The Aurora Cycle #1

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Summary from NetGalley:

Aurora RisingThe 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 tech whiz 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 inter-dimensional 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.



ARC provided by Random House Children’s via NetGalley for an honest review.  


This was such a fun read, another group of misfit teens out to save the galaxy!  I was expecting a fast and humorous read and that is exactly what I got.  Plus isn’t that such a stellar cover!  I love it.  

The story is told from all seven of the character’s points of view, which might seem like a lot, but they are all so different from each other that it was easy to tell them apart.  I was sort of expecting the story to be formatted like The Illuminae Files, but it isn’t.  It is straight up narrative, although there are some inserts from an AI at the end of the chapters, giving some historical info and other background information that pertains to the plot.

All of the characters are nicely fleshed out and very different from each other, although they do fall into the typical YA types of characters, (and of course they are all described as being beautiful). 

  • Ty is very much a leader and everyone looks to him for the answers and the plans. But he struggles with self-doubt.
  • His twin sister, Scarlet,  is the diplomat with a snarky attitude.  Although she is very charming when she needs to be. 
  • Zila, the science officer, is the one character we don’t get as much background or chapters from, but what we do get, makes her very interesting. 
  • Cat is the pilot, and grew up with Ty and Scarlett.  She was very intense and spent a lot of time just being angry about everything.  
  • Kal is Syldrathi, ie warrior alien, and has a lot of anger issues because of this.  He is of the hit first ask questions later type of character. 
  • Finian is also an alien, Betraskan, but he also has some physical disabilities.  This isn’t discussed as much as I would have liked.  He is a tech wiz but still has an attitude when it comes to interpersonal relationships.
  • And finally we have Aurora.  The girl two hundred years out of her comfort zone.  She is pretty lost and lonely most of the time, but as her story unfolds she becomes the most important person in the story.

Then there is the plot.  It is very fast moving, hard to put down and has some good twists that kind of blow your mind.  The crew starts off not trusting each other very much, except for Ty, Scarlett and Cat, they are considered to be the dregs of the academy.  But as the plot progresses and things start to go seriously wrong, they start to work together and come together as a team.  The snark and repartee between them keeps things amusing and a little bit light, even when things are going to hell around them.  The concept of the Fold, which is how they travel around the universe so quickly is well explained, and I liked the fact that they have to use kids because if you travel too much in the Fold as an adult you go crazy apparently.   

If you enjoy fast paced space adventures you will definitely love this one.  I just love it when there is a group of kids who have to learn to work together to save the galaxy.  



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