Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle book 1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (book review).

‘Aurora Rising’ is book one in the ‘Aurora Cycle’, written by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This is their second series of books after their hugely successful ‘Illuminae Files’.

Tyler Jones is top of his class in Aurora Academy and he’s just waiting to be able to pick his dream team to set off into space when he makes a huge mistake. This mistake involves saving a young girl from a spaceship that shouldn’t have any survivors. Auri is that girl and she has been in cryosleep for two centuries and has no idea where or when she is. Along with Tyler and Auri, a bunch of the Academy’s worst students are brought together to try and save the galaxy while trying not to murder each other.

Throughout this book we have multiple different points of view from various characters including Tyler, Auri, Scarlett, Zil, Cat, etc. But given this, it does not get at all confusing as they all have quite distinct voices. This is very much a found family with almost all the characters starting out hating each other and then learning that what a person says or does on the outside is often a shell to protect them.

I loved all the characters and the sass that jumped off the page. Kristoff and Kaufman are masters at writing the snarkiest of conversations. These characters are just like a bunch of siblings trying to one up each other. They really do go from a group of people who barely know each other to people who would do anything to save each other. I’m not entirely sure they notice that it’s happening until things start to go badly wrong and they all have to have each others back.

Having said that, I do often find it hard to believe the ages of the people in books like this. They are meant to be late teens on the whole but they do seem to act a lot older in some situations. At least I’m sure I wouldn’t have the presence of mind to do the things they do, but then again I wasn’t trained to fly starships.

I would love to see Kaufman and Kristof try something new with their writing partnership. This book is good but it’s very similar to their previous series in the vibe. Plus it doesn’t seem to have anything very original in it. I felt that everything I was reading had been done before either in a book or movie. I know there’s no such thing as a new story, they’re all just repetitions of each other but I would like something a little more original.

Overall, it’s not a bad start to the series but it’s nowhere near as good as their previous series. I’ll be carrying on to find out what happens to everyone in the next book, ‘Aurora Burning’.

Sarah Bruch

February 2020

(pub: Rock The Boat, 2019 . 470 page hardback. Price: £14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78607-533-8)

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