Turning the Pages: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Space, the final… wait no. That’s not the case here at all.

Hi. My name is Michelle, and I love science fiction and fantasy. And in today’s case, I fangirl for Aurora Rising.

If you are new to me, then you should know that I love Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Together, they have written The Illumine Files, and now, newly released Aurora Rising. Individually, Amie and Jay have both written their fair share of books that will both engage and allure you.

Before I share my thoughts with you, let’s talk about Aurora Rising.

About Aurora Rising:

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling authors of the Illuminae Files comes a new science fiction epic . . . 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 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 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.


Spaaaaaaaaaaace vs. Space

In the Young Adult genre, almost anything goes. Because of the intended age group, they can boldly go where… wait no. The characters can just go anywhere with no questions asked. Aurora Rising has the boldness and other key components of a great science fiction.

Stellar team? Check.
Cryopod preservation? Check.
Space exploration? Check.
Wreckless adventure? Check.
Impossible odds? Check.

Told through in multiple points-of-view, we follow this journey through the eyes of six characters. They are introduced as Squad 312, of Aurora Academy. Lead by the Alpha, Tyler Jones (Squad Leader, First Class), they are drafted together to become the best squad in history, sort of. But unforeseen circumstances undoubtedly throws a wrench into Tyler’s plan as he answers a distress signal from the Hadfield. In a do-or-die space scenario, he rescues the second character you are introduced to, Auri, and catapults the trajectory into warp speed.

Aurora Rising is not your typical science fiction adventure. First of all, everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Squad 312 is made up of misfits and outcasts that were not chosen. They are made up of members who do not have any commonalities, who do not always get a long, and will constantly question authority. So imagine it like the left overs when choosing a dodge ball team. Subsequently, Amie and Jay make them work. They discover that there are similarities to who they are, and it makes for a great way to relate to each one of these characters.

Interplanetary Adventure

What starts of as a civilian transport mission quickly goes sideways. The Squad is chased by the government, the space mafia, and pretty much entities that I can’t even begin to describe. The Squad is put through the test of brawns and brains, with one heart-stopping event after another. And then the big elephant is revealed: Auri is special, and EVERYONE wants her.

Without too much detail, this adventure has three major parts: the getaway, the heist, and the demise. Not only that, you are taken to the edges of this space world, and with it, all of the emotions along with it. There are a multitude of alien races, ancient magic, and a cultural and environmental aspect that makes you think about our present circumstances.

Final Thoughts

But despite the circumstances of their beginnings, or the danger that each of their choices puts them in, they are together. This band of characters need very little introduction. Once you familiarize yourself with Tyler, Scarlett, Cat, Zilla, Finian, and Aurora, you’ll quickly picture yourself in their footsteps. Fashion yourself to become an Alpha, Ace, Gearhead, Face, Brain, or Tank.

I know who I want to be, and when you finish the pages of Aurora Rising, you will also. Without a doubt, Aurora Rising is one of my favorite reads so far.

Aurora Rising is out now.

Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 07, 2019
Genre: Young Adult
ISBN: 9781524720964

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