C.G. Drews's Reviews > Aurora Rising

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff
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really liked it
bookshelves: 4-star, aussie-authors, read-2019, young-adult, sci-fi

So this has a heap of hype and I was so ready to see what I'd think! 🙌🏻 I confess to not being the world's most avid sci-fi fan, but I mean, hi Illuminae, which is a masterpiece. I also am just here for Aussie authors who are globally recognised?! Bc half the time Aussie lit doesn't get off our shores. I assume this is bc we strap it to the backs of wallabies to make the swim to america and the wallabies, idk, eat the books or something. Regardless, I enjoyed this one a lot.

Although, it's kinda impossible not to compare it to Illuminae? And because there are a lot of similarities and Illuminae is done in such a alternate unique style -- I did like the Illuminae Files better. This is more a straight-up sci-fi, and it hits on a lot of loveable sci-fi cliches (I don't mind! But I wasn't surprised with most of the plot?) and I could totally envision it as a movie.

| heart of the book |
Definitely the squad vibes! I've seen the authors talking about how they wanted the squad to be the feature of the book, that found-family for a bunch of rejects. Although tbh, only 3 of the 6 are actually the dysfunctional ones. (Minus Auri who is there bUT HAS NO TRAINING WHAT'S GOING ON. She's like the icing for your packet mix cake, just add water and Auri, and oh btw the cake is about to explode.)

And I liked the crew! The only one I was really attached to was Finian though? But we have:
→ Tyler: basically called Goldenboy because he's the academy's best and brightest. Blonde, dimples, perfect etc etc. Ya know Jason from the Heroes of Olympus? Tyler is his long lost twin. Look I like him, but also he was all YA GOTTA HAVE FAITH and such an optimist which is...against my entire code. So anyway.
Scarlett: She's Ty's twin and like the super tall, cold as hell, epically smooth girl who everyone is in love with including me idk what to tell you she's gorgeous. She also cares about the crew. She's simultaneously the MUM-FRIEND and the one who will flirt half the galaxy into giving her anything. The flirty-mum-friend??
Cat: super tattooed badass, the fighter-pilot, also desperately in love with Ty but neither of them is going to acknowledge it.
Kal: he's an alien from a race that is kind of elfin? so he has pointy ears and they call him Elrond, on occasion, which is fab. He's born to hit people and he's so standoffish and better-than-thou and his reaction to getting a crush on a human is "OH WELL PROBABLY NEED TO KILL MYSELF." So Kal? Drama queen.
Aurora: She does rise, believe me, like a packet of hella scary bread. She's biracial American/Chinese and has been in cryo-sleep for 200 years. So also she's a 200-year-old teenager who spends the whole time freaking tf out AND then she realises she has creepy powers. She's not !!! suppposed !!! to be here !!!
Finian: Aka my LOVE. Honestly 10/10 would die for Finian, dunno about the rest of them. He is disabled and wears a special suit to help him walk, but the book also acknowledged his disability a lot -- like how the suit was his sci-fi version of, say, walking with a cane. But he can't do it forever and he really was overtaxing himself by the end. He's also hella gay and basically did an "eenie meenie miney mo" between Tyler and Scarlett to see who he wanted to hit on. Also he's a sassy little asshole and honestly? Love it. Here for him.
Zila: Zila said about 30 collective words through the whole book, did about nothing useful to the plot or the crew and why is she there. Also, not to be a super sensitive picky person, but she seemed thoroughly coded as autistic BUT!! they chose!! To call her a sociopath!!! Nice. Thx. Love that kind of rep. Could you also not. Anyway, hopefully she isn't autistic or else everyone starts frikkin apologising. But she literally does nothing for the book.


tl;dr -- I love Finian.

| the plot |
Like I said, it hits a lot of cliches BUT we're here for a sci-fi romp!? So I didn't mind! My only problem was how many were also in Illuminae lol. Like the "omg we're gonna get caught quick kiss!" and "oh the government is hiding a planet and killing the survivors to cover up!!" Amongst others. Lol. But we also have like telekinesis stuff going down, we have teens throwing themselves into the accidental criminal life, and it had the whole space-opera vibes of The Good Kids™ strolling into the criminal space underworld and being adorable and bad at being bad and I LOVE THAT TROPE.

Also they sassed each other to hell and back and I busted laughing out loud a few times. A family member also came into my room and asked if I was crying so...?? Thx. That was a laugh. How dare you.

I appreciated the lack of toxic masculinity in here too!! Tyler deferred to Scarlett's advice, Kal and Tyler end up (view spoiler) it was just chill. And I thought, overall, the diversity was done well. Lots of races and abilities and some bi rep and girls being badass and very feminine. 🎉(Just putting a big red X over the *possible* autistic rep and just hoping IT WASN'T.)

They steal things! they blow things up! They run screaming from very big bad enemies! The tag line is basically: they're not the heroes the world deserves...or asks for...or even wants, lol, send them back pls what the hell.

| overall |
solidly good story! I enjoyed myself, it was fun if predictable. (My only real concern is that I had no feels lol and the ending didn't hit me emotionally at all.) But the cast was fab and the dialogue meshed together so well and was so sparky! I'm concerned that these kids seemed to eat ONCE and that was like, a reheated synthesised pork dish. So they need to work on nutrition. But they were also nearly dying and uncovered something super bad and everyone's gonna die if they don't fix it. SO. 🎉 Good luck, Squad 312!!!
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Reading Progress

May 2, 2016 – Shelved
May 2, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 27, 2019 – Started Reading
April 28, 2019 –
page 75
15.96% "I'm really curious how I'll go with this because: I love Illuminae and These Broken Stars, but didn't click with LifeLike or Unearthed.

let's do this, dysfunctional squad team 🙌🏻"
April 30, 2019 –
page 200
42.55% "Me: ooh a squad idk which one I'll love the most--
Finan: [is a disabled, sassy little shit who loves his hair and is queer af]
Me: ah
Me: that one"
May 1, 2019 – Shelved as: 4-star
May 1, 2019 – Shelved as: aussie-authors
May 1, 2019 – Shelved as: read-2019
May 1, 2019 – Shelved as: young-adult
May 1, 2019 – Shelved as: sci-fi
May 1, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Britney Dillon Per Jay Kristoff at the book discussion last night, in Zila's backstory there is severe childhood trauma, and that trauma causes her behavior. Kristoff said some of her mannerisms do manifest as being on the spectrum, but she is not.

C.G. Drews Britney wrote: "Per Jay Kristoff at the book discussion last night, in Zila's backstory there is severe childhood trauma, and that trauma causes her behavior. Kristoff said some of her mannerisms do manifest as be..."

I was hoping it would be something else and not autism! So that's actually a relief 😬

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