Aurora Rising

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 May 2019

Member Reviews

Exactly what I hoped for from another outing of Kaufman and Kristoff!  I fell in love with this entire bunch of ragtag space misfits immediately, and the action-packed plot made this a page turner. Eagerly awaiting the rest of this series.
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This was a fun read! Definitely recommending to those who love space adventures. 
A must read for those who enjoyed The 'Illuminea Files' Series and fans of Marvel's Guardians (and other space operas.)
Thank you NetGalley and Publishers for providing me with a copy of 'Aurora Rising' in return of a review.
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As a mega-fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and the Illuminae files by these authors, I was very excited to read "Aurora Rising." And it did not disappoint! It was a bit of a slow go in the beginning due to the introduction of the characters and the universe, but after it found its stride it was a really enjoyable ride!
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Now I am huge huge fan of both Jay and Amie as individuals and as co-authors. Their Illuminae series completely changed the genre of YA with such intelligent and thought provoking plots and characters and that's not to mention their genius idea's of how their words on the page should look. Each book they write is better than the last, they truly hone their craft and take their readers on such an epic interstellar journey that it's wonder we all clamour for the next instalment. BUT I have to say Aurora Rising takes the cake!

For me this was their best work by a mile, it's been a while since I have had such FUN reading a book and I couldn't put it down... quite literally, it never left my hands. With such great tag lines like 'Six of Crows in space' I could certainly see the similarities between other YA series but I definitely feel Aurora Rising is a household name all on it's own.

A group of misfits are thrown together and head off into outer space for a whirlwind adventure which quickly leads to them running for their lives and facing intergalactic enemies. Our previously model students now turned fugitives suddenly find themselves adrift and involve themselves in a high steaks heist trying to save the galaxy. I loved each and every character and they were all so very different and diverse and just everything we need more of in YA literature today. The pressure was truly on from the very beginning and I loved reading about how the team who had never worked together before stumbled but eventually became a cohesive unit. It had such a great family/friendship message that I really appreciated.

Tyler - The squad leader with dimples, exudes far too much charm for his own good. Very cinnamon roll.
Scarlett - Tyler's sassy twin, never failed to make me laugh, and had such a big heart.
Auri - Wakes up from a cryogen sleep after 200 years surrounded by strangers and can make people explode by looking at them? Don't mess with her.
Kal - White hair, tattooed, muscles for dayssss and could kill you with his little finger. A sexy elf reminiscent of Legolas
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You can find this review on Happy Indulgence over here!

Featuring a squad of misfits who nobody else wanted, the cadets from Aurora Academy must deliver some precious cargo across the galaxy. What they didn’t bet on, was that this precious cargo would actually be a girl with superpowers – who has awoken from being cryogenically frozen.

There’s a lot going on in Aurora Rising, as it introduces us to seven new characters who each have strong, conflicting personalities that clash. As with any squad, it takes time for them to learn how to work together and complete their mission successfully. What entails is a zany, fun-filled space adventure filled with sarcasm, banter and unlikely friendship.


The blurb says it all, and each of these characters have an attitude to boot. From the sassy and lovable Scarlet who could talk her way out of anything, to the straight-A Commander who does everything by the book, the autistic engineer, tomboy pilot, an alien with a disability and the other with anger management issues, they were each fascinating in their own right. There’s also Aurora who finds herself in the future and has no idea what’s going on, other than the fact that everyone she’s ever known is dead.

While there are some pre-existing bonds between the squad members, such as Tyler and Scarlet who are twin siblings and Scarlet’s roomie Cat who is “slightly” obsessed with Tyler, most of them operate on their own. And no one has any idea why they’re in this squad or what their mission is and it’s hella entertaining to watch.

The other species in the squad presented an interesting angle, as we learn about these different alien races through their perspectives. My favourite character is Finian, who needs to wear an exosuit and has the best snarky lines in the book. He’s a Betraskan alien, who has a clan-like family structure where absolutely everyone is related and need to call upon favors. Kal was also interesting, as a hot space elf from a species who are bred as warriors. Because he’s working with Terrans/humans, he earns the scorn of the rest of his race and he’s constantly struggling against the call of his blood.


Learning about each of these characters is a big part of it, but there’s also how we learn about the space world 200 years in the future. We learn about the Fold which allows travel through space by skipping through time and how humans have learnt to co-exist with different alien species. It’s a lot to embark on, but I was impressed with how a story of this magnitude was told.

Aurora Rising feels very much like a set up book, as it switches between all of these character perspectives and the crew wing their way through the mission that constantly changes. The plot is kept pretty simple – as they find out what to do with Aurora once she starts showing her powers, because there’s so much ground to cover.

Just when I felt like I was getting into the story however, it ends with an obvious lead in to the sequel, which was kind of frustrating. I wanted more – why can’t we have that now?!

"…We’re the Aurora Legion. We don’t bow to tyrants, and we don’t back down from a fight."

So does Aurora Rising live up to the hype of the Illuminae Files? While I missed the crazy artistic format of the Illuminae Files, it was nice to discover another new galactic adventure from my favourite authors. With sarcastic banter between unlikely squad mates, a girl out of time and a mission that has no clear objectives, Aurora Rising is a snarky, fun-filled galactic adventure not to be missed.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Thank you Netgalley for the review copy!
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I absolutely love Jay Kristoff, and his adult fiction writing is phenomenal. Unfortunately, I think his YA literature is just not in my wheelhouse. I really wanted to love this one, as I was a huge fan of the Nevernight series, but Aurora Rising just could not hold my attention. I found myself disinterested in the story, and I was not a fan of the writing style, which felt a bit meandering and sluggish. I think this was definitely a case of "it's me not you," and I think this is a very wholesome and inviting story for its target audience of young adults. I also think those that really enjoy science fiction will be keen on reading this one.
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5 stars

Blessed the stars, Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman have done it again. I admit that my expectations were extremely high for Aurora Rising. I loved “The Illuminae Files” so I was extremely happy that Kristoff and Kaufman were teaming up and writing another space adventure. And they did not disappoint! 

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

It’s no secret that I have a deep love for all things Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. As I work my way through their books, (co-written and separate books) I have not come across one I haven’t enjoyed. But this one, this one is by far one of my favorites.

Not only was this plot super fun and intense, what really sells this book is the characters. Each character brought something new to the table and I had so much fun with the multiple POV’s. Now I don’t want to give too much away as I want you all to experience these characters for the first time when you read this book. But I will say Kal is my favorite and I love him the most.

This book just came out and I am so READY for book 2. Can we make that happen already? It’s been long enough, right? I think I will find most people agree with that statement. Because I AM NOT OKAY after that ending. 

I do highly recommend this book. If you like space adventures with a sassy and fun diverse cast than this book is for you. Seriously, read it. Read it now. And then when you are done go read their other books…

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an arc. All thoughts are my own.
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I am one of the few that really just didn't care for The Illuminae Files.  This one is written like a straight up normal novel which I loved.  This one has all the feels for teamwork and friendship all set to the backdrop of a wonderful science fiction novel. This title was filled with sas, humor, and all the action.  I couldn't put it down.  The only issue I had was that this one had a lot of the things you are used to finding in young adult titles.
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As an avid YA novel reader, especially the kind that enjoys super powers, mystery, badass friends, and strong relationships outside of family ties THIS BOOK HAS ITTTT!! Each character stays true to their own role in this book and also they play a massive role to each others stories! Ugh I was aiming to write a long good review but basically I loved this book and all its characters!! Had a VERY Guardians of the Galaxy tone throughout the whole thing! Finished this story in a day and I’m sad I have to WAITTTTT! I need MORE!
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This book had all the humor and sassy-ness that I loved about the Illuminae filed and made me fall in love with this crew immediately.
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I'm starting to realize that science fiction is becoming my favorite YA genre (maybe just after historical.) Aurora Rising helped me reach this conclusion.

We are way in the future (2380), and Tyler is on a distant planet ready to graduate from Aurora Academy with top honors and begin his career keeping the universe safe. Everything goes off the rails for Tyler when on one last flight, he rescues a girl from cryo-sleep on a spaceship that was lost over 200 years ago. The girl's name is Aurora.

Instead of the most elite squad in his class, because of this rescue, Tyler ends up with a squad of misfits who seem hopeless. And, of course, instead of an exciting, elite mission, they are given a supply delivery. However, Aurora stows away on their ship and soon it is apparent that she is wanted by the government. But Aurora is convinced she must not be caught. This unlikely crew decides to help Aurora and possibly save the galaxy from certain destruction.

The world building and science fiction elements of Aurora Rising are fascinating. The characters are quirky and distinct, each telling part of the story from their own point of view. The secrets about Aurora are compelling, and I couldn't figure out what was going on -- but I wanted too!

Yes, some of the events are a bit far-fetched, but it's science fiction, so expected. The story moved quickly from one life-threatening situation to another, and for the most part, their escapes were clever. Aurora Rising is the first book in a series, so the book ends at an appropriate point, but leaves you wanting more. After all, the survival of the universe is at stake!

These authors wrote Illuminae and the rest of that series. I enjoyed Aurora Rising more than Illuminae mostly because of the format. Aurora Rising doesn't have all of the emails and other varied types of story-telling formats like Illuminae did, and that just worked better for me.

Teens who are fans of Kaufman and Kristoff, as well as any who are sci-fi fans will enjoy Aurora Rising.
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After the Illuminae series  I was so excited to see that they had something else in store for us. I knew it would be great, so I waited until I could get my hands on the audio because I knew it was going to be awesome. And I was so right.
      I loved the characters in this. There were so many different personalities and species and it was awesome. I loved that they hated each other but made up for it by being there for each other and having everyone's back. I loved their sarcastic nature and the way they were all so different, but also the same. I know this sounds super confusing, but it was cool to see this intergalactic example of The Breakfast Club lol
      What I didn't like though was the plot. I was listening to the audio and at some points I was way into it and at other points it felt like it was dragging. I'm not sure why it felt so up and down, but it didn't feel like their other books. And when it finally picked up at the end, it got really weird. (Yeah that ending wasn't cool with me...)
     As for the audio, this one was also a production and I loved it. This one also has an entire collection of people along with the narrators and it makes the whole thing so much more of a production. I always loved that they have all of these things to make the book so different than others. And to finish listening to this in the same day I finished listening to another audio of this caliber was pretty awesome. I hope Penguin Random House Audio continues to give these authors amazing people to do their audios with!
     This wasn't exactly what I was expecting with the weird ass ending, but overall it turned out ok. I still can't wait to see what else these two have in mind for the rest of the series because it can't really get more crazy can it???
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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 (2019), 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!
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Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was fantastic. Most of you know that I am already a sucker for space themed young adult books. Obviously, there is no surprise that I would love something that Kaufman and Kristoff wrote together.

Squad 312 is absolutely amazing. These characters make up the best team. I love the fact that they are snarky to each other but if someone is in need, they are there. What more could you ask for? This band of misfits may not have wanted to be together but they worked so well together and they found plenty of things to bond over.

I really enjoyed the dual point of views in this one because I felt like we were able to get the full picture. There is a lot going on in Aurora Rising. Not only are we getting a new world or universe of Kaufman and Kristoff but we have a whole new ship and characters to connect with. The storyline sucked me in right away.

Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley has been a cryogenically frozen girl for the last 200 plus years. She is found by Legionnaire Tyler Jones. Something is up with this girl and no one seems to know what. There is a ton of mistrust on this squad especially when Aurora sneaks onto their ship and everyone disagrees on how to handle the situation. Of course there is drama and betrayal. One of the things that I liked is people wanted answers. They wanted to uncover the answers.

I am really excited for the next book. I am already excited to reread this book. I loved it that much. Pick up a copy because otherwise you are missing out on this epic space adventure.
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Aurura Rising is the first book in the brand new Aurora Cycle trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and is also one of my most anticipated reads for this spring! I am a huge fan of Amie’s books, and I have quite a few of Jay’s books on my reading list as well, but besides that, I LOVE their Illuminae Files trilogy! (It’s seriously one of my faves!) I was super excited to get started on this new series to see how it would compare, and I’m pretty sure Amie and Jay have a hit on their hands with this brand new book!

There are so many things to like about this book, and I think one of the things I love most are the characters. This book is FULL of interesting characters, but my faves would have to be the 7, (yes SEVEN), main characters. Each character is so different from the others, and all have an interesting story as well, (especially Auri, who I think has the most interesting story), and I can’t wait to read the next books so I can know more about them. They are all so great, and make such a great team!

Another thing that I really love about the book is the setting. Even though the thought of space sometimes gives me major anxiety, I LOVE reading about it! Just like the Illuminae Files, this book is set in space, well into the future. I can't imagine ever living in space as well, but I definitely enjoyed experiencing it through these awesome characters. The storyline for this book was also fantastic, as well as super addictive. I flew through the pages of this book super quick, and I adored everything about it.

Overall; Aurora Rising is the first book in what should prove to be another amazing series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and I absolutely loved every minute of it! I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on the next two books, which are currently untitled and without release dates, but I will most definitely be keeping my eye out for them. And I do believe I will have to do a re-read of The Illumanie Files series while I wait! If you love those books as well, do check out this new series too! 

Happy Reading!
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I loved it! There is just something magnetizing about Jay and Amie’s writing. They create really strong, unique characters and then they make you invested in them and their journey. They suck you in and then inevitably, once you are all in, they stab you viciously in the heart. And despite all the pain, you’re still going to love it and clamor for the next book – because we are all masochists here!

In Aurora Rising, there are multiple POVs as a rag tag team finds themselves in space with no one to rely on but each other. I loved seeing this band of misfits figure themselves out and learn to work together under dire circumstances. The cast of characters were just so fantastic. It gave me a lot of Firefly vibes and lord did I love that show.

The sci-fi aspects were fascinating and it was super interesting discovering this new universe Jay and Amie created. New species other than human are prominent and we visit multiple planets and see such an array of different cultures and societal norms! The sci-fi/horror feels would translate so well onto the big screen. It’s just so fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat, heart pounding, especially in the last quarter or so. I loved all of it and can’t wait until the next book!

In Short…
A thrilling ride through space with a cast of characters you can’t help but love and root for. This is a brilliant start to a new series and sci-fi at its best. I can’t wait for more Squad 312!
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It is no secret that I love The Illuminae Files - everything about that series was so much more spectacular than I ever expected it would be. The beginning of a new series from the dynamic duo of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Aurora Rising did not let me down.

Honestly, I can barely even articulate how incredible Aurora Rising was. I am not much of a sci-fi fan, but Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff just cannot do wrong in my eyes. I had absolutely no idea what this book was about going into it except that it was ~S P A C E~, but it had me hooked immediately. I found myself absolutely flying through this book, finding excuses to just sneak a peak at a few more pages throughout the day at work. My train commute was suddenly TOO SHORT because I just needed more time to read this book. It was amazing and also absolutely crazytown.

Every character in Squad 312 was so interesting. The way all these wildly different personalities meshed together and bonded was truly delightful. I loved every moment of their bickering and banter. Also to be a lame nerd, I enjoyed seeing the squad go through the stages of team building: from reluctantly forming, to absolutely, viciously storming, to finally norming and performing. This is a squad I wish I could be a part of (though maybe with less d a n g e r).

This book was such a wild ride from start to finish, and I absolutely loved the format, with Magellan's snippets between chapters to give some additional (snarky) context. I would like more Magellan in book 2 to fill the AIDAN shaped hold in my heart.

In summation, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff can do no wrong in my eyes, so obviously I think you should read this (and also Illuminae if you're still sleeping on that). I think sci-fi can sometimes be hard to get into, but this dream team really knows how to make it accessible to a wider audience.
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This was an entertaining and fun read. The best part of the book is definitely the cast of characters. Can't wait to see what's in store for them next.
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Aurora Rising was the first book by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman I've read and unfortunately it was not for me. The concept sounded intriguing and given how beloved these authors are I was pretty optimistic but it didn't sit well with me. None of the characters really grabbed my attention and the girl-on-girl hate left a bitter taste.
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Okay, so I liked the idea of this book. But. I also had some issues with it and whether or not the rating stays at four stars probably depends on how things get resolved/revealed in the future books. How did Auri get on the colony ship after the weirdness with the Eshvaren? Was everyone on the colony ship affected? How did the infected colonists manage to infiltrate the humans with no one noticing their plant faces? Are the Eshvaren actually gone, and if so how did they change Aurora? That being said, my biggest problem with this book can't be fixed. There are seven POV characters and for several of them (particularly Tyler, Auri, Cat, and Scar) I was constantly having to flip back to the beginning of the chapter to remind myself who was narrating because it felt so generic. There is a problem with your characters if I can't tell the majority of the POVs apart.
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