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Monday, May 6, 2019

ARC Review: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30075662-aurora-rising?ac=1&from_search=true
Please Note:  I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
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.


Review:
Because I buy a lot of books each year, I need to carefully consider each purchase (sadly, I'm not independently wealthy).  But when a new novel by authors Amie Kaufman and Kay Kristoff comes out, I will automatically buy it.  I really like their humor, and storytelling.  Aurora Rising, their newest book, is full of suspense, fun characters, and an intergalactic space heist.  I loved it!


What I Liked:
Characters:
This is definitely an ensemble cast with seven characters onboard the spaceship.  I love that we get to find out the backstory of each character, which really makes us care about them.

But the main story is about Aurora, a girl woken up from a cryogenic sleep 250 years later than she planned.  Aurora is the eyes of the reader as she must navigate this new reality full of various species of life-forms, spaceships, and planets.  She also seems to have superpowers!

I liked how purposeful and kind Aurora was.  Even though she must be freaking out a bit at all the changes, she is never mean.  She also doesn't curse ("Son of a biscuit-eater!").  I liked showing that not everyone drops F-bombs in novels.

Tyler was also a great character.  At the top of his graduating class, this cadet was looking forward to a choice first assignment with a crew of his own choosing.  Instead, he gets all the cadets no one wants, and a mission he can't understand.  I liked that even though he faced adversity, Tyler took on the challenge, and remained in control.

Each member of the spaceship's crew has a specific role.  Kal, the warrior, is a fascinating character.  He reminded me of Spock on Star Trek, a person fighting to tame his violent nature.  He is instantly attracted to Aurora (his society calls it "The Pull"), but is slightly horrified he has feelings at all for a human.

Storytelling:
The authors keep the storytelling interesting by changing the point of view in each chapter.  Each chapter starts with a "file" on a different job on the crew, or a different species of person (sort of reminding me of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy).  Then the chapter begins with the character that fits that file.  Eventually, we get to hear from each character.  This was really fun, and made it easy distinguish between personalities.

Suspense:
There's nothing like a book where all the characters have a bounty on their heads!  It seems like they get out of one mess only to jump into another. This kept the book at a fast pace.  I didn't notice the book was almost 500 pages!  I could not put it down.

Representation:
There is such a variety of people in sexuality, skin colors, temperaments, and physical abilities, that it gladdened by heart.  I especially liked the portrayals of Fin and Zila.  Fin needs an exoskeleton in order to move.  But that doesn't stop him from being a smart-ass.  I really like his inner dialogue showing how angry he was at his family for sending him away.  Plus he is makes hilarious sexual innuendoes about everyone in the book.  

Zila appears to have zero social skills, but the crew really values her input.  She is almost always correct when she offers a solution on what to do.  She is also a character with black skin and kinky hair, something that science-fiction books rarely include.  

Romance:
The relationship between Kal and Aurora is complicated.  Kal feels "The Pull" towards Aurora.  But there is more than attraction at work here.  They actually have a lot in common.  Both have lost their families and have power they cannot fully understand.  I like how Kal tries so hard not to show his true feelings for Aurora, (because he doesn't want her to feel any obligation to return his affections) and Aurora's compassion for Kal.  They would make a great couple.  But will Kal risk rejection and make his feelings known?

Story:
This is essentially a heist story, as we learn an ancient artifact is the key to
Aurora's mystery.  The only problem:  The artifact is in the private collection of the galaxy's most notorious gangster.  Add that shady galactic government agents are after Aurora and the chase is on!

Each situation seems to provide a reason for one of the characters to showcase their talents.  With every ship chasing them, Cat performs feats of piloting that are thrilling to read.  Scarlett (the diplomat) can talk her way out of most situations.  When that doesn't work, Kal (the warrior) will fight them out.  Fin shows off his MacGyver skills as he creates tech on the fly.  Zila (the scientist) provides knowledge when it is needed most.  Tyler is a natural leader that his team wants to follow, even when it makes them outlaws.  And Aurora...  You have to read the book to find out what she can do!
           
via GIPHY


Rating: 




Release Date:  May 7th, 2019

Authors:  Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers

Genre:  YA Science Fiction

Page Length: 480 Pages

Source:  Publisher

Format:  E-Book

Recommendation:  With high adventure and fun characters, this space heist novel is a winner.  Extremely entertaining.
 
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2 comments :

  1. I got this book in the mail today so I'm psyched to read it (hopefully soon).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes. The audio was brilliant and I cannot not wait for book two!

    ReplyDelete




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