Book Review: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on May 7, 2019

Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera

Teen Fiction

Series: The Aurora Cycle #1

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.

Aurora Rising is the first book in a new science fiction series from Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff and let me just say I fell hard for this story and characters. If you’re familiar with the authors’ work, you’ll know to strap in for a wild ride but for newbies be prepared for high stakes adventure, happiness, and heartbreak. Space shenanigans abound within these pages and there’s something more lurking below the surface.

In the Aurora Legion, squads are made up of one person from each skill set and Squad 312 is certainly an eclectic bunch. Tyler is the Alpha, a leader and master tactician who could get his way just by smiling. His sister Scarlett is the team’s Face, adept in all diplomatic situations with a healthy side of sarcasm in her arsenal. There’s always a hot headed pilot, aka the Ace, and in this case it’s Tyler and Scarlett’s childhood friend Cat.

Finian’s the Gearhead of the group, an alien with a penchant for smart ass comments and technical prowess. Kal’s the muscle on this mission; tall broody, and angry to boot. This hot space elf fits the Tank mold perfectly. Zila’s the Brain of the operation; keeps to herself and strangely likes to shoot things a lot. And then there’s Auri, the stowaway that Tyler saved setting them all on a collision course with each other.

Squad 312 is a prime example of why I’m such a big fan of rag tag groups coming together. The character development is just on another level with individuals interacting one on one as well as in a team. It makes for more interesting connections and emotional payoff. Give me this found family trope all day long!

Plus this book is nonstop space romp. From travel across the stars to on-world heists, Squad 312 takes the reader on a fast paced joyride through the galaxy. It’s not all fun and games though. There’s a power in the universe waiting to be unleashed and the governing forces have been infiltrated by an ancient evil. Unfortunately no one is safe, not even our intrepid heroes.

So if you enjoy high octane space sagas and a group of misfits trying to save the universe, Aurora Rising will definitely be right up your alley. It’s got the bonds of friendship, a little romance, a lot of sarcasm/humor, and so much more. Check it out on Overdrive or at your local library and while you’re at it, look into their first series, The Illuminae Files, as well.

Are you a fan of SciFi and space adventures? What types of reviews would you like to see on LPLS Recommends?

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