream of. She is very strong and resilient, while also being vulnerable and kind. She is the main focus of the plot, but I still feel that we don’t know that much about her, so I’m really excited for the next book because I want more insight into her thoughts and feelings. I feel that she’s a very interesting character, but she was not developed to her full potential yet.

“I cannot help but feel a grudging respect also. He thinks swiftly, this Tyler Jones. He does not rattle, and he does not hesitate. With everything on the line, he still sees clearly, and he does what it takes to win. He is a born leader.”

Tyler is a star student at the Aurora Academy. He spent the last few years training and giving it all he had. He wants to help everyone and do good around him, and he’s also a stickler for rules and authority… Until he saves Auri and is forced into the life of a fugitive and a criminal. I like him well enough, he is nice and sweet and cares about his squad, but he is not that extraordinary or fleshed-out… Maybe it will come in the next book.

Blue for the leadership corps.
White for Cat and her fellow Aces.
Green for the Brains in the Science Division.
Purple for the Gearheads.
Red for the Tanks.
And lucky me, a bright, sunny yellow for the diplomatic corps to match my bright, sunny disposition.

The same can be said about Scarlett, Ty’s twin sister. She’s bubbly and nice, but she is not the best character there is and she still lacks some depth to be truly interesting. She is the diplomat and kinda mother of the squad, she cares for them because she wants to and she’s a sweetheart and a shameless flirt. Still, she is not that amazing yet…

I was born with the taste of blood in my mouth.
I was born with my hands in fists.
I was born for war.

I love Kal. He is brooding, and stoic, but he is also full of uncertainties and emotions deep down. My sweet war-child… I wanted to hug him real tight. He is a badass, kickass fighter, and it also does help that he is HOT (according to the descriptions of him being a “hot Legolas” and to my brain).

“Finian de Karran de Seel. Just Fin if you wanna be lazy about it. Gearhead. You break it, I’ll put it back together. Can’t promise a hundred percent success rate on anything but my dashing wit, though.”

Fin is the sassy, snarky, sarcastic character that tries to pretend that he doesn’t care about anything when all he really wants is a group to belong to. I LOVE HIM. He was always there to make me smile and to add a touch of silliness to the seriousness of the plot. He likes to pretend that he’s an asshole, but deep down he’s a big softy… Oh and he also likes to check out everyone, men and women, and he’s not ashamed of it!

Zila Madran is Terran. She’s even shorter than Cat, with dark brown skin and long, tight black curls. The green stripe of the Science Division across her shoulders does nothing for her complexion, but if cute could be weaponized, she’d be a pretty good candidate. There’s something about her stare, though. Like there’s no one home behind those dark eyes of hers.
But hey, at least she’s not carrying a disruptor pistol today….

We don’t know much about Zila, and I hope to get to know her more in the next book because she’s a really interesting character. We got a hint that she had a traumatic (or at least not very awesome) childhood, and she struggles a lot with human interactions (she behaves as someone on the spectrum would, and I am not saying that in a negative way at all), but she is SUPER BRIGHT. I love how calm and pragmatic she is (and trigger happy!), even in life or death situations, and how she is super into statistics, but also lies sometimes so her teammates will not be too worried about bad odds stacked against them.

“Call me Zero.”
“As in zero chance of success?” Finian asks, all innocence.
“As in most cadets miss twelve to fifteen percent of targets on their pilot stream exam,” Tyler says.
“Guess how many I missed, Skinnyboy,” Cat smiles.

So…. Cat is the one I couldn't connect with. Her badass and snarky attitude just didn’t do it for me. It almost felt like it was too much at times. She wanted to appear as this super tough girl but ended up seeming like a cold bitch with no empathy. I can’t really explain why, I just really didn’t like her.

The fact that there are 7 different POVs in the story is not my favorite part. I liked that it allowed us to learn more about the characters and it helped me connect with them, but 7 is a lot of POVs. Especially since there are some characters that I didn't really care about, although they do become more likable near the end. My favorite characters are definitely Finian, the sarcastic alien, and Kal, the misunderstood war-child with a kind and soft heart deep down inside.

“A warrior might be all you were raised to be, Kal," I say. "But it's not all you are.”

”Do moons choose the planets they orbit? Do planets choose their stars? Who am I to deny gravity, Aurora? When you shine brighter than any constellation on the sky?”

There is a hint of potential romance in the book, but it is really mild and does not take much room in the plot. The story is really more focused on the squad’s quest and their crazy plans to escape the law and survive a little longer, against all odds.

“Shut up, Finian.”
“…Okay, are you hitting on me? It feels like you might be hitting on me.”
“I’ll be hitting on your face in a minute, you fu—”

“You’re an asshole, Finian,” Scarlett sighs.
“Yeah,” he replies. “But I’m your asshole.”
He makes a face. “Wait, no, that didn’t come out right. Ew. Sorry. Terran as a second language and all…”

Even though some characters were less likable (hello there Cat), or we just don’t really know them enough to really appreciate them yet (#Sweet Zila), and some parts were slow, this book is definitely worth reading. It’s a great story full of action, funny banter, twists with an awesome sci-fi setting.

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Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,092 reviews6,575 followers
June 21, 2020
1.) Aurora Rising ★★★★.5
2.) Aurora Burning ★★★


As Cat would say, "Hold on to your undies, kids!"

Thank you so much to Allen and Unwin for sending me a review copy!

This was SO good. I never do reviews like this, but I think the best way to sum up this book is through the AMAZING cast of characters AKA Squad 312.

Tyler --> squad leader, golden boy, "captain hotness" with a heart of gold, Scarlett's twin.
Auri --> biracial (she's Irish & Chinese!), woke up with weird powers after being frozen for 200 years......as you do.
Scarlett --> Tyler's twin, sarcastic queen, sweet-talker and serial dater with who knows how many ex boyfriends (we stan, you get that d, girl lol)
Cat --> Tattooed, tomboy badass who may or may not be in love with captain hotness, also is a queen of sarcasm
Fin --> disabled, hilarious and bi?? pan?? It's not explicitly stated but he's definitely queer!
Kal --> sexy elf alien with purple eyes and silver hair. YES PLEASE.
Zila --> the smartest person alive...possibly in the whole universe??? She's also black and barely says anything, but when she does, my brain explodes.

Basically, this book was hilarious, action-packed and emotional while also having parallels to our world with themes of displaced people and refugees as a result of war.

HIGHLY recommend you pick this up when it comes out (May 6!!!!!). You don't want to miss this one!
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
May 14, 2020
$1.99 Kindle sale for this first book in a new YA SF series, May 14, 2020. The focus is on adventure + snark. The second book (which I'm currently reading) just went on sale this month.

3.66 stars. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

A lot of YA fantasy and science fiction works follow teenager characters as they attend magic or spaceflight school (I would take either!), but not nearly as many follow the characters’ lives after graduation. Aurora Rising, a new YA space adventure from Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, the authors of the well-regarded ILLUMINAE FILES trilogy, take the latter approach, following a diverse cast of older teens as they graduate from Aurora Academy in the year 2380, are divided into crews of six according to their specialties, and assigned their initial mission for the Aurora Legion.

Tyler Jones, age 18, is at the top of the senior class. A natural leader and stellar student, he’s earned the right to four of the top five picks in the next day’s Draft, where the “Alphas” or team leaders pick the five graduating students, each with a different specialty, who will be their crew. But Tyler can’t sleep the night before the Draft, so he takes off on a solo space flight into the Fold, the weird interdimensional part of space that allows interstellar space travel. Tyler’s about to head back to Aurora when he receives an SOS call from a legendary space ship, the Hadfield, which was lost over 200 years ago.

Tyler (barely) manages to rescue the single survivor of the Hadfield, a cryogenically frozen girl named Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley. (Luckily she goes by Auri, sparing us from an overdose of Auroras.) But rescuing Auri takes too long and Tyler misses the all-important Draft. So his new crew is the rejects and misfits of the graduating class … except not all. Tyler’s twin sister Scarlett (a diplomat) and their lifelong friend Cat (an ace pilot), who were able to hold out from being drafted by other Alphas so they could be on Tyler’s crew, excel at their specialties. Joining them are Zila, a dark brown-skinned sociopathic scientist; Finian, their resentful alien tech who wears an exosuit to compensate for his physical disabilities; and Kal, their alien combat specialist who has a genetic predisposition to violent anger.

Tyler’s crew, Squad 312, takes off on their first mission, but their routine supply run quickly turns odd when they discover Auri stowed away on their Longbow spaceship, and then dangerous as the mission goes south and deadly forces close in. Soon Squad 312 is on the run from their enemies while trying to solve an ancient mystery that may have galactic consequences.

Aurora Rising is a fast-paced space opera adventure, overflowing with thrills and chills, and spiced up with romantic tensions between the various crew members and lots of snarky dialogue.
“But I do know you and I swore an oath when we joined the Legion. To help the helpless. To defend the defenseless. And even though the ―”

“Um, sir?” Finian de Seel says. “We might have a problem.”

“You mean aside from you interrupting my speech?” Tyler Jones asks. “Because I’d been practicing it in my head for an hour and it was gonna be great.”
There are fun if slightly juvenile details that help make the story more memorable for readers, like the color coding for the various specialties at Aurora Academy, the decorative and informative sidebars that bolster the worldbuilding, and the sarcastic voice of Auri’s “uniglass” (a handheld computer device):
“I’m top-of-the-line, new-gen uniglass technology, available nowhere outside the academy,” it shoots back. “I’m seventeen times smarter than him. And three times better-looking.”
Tyler’s crew is divided equally between men and women and includes some sexual diversity (one of the crew is bisexual) as well as racial diversity … not to mention a couple of aliens. The constant shift in point of view with each chapter can get a little dizzying; all seven of the crew members (including stowaway Auri) have multiple chapters from their POVs. Some of the characters are more memorable than others, but a few weeks after reading this I still clearly remember most of the crew members, a tribute to Kaufman and Kristoff’s success in creating distinct characters.

It’s convenient that the half of Tyler’s crew who were considered “the dregs” of their class doesn’t actually include anyone stupid or incompetent. They’re social outcasts with significant personality issues (which has the side benefit of adding interest to the story), but they’re all bright and talented at their specialties. Also suspiciously convenient is the fact that spaceship crews need to be under age 25 to withstand the mental pressures of entering the Fold, but at least there’s a plausible reason given for these youthful crews.

The basic plot elements of Aurora Rising ― a mismatched company of strangers trying to overcome their differences and become unified, an improbable heist (complete with a MacGuffin), and a journey to a destination that turns out to be far more perilous than expected ― will be familiar to anyone who reads a lot of sci-fi, but Kaufman and Kristoff sucked me right in and I couldn’t put this book down. Aurora Rising is a fun, quick read if you like your YA SF with lots of snarky banter. It’s almost guaranteed to appeal older teenagers who enjoy science fiction. It’s the first book in the new AURORA CYCLE series (thankfully its ending doesn’t leave you with TOO much of a cliffhanger). I’m definitely on board for the next book!

I received a free review copy from the publisher and NetGalley. Thanks!
Profile Image for Althea ☾.
623 reviews1,952 followers
November 3, 2020
I can't even find a quote that doesn't make me cringe. DNF 40%

out of all the (still) 4 and 5 star reviews for this book, i can't believe i'm one of those giving it 1 star

READ FOR: [you’re better off reading Skyward if you’re looking for a Sci Fi about a group of teenagers who work together and are like galactic space fighters]

*All of my reviews are as spoiler-free as possible unless states otherwise*

OVERALL: 1.5/5

NOTE: I opened up this book to give it another try so I think I can safely say and stand by my claim that after a year... my opinion has not changed.

Aurora Rising is practically The Breakfast Club set in space ((not in the good way)).

You have to understand that I tried SO HARD to like this book. And I REALLY wanted to… but…

*screams and falls on the floor*


First of all: this book sounded very appealing to me as I just came from reading another Sci-Fi book. I began this book expecting witty humor, a badass heroine, and interesting space explorations. Spoiler: that did not happen.

I DNFed this at 40%... at that point I was barely interested and I realized that the only reason I was still reading was because I was still waiting for the book to catch my interest. The multi-POV was not working and made everything feel rushed. It was breezing through scenes that I thought would have been great if they merely focused on certain parts more. If they actually described and built up the plot. It's like they tried to copy the writing in Six of Crows but resulted in making scenes pass by before the readers have absorbed what just happened. The witty comebacks and flawless chemistry was not there for me. I was willing to overlook how bland the writing was if the characters were at least compellingly written.

It was easier to read compared to the other Sci-Fi books that I have come across but it just was not what I was looking for. Sci-Fi is a great opportunity for rich world building and this book felt so flat.

Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman were authors that garnered my hype and attention because of The Illuminae Files (which I still plan on reading). This was my first book by this author duo and I was not impressed.

I needed the witty humor and character chemistry that makes a misfit group lovable to the readers. Sadly, The characters are fine and kind of consistent, they’re kind of relatable and they rub me the wrong way. And also can I just talk about HOW CLICHE and STEREOTYPICAL all of them were, *grimace*. I usually would not have seen this as a problem if they actually written well. The common problem of all of these characters: no build up. And they were all trying so hard to be witty but it was just cringey...

Aurora (AKA the resident chosen one)
She was the character that I was most looking forward to getting to know and I have to say was the one I was disappointed by the most. I found her annoying and was one of the most inconsistent characters.

One minute she’s pep talking herself and the next she’s literally on her knees, begging for Tyler to save her. When did the character development happen?? In between chapters??

I don't even know what else to say because... she was just the weakest character for me. Maybe she gets better by the end of the book but not at 40%. I stand by my opinion.

Tyler Jones (AKA the golden boy)
I love you Tyler Jones but I swear every time he came up in one of the other character's POV all they could talk about is how good he looks. Like, okay... I GET IT. I like when characters that look good and all that but saying it once is enough. I would rather read about how good he is at him being the Alpha. His character had so much potential but it was unfortunately wasted because all they could talk about was his dimples.

Scarlett Jones (AKA the princess)
I actually liked her character if in the most basic level. The idea of her character was great and I liked the idea of there being Faces or Diplomats in the squad. Scar was also one of the characters that interested me. However, she was never built up well and even if she intrigued me, I still couldn't get myself to care enough to continue on reading just for her.

Cat (AKA the unrequited love victim)
It's like they were trying too hard when it came to writing Cat. It felt like her character was forced into the story just to create that Star Trio and for there to be an unrequited love aspect. Also, a good 50% of her POVs was about how Tyler didn't like her the way she did because they were just "best friends". I'm usually all for the romance in fantasy but we barely even got to experience their friendship or just meer CHARACTER INTERACTION before we found out that, oh wow, she likes him!

Zila (AKA the weird one)
This girl confuses me. I would have been interested to see if she would have gotten a character development... but... she's just... I don't know what to say.

Exosuit Kid (AKA the nerd)
I CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER HIS NAME. But honestly the character that was the reason there are 2 stars and not 1 star for this specific portion of my review.

Kal (AKA the tall dark [silver] handsome tough guy, the bad boy)
MY BOI KAL <3 I would have loved to know more about him and I was a slightly interested to see what would happen to him in the story. There was something mysterious about him but as usual, and maybe you're tired of hearing me say this, he was so inconsistent.

PLOT: ★★☆☆☆
There was nothing fresh about the plot and I never really like predictable plots unless they are done exceptionally well or just well (i.e. Renegades). My head was threatening to go back to another book slump if I actually continued on to finish the book. I read from another reviewer that the ending was glib and I'm not regretting any decisions I have made as of the moment.

I would have liked the writing style of the plot and the way the characters were written more if this was a Contemporary novel (one of the reasons it reminds me of The Breakfast Club). I didn’t think it matched the vibe that I was expecting from the book. Check the 'Characters' portion of this review for more of my feelings about the writing because I feel like you are going to get sick of me being redundant.

There was a lot of telling as book reviewers put it. For me, it felt like the world was just thrust upon the readers and everyone was expected to care about everything that was going on right away. I didn't think that the fact that humans have found other alien species were given enough focus. I was not even aware that this was an intergalactic sort of book. I thought everyone was human (Terran) when I was reading the synopsis.

It didn't feel to me that this book was set hundreds of years in the future.

THEMES: ★★★☆☆
AGAIN, more potential for great writing wasted. There were so many chances for political and moral topics to be tackled but they were just blown through. Great themes were merely acknowledged and touched that I'm even sure if the authors were aware that they could have expounded more on certain scenes to make the readers more invested. It honestly would have taken the book to another level if they were able to do it successfully.

PACING: ★☆☆☆☆
To be honest, it's not like nothing happened in the story, it was more like everything was being rushed and the most interesting scenes were not given enough thought. There were so many things that I found inconsistent and I'm just too tired to go back to list them all down. It can be very tricky to pace Sci-Fi books so I was willing to look past it at the beginning but I couldn't handle it in the end.

This book could have actually bored me to death if I finished it. The Sci-Fi genre is a chance to create gripping (literally out-of-this-world) stories and it saddens me a lot that this book was not able to live to my Sci-Fi standards.

I'm sorry if this review was a bit rushed, messy, and more of a rant review but I just want to build a bridge and get over this book.

P.S. whoever designed the cover is the true hero

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Profile Image for booksnpenguins (wingspan matters).
761 reviews2,336 followers
February 21, 2023
Ke’tma indayōna be’trai. It means…You do not walk alone when you walk your true path.

Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff and a sci-fi/supernatural/horror cocktail where every twist is a stab to the heart and not a single character of the chaotic cast is 100% straight, ALL AT ONCE?


i wish i could give this book 100 stars.
Forget everything positive i've ever said about books I've liked in the past.
Forget Nevernight, forget Illuminae, forget e v e r y o t h e r b o o k e v e r p u b l i s h e d.
This is it.
This is The Book™.
I honestly can't even write a coherent review right now because my feelings are all over the place and because I can't seem to process proper words at the moment, but one thing I can tell you for sure.
This was pure perfection.
I'm sure there are many books out there that are better executed and many other characters that are better crafter and many plots that would put this one to shame, but for me, Aurora Rising represents everything I love in a book and more.
I'm not even an avid sci-fi reader, usually, but this was too good to pass and easily understandable and enjoyable even by people like me who aren't fully invested in this genre.
there was never a dull moment and I've seriously never read a book that kept me completely interested from start to end.
The characters are amazing, each one of them. Even Cat, who i don't particularly like.
I had so much fun with the shipping, as well. I literally shipped everyone with everyone and was never disappointed. That Tyler/Kal scene or the moment Fin confirmed his bisexuality, for example, were just a couple of my favorite moments.

“It stinks like my fourth grandmother’s underwear drawer in here,” Fin says.
“You know what your grandmother’s underwear drawer smells like?” I ask.
“My family were very cosmopolitan.”
“I do not think that word means what you think it means,” Zila murmurs.
“Um,” Auri whispers. “Sorry, but is someone touching my butt?”
“… Would you like someone to be touching your butt?” Fin asks.
Kal clears his throat. “If you wish it, I—”
“Shut up!” I (Tyler) hiss.

And the plot. My God. It's like this book was written to appeal my reader's needs and I'm gonna do a bit of digging around because I'm starting to think either Mr Kristoff and his lovely pal Kaufman found a way to put a chip in my brain and wrote this book to make every single one of my synapses go crazy, or I've been randomly incredibly lucky.

Profile Image for toointofiction.
193 reviews151 followers
May 13, 2022
“Who am I to deny gravity, Aurora? When you shine brighter than any constellation in the sky?”

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (more like 4,7 actually)

❗❗May contain some spoilers.❗❗

This was sooo good, you guys!!

It's like Guardian's of the Galaxy paired with Star Trek in a delightful sort of way. Like the new Star Trek, with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. Tyler Jones is basically lawful Captain Kirk (he looks a lot like Chris Pine which I do not hate) and Kal is a super 🔥🔥 Mr. Spock (less smart, more muscle). Who couldn't love this?! 😍😍

I was completely amazed by Kristoff and Kaufman's work. It's hard enough to write a book on your own, imagine having to collaborate with someone. I was honestly surprised I liked it so much, actually. I wasn't really impressed with Kristoff's work in the past, so I tried not to have too high expectations. Turned out, I didn't need to do that. This masterpiece defies ALL expectations. *chef's kiss*

I loooove the cover. Kudos to the artist, whoever it is. It's just so damn beautiful. It's the very first thing that made me want to read the book in the first place. Yes, I shamelessly judged the book by its AMAZING cover and I'm glad I did. This story was AWESOME. The plot was fascinating and well thought out. The premises and themes of the story were really, really good. The characters were so, so loveable. And the plot twists...OMG!! 🤯🤯🤯🤯 I sort of realised who that PrincePs dude was near the end, a little before the reveal, but I still loved the revelation. It was gut-wrenching. I felt so bad for Auri. As if what she was already going through wasn't enough, she learned her father has been sort of alive all this time, affected by a Stranger Things type of virus, and is her enemy, now. I have the urge to wrap her in a blanket and give her soft cookies.

I liked all the characters, but I love Finian the most. He's the best out of all the other characters. Snarky, witty, smart, painful past and difficult future. He checks all my boxes. He was also the first one to relate to Auri and her troubles and helped her because he wanted to, not because he was ordered to. I didn't particularly like Cat. She was a stick in the mud for the majority of the book and a complete asshole to Auri, but I have to say, after that ending, I have a deep respect for her. She fought the virus until the very last minute to save her friends and ESPECIALLY to save Auri. She went down a hero. And I cried like a little baby reading her death. I cursed my ability to feel!! (too dramatic??🤔)

I was taken by surprise when I realised that the main couple was Kal and Auri instead of Tyler and Auri. I guess I got used to the typical book pairings. I didn't like it much at first but it grow on me after a little while. Kal and Auri are pretty cute together and I guess the MC doesn't always have to be paired with the first guy they meet/that rescues them, they can be just friends. Adorable friends, too, by the looks of it.

What I didn't particularly like, and why I rated 4,7⭐ instead of 5⭐, was Tyler addressing the reader in the very beginning of the book (I'm sorry, I just don't like it when they do that in books - my need for escapism can't handle fourth wall breaks very well), the waaayyy too many POVs (it was a little tiring and not everyone needs to have one). Also, I'm not entirely sure I agree with the way Kal and Auri's relationship was developed. It seemed like they went from a cool distance (with a touch of overprotectiveness here and there) to hand-holding and gazes full of longing and affection, in the blink of an eye. I guess I would have liked a little something more in between. At least they're not already in a relationship. That would be a little too rushed. Let's not forget they've only known each other for like a week...🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️

I highly recommend this masterpiece. Even if you're not that into sci-fi (like me) I bet you'll love this. I certainly did.

Don't forget to check out my review of book 2 of The Aurora Cycle: Aurora Burning
Profile Image for  Teodora .
304 reviews1,634 followers
June 3, 2021
me: *knows very well that Kaufman + Kristoff's books wreck me*
also me: oh this looks like fun, I should read it!
my anxiety:


5/5 ⭐

Profile Image for Aliyah &#x1f90d;.
153 reviews323 followers
March 6, 2021
Something that I didn’t know I needed but needed nonetheless: THIS FREAKIN BOOK!

I never usually read Sci-fi but this book is making me doubt my no sci-fi policy cause wow, it was great. 
I’ll forever be grateful that the authors did the whole mating/destine for each other thing without involving any growling, purring or wings. 
(If you know you know)

Aurora- Is it weird that the main character is the person I liked the least? She isn’t terrible or anything but out of all the other squad members, she seemed the most dull. She was just...there. 

Kal-"I'm on a pirate space station with a condescending jackass"
"What is a jackass?"

Why is Kals cluelessness so damn adorable ahhhh.

The way Tyler went from being the workforce equivalent of ‘teachers pet’ to ‘screw the rules, I’m doing me’ is just
*chefs kiss*

" I see him turn and look back at me.
And somehow its all right.

She deserves so much more. SO MUCH MORE! Like I get it, she was a brat and all at the start but she kind of had a right to be.

You see this? This is Finnian carrying the whole book on his back. (Ok not literally but still)
This is his book, I’m calling it ‘Finnian Rising’ from now on 🙄

Zila- I just want to see some Zila backstory already. We need to know about our INTP Queen!!! 

Scarlett- I’m convinced that this is the conversation that every author who writes a character with red hair has with themselves:
*Inner Voice 1*- Oh, we’re writing a character with a red hair. Jeez I wonder what an appropriate name could be?
*Inner Voice 2*- Probably anything aside from synonyms to red. 
*Inner Voice 1* - Ah yes, SCARLET!
But of course Amie and Jay love to do the unthinkable, introducing Scarlett with 2 T’s 😌

Extra thoughts
✦For a book that has no swear words at all, there’s a whole lot of sexual puns. And oddly, it works perfectly.

✦The fact that the words ‘die’ and ‘death’ aren’t in this book but rather flatline gives me so much serotonin. You see, I'm intrigued.
What was the reasoning? And why the word flatline?
This is a mystery we might never know...

There’s over 100 thousand million stars in the Milky Way, and this book deserves them all. ✨
(Oh and a few Nebulas as well) 

Im also reallyy excited to start the sequel, Finnian Burning. I'm sure it'll be even better

~Just found out that Amie and Jay are Aussie authors and they live in the exact same city as me! There’s a chance for me to actually get published here, ahh.
Profile Image for Alana.
664 reviews1,270 followers
August 8, 2019
If you're like me and loved the Iluminae Files you may be excited but also a little suspicious about this book. I mean, did I really think it was going to top the Iluminae Files? Probably not, but I also wasn't expecting to give this 3 stars either. Sci-fi is definitely a hit or miss genre for me but if there is anyone who could get me hooked on a sci-fi story its usually Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. If there is one piece of advice I can give you before going into this it's LISTEN TO THE AUDIOBOOK. It honestly saved this book for me because it has a complete cast that help bring these characters to life. I wish I would have started with the audiobook from the beginning.

The premise of the story is really good. A group of misfits coming together that will essentially have to save the universe, however, SEVEN POV'S was wayyyyyy too many. Especially since I only cared about two of the squad members. I found it a bit exhausting going back and forth between all seven characters and when you really don't care about five of them it starts to feel a little hopeless, just give me the ones I love damn it. Eventually the squad does start to become more lovable as they get to know one another but I still think seven POV's was a bit much for this book.

The two people who carried this story on their backs in my opinion were Finian and Kal. Finian, the Gearhead of the squad, is a sassy, sarcastic, disabled alien, who spends majority of his time checking out just about everyone and is very open about being attracted to all genders. I LIVED for anything that came out of his mouth because you basically knew it was going to be amazing. And Kal, my sweet precious war child - known as the Tank of the group. Kal, is a super misunderstood angsty, tall slab of muscle, and terrifying space elf who may or may not have the hots for another squad member. I loved them both so much and they both need to be protected at all costs.

The plot started to get more enjoyable for me a little over halfway into the book once things started really picking up. The beginning was mainly filled with a lot of world-building and obviously introducing all seven POV's but once the story got going it was enough to keep me invested. As the squad got further into their mission I will admit I was on the edge of my seat to see how each task or heist would end and what kind of plot twists the squad had up their sleeves. But when the time came for the ending of the book, and this a large reason why I ended up giving it three stars, I just didn't care. The end is dramatic and BIG things happen (no spoilers) but there wasn't one part of me that was sad or felt any type of way. So all in all, I can't really sit here and say that I loved this and gush about when I'm perfectly content with waiting until the next book releases to find out more of what happens.

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Profile Image for Layla.
332 reviews369 followers
April 4, 2022
No review or rating because I don't want to support Jay Kristoff.
Profile Image for Reynita ★ The Night Reader ★.
123 reviews940 followers
July 29, 2019

If you gotta fall, fall fighting.

WHAT A HILARIOUS BOOK. This book is truly the most hilarious book I have ever read and I do not laugh often while reading but this book made me laugh so many times I lost count. I swear I even avoided reading this book in public because it's so hard to contain all the laughs! One time I tried reading this book in public and I was only a few minutes into the book and I wanted to laugh already. The humor alone in this book made the book so good. So if you want to read a book that is full of humor, I suggest you read this book! :D


But I have to admit that I wouldn't have given this book 3 stars if it hadn't been so funny. I would've given it lower than 3 stars. But thankfully the book was funny so I gave it 3 stars instead because the humor was really good. However, the book did not live up to my expectations. I mean I was so excited to read this book that I even squealed and did a happy dance in front of my mom when this book arrived at my house. I was just BEYOND ecstatic you know.


Sadly the excitement didn't last long because I realized that the book wasn't as great as I thought it would be. It's just that I couldn't bond with the characters in this book. They weren't annoying or anything. They were just .. fine. Except Finnian because I liked Finnian better than any of the characters in the book. He was the reason I laughed so much. I need this guy to be my best friend! Oh and Kal is hot and that's it. That's the only thing I've got to say about the characters. They weren't boring but they weren't interesting either except Finnian. That guy was awesome!

The plot of the book was fast-paced and it was also action-packed. The book didn't throw all the information all at once which I really liked because I tend to get overwhelmed when I am given too much information all at once. But I still have some questions. Maybe I will find the answers later in the sequels and to be honest I am not going to continue reading this series. I had a good time with this book but I was also disappointed and it wasn't as good as I hoped it would be.


If you want to read a book that is so funny, I suggest you to read this book but I think it's better if you don't expect too much because that's what I did and I was left with disappointment. Thank you for reading this review and liking it. I appreciate so much. ❤




All I can say right now is that I laughed so many times while reading this book. However I also admit that it's not as good as I expected. Maybe my expectations were just too high?


Me: *screeches*
My friend: what happened?! Are you okay?
Me: oh nothing I'm just so ecstatic to read this book 😊
Profile Image for enqi ༄ؘ 。˚ ⋆♡.
319 reviews618 followers
Want to read
May 12, 2019
today i was in the bookstore and i wasn't intending to buy anything, i swear, but this was literally $13 for a swanky new hardback....

i think you can guess whether i bought it or not.
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