Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle Series #1)

Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle Series #1)

by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff


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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.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524720964
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Series: Aurora Cycle Series , #1
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 3,840
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are the New York Times bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files. Amie has also co-written (with Meagan Spooner) the Starbound and the Unearthed trilogies. Jay is the author of the LIFEL1K3 series, as well as the Nevernight Chronicle and the Lotus War series for adults. Collectively, Amie and Jay stand 12'5" tall and live in Melbourne, Australia, with two long-suffering spouses, two rescue dogs, and a plentiful supply of caffeine. They met thanks to international taxation law, and stuck together due to a shared love of blowing things up and breaking hearts. You can learn more about Amie at or @AmieKaufman; look for Jay at or @misterkristoff.

Read an Excerpt

I’m gonna miss the Draft.
The Hadfield is disintegrating around me. Black arcs of quantum lightning are melting the ship’s hull to slag. My spacesuit is screaming seventeen different alarms, the lock on this damn cryogenic pod still won’t open, and that’s the one thought blaring in my head. Not that I should’ve stayed in my rack and gotten a good night’s sleep. Not that I should’ve just ignored the damn distress call and headed back to Aurora Academy. And not that this is a really stupid way to die.
Nope. Looking death right in the face, Tyler Jones, Squad Leader, First Class, is thinking one thing, and one thing only.
I’m gonna miss the damn Draft.
I mean, you work your whole life for a Thing, it’s only natural the Thing be important to you. But most rational people would consider getting vaporized inside a derelict spaceship drifting through interdimensional space just a little more important than school. That’s all I’m saying.
I look down at the girl sleeping inside the cryopod. She has shortish black hair, with a strange white streak running through her bangs. Freckles. A gray jumpsuit. Her expression is the kind of blissful you only see on babies or the cryogenically frozen.
I wonder what her name is.
I wonder what she’d say if she knew she was about to get me killed.
And I shake my head, muttering over the scream of my suit alarms as the ship around me begins to tear itself into a million burning pieces.
“She better be worth it, Jones.”
Let’s back it up a little.
About four hours, to be exact. I know they say to start your story at the exciting bit, but you need to know what’s going on here so you can actually care about me getting vaporized. Because me getting vaporized is totally gonna suck.
So. Four hours ago, I’m in my dorm at Aurora Academy. I’m staring up at the underside of Björkman’s mattress and praying to the Maker that our training officers throw some kind of grav-failure or fire drill at us. The night before the Draft, they’ll probably just let us get some rest. But I’m praying anyway, because:
(a)       Even though he never snores, Björkman is snoring now, and I can’t sleep.
(b)       I’m wishing my dad could be there to see me tomorrow, and I can’t sleep.
(c)        It’s the night before the Draft, and I. CAN’T. SLEEP.
I dunno why I’m so worked up. I should be cool as ice. I’ve aced every exam. Finished top of almost every class. Ninetyninth percentile of all cadets in the academy.
Jones, Tyler, Squad Leader, First Class.
Goldenboy. That’s what the other Alphas call me. Some throw it as an insult, but I take it as a compliment. Nobody worked harder than me to get here. Nobody worked harder once they arrived. And now all that work is about to pay off, because tomorrow is the Draft and I’ve earned four of the top five picks, and I’m gonna have the best squad a senior class in Aurora Academy has ever seen.
So why can’t I sleep?
Surrendering with a long sigh, I climb out of my bunk, drag on my uniform, drag my hand through my blond hair. And shooting a look at Björkman that I wish could kill—or at least mute—I slap the door control pad and stalk out into the corridor, cutting off his snores behind me.
It’s late: 02:17 station clock. The illumination is set low to simulate nighttime, but the fluorescent strips in the floor light up as I mooch down the hallway. I ping my sister, Scarlett, on my uniglass, but she doesn’t answer. I think about pinging Cat, but she’s probably asleep. Like I should be.
I wander past a long plasteel window, looking at the Aurora star burning beyond, gilding the frame’s edge in palest gold. In old Terran mythology, Aurora was the goddess of the dawn. She heralded the coming of daylight, the end of night. Someone back in the day gave her name to a star, and that star gave its name to the academy now orbiting it, and the Aurora Legion I’ve given my life to.
Five years I’ve lived here. Signed up the day I turned thirteen, my twin sister right beside me. The recruiter on New Gettysburg Station remembered our dad. Told us he was sorry. Promised we’d make the bastards pay. That Dad’s sacrifice—all our soldiers’ sacrifices—wouldn’t be for nothing.
I wonder if I still believe that. I should be sleeping.
I don’t know where I’m going.
Except I know exactly where I’m going.
Stalking down the corridor toward the docking bay. Jaw clenched.
Hands in my pockets to hide the fists.
Four hours later, I’m pounding those same fists on the cryopod’s seal.
The chamber around me is filled with a hundred pods just like it, all rimed with a layer of pale frost. The ice cracks a little under my blows, but the seal isn’t opening. My uniglass is running a wireless hack on the lock, but it’s too slow.
If I don’t get out of here soon, I’m dead.
Another shock wave hits the Hadfield, shaking the whole ship. There’s no gravity in the derelict, so I can’t fall. But I’m hanging on to the cryopod, which means I still get whipped around like a kid’s toy, smashing my spacesuit’s helmet into another pod and adding one more alarm to the seventeen already blaring in my ears.
Warning: suit integrit y breach. h20 reservoir compromised.
Uh-oh . . .
The girl in the cryopod frowns in her sleep like she’s having a bad dream. For a moment, I consider what it’s gonna mean for her if we make it out of this alive.
And then I feel something wet at the base of my skull. Inside my helmet. I twist my head and try to spot the problem, and the wetness sloshes across the back of my neck, surface tension gluing it to my skin. I realize my drinking tube has ruptured. That my hydration tanks are emptying into my helmet. That even if this FoldStorm doesn’t kill me, in about seven minutes, my helmet is gonna fill with water and I’m gonna be the first human I’ve ever heard of to drown in space.
If we make it out of this alive? “No chance,” I mutter.

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Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle Series #1) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Aditi-ATWAMB 10 days ago
If you didn’t already know, I AM OBSESSED with The Illuminae Files. It was a truly brilliant series that kept me at the edge of my seat, filled with twists and murderous AI and if you haven’t read it, you should. This is why, when Amie and Jay announced Aurora Rising and the start of a new series, I WAS OVER THE MOON! In retrospect, I probably expected too much from this series because Aurora Rising ended up being a huge let-down. I feel bad even saying this because I WANTED to enjoy this book more than anything – with the beautiful cover and the premise and THE TRAILER. Not to mention, this was Amie and Jay and AAAH. Here is why I (very sadly) didn’t enjoy this book: 1. The Characters: One of the BIGGEST areas of intrigue in this book was that these were supposed to be a rat-rag group of characters that nobody wanted to be around, weren’t really ‘heroes,’ and weren’t really to be trusted and so they were stuck together and given a tiny mission. For some reason, squad 312 just didn’t work. The line on the cover of the ARC says, ‘they aren’t the heroes we deserve,’ but it certainly felt like it anyway. They were all noble and JUST SO TALENTED IN THEIR SPECIFIC FIELDS, if only their interpersonal skills were a little off-course. I actually wanted them to just be a mediocre group of kids pushed together that managed to make something work, but these were ALL STELLAR GOLDEN-BOY/ HERO TYPES with an unneeded flair for the dramatic and nicknames that just sounded awkward and I somehow feel cheated out of what I was promised – an actually different saving the universe story, in terms of the characters. 2. THE PLOT: This felt very all over the place to me. With The Illuminae Files, there was always some purpose with where the characters were heading, a timeline and some structure, but this book was very faith-based. I don’t think I’ve ever read faith-based sci-fi before, and it all just seemed like a really big risk for something they didn’t know anything about. Which is the point of faith, I know, and I love that the authors tried something new, but it just didn’t work for me personally. HOWEVER, AURORA RISING WASN’T ALL BAD – IT GOT GOOD AT THE END. Here is what I liked: 1. THE REVEAL AT THE ENDING: I’m glad this wasn’t really a cliffhanger, but after an entire 500+ page book of feeling adrift with no concrete plot, I really enjoyed how this all came together in the end. 2. CAT: I didn’t like her much through the book, BUT I BECAME A FAN AT THE END. I loved her last POV in the book and the tragedy and WOW. WITH NO SPOILERS, LET ME JUST SAY THAT THAT WAS SPECTACULAR WRITING AND PLOTTING. Will I be reading book two? YES! With the hope that it makes up for book one
bayy245 16 days ago
I remember hearing very early on about this series at an Illuminae tour stop and I've been anxiously awaiting it ever since. Aurora Rising did not disappoint. Amie and Jay write space so convincingly that I'm not quite sure they aren't aliens themselves. Although this has similar backbones to the Illuminae files, colonizing other planets and mysterious diseases, Aurora Rising holds its own. It has distinctive characters as Amie and Jay decided to tackle SEVEN points of view this time around. Each character's voice was perfectly crafted and you knew immediately, without the header, who was speaking. These characters drive this novel and we even get a bit of a sassy AI. The plot of this novel is incredible. Characters and setting weave perfectly with it to create a really strong narrative. The big bad is one for the books and even had me creeped out. There are two big twists in this novel and the first one had me completely fooled. The various settings we visit seem so much like something that would be out in space that I had to remind myself that we were not traveling the galaxy nor had we discovered aliens. The aliens were imaginative and well thought out. They weren't just weird combinations and limbs and skin colors. Each species we run across has distinctive features, communities, and traditions. We have two alien species on Squad 312 and we run across quite a few other species on the road. The care and attention that went into creating these side characters, if even just to be a bartender, is extensive. Jay and Amie have brought us another character-driven, space adventure that has me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment. There's more than just a doomsday space mission in this one. I'm not sure you're prepared for the horrors of space. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Knopf Books for Young Readers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*
Anonymous 3 months ago
I just finished so I can't coherently put my thoughts together but I adobed this book so much. The characters were by far the best part of the book but everything was so stellar. I can't wait for the next book!!
thereadingchick 5 months ago
The first book in a new series by the authors of the Illuminae Files, Kaufman and Kristoff once again create an action packed science fiction space opera. Aurora, part of a team sent off planet to inhabit a new planet, was woken from cryo-sleep to find over 200 years had passed. The only living survivor of a ship of people, she is rescued by cocky cadet and team leader Tyler Jones. Along with the rest of his team, Aurora navigates a new world where she is being chased by an unknown enemy because of powers she doesn’t know she posses. Aurora Rising takes off from the first word read and doesn’t slow down until the last page. Auri may be the catalyst for this plot but it’s the entire cast of characters that hold my interest. I’m going to share the description from the synopsis because really it says it best… “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” There are so many different relationships and sub plots at play between the five cadets I was inundated with surprise after surprise making me second guess who plays what part. These are not the obvious caricatures I am used to seeing in YA action novels. Auri is a sympathetic heroine but has hidden depths even she is only just discovering. Tyler seems to be the obvious hero, after all he’s the leader of this team of super smart rejects, but is he her romantic interest? As I turned each page something new was revealed that made me second guess my expectations of where the plot was leading and I was totally excited that I kept being surprised. Overall Aurora Rising was a classic good versus evil plot, the main characters were charming, irreverent, funny, loving, and heroic. The villains? Super scary! All the traits expected in a great action filled sci-fi novel. This one was right in my wheel house and I enjoyed the heck out of it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Kibbyra 6 months ago
Actual Rating is 4.5 Stars Kaufman and Kristoff have once again struck me deep in my Sci-Fi loving soul with their new high stakes space adventure featuring found families and healthy doses of snark. The characters were all unique, though I would have liked some more background on Zila. The plot was well paced, and the slower bits were filled with intriguing back story or world building, so they never felt boring. I got some Firefly vibes, which I loved, but this story is entirely it’s own. If Kaufman and Kristoff know one thing, it’s how to write a gripping, hilarious, mysterious, and emotional space adventure.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
I was given an e-arc by Netgalley and then immediately bought the physical copy because I LOVE this gorgeous cover by the amazing Charlie Bowater! As I first started to read the book I felt a little iffy, ONLY because I'm not really into Sci-Fi and I felt out of place with trying to picture everything and I was wondering what some space words meant but I pushed through. (But that's just me since I'm not too familiar with space stuff.) Another thing that I was really iffy about was the dialogue. I don't know but sometimes I felt like it was a little too juvenile but as I kept reading I felt like it improved and it stopped bothering me. Now, with those little pet peeves out of the way I have to say that I REALLY enjoyed this book! I was hooked by the first two chapters and boy did it get better and better! I slowly but surely fell in LOVE with ALL of these characters, Aurora being my favorite. I just immediately felt for her situation and I sympathized for her and I can see her character growing immensely. I was on the edge of just wanting to know the mystery to everything! The who, what, where, when and why! And by the end we knew everything and boy IS. IT. BIG. There was honestly NEVER a dull moment. I loved learning about this world, each character and I found the different races and cultures to be so fasinating. This story played like a movie in my head and if you're a fan of Voltron, Star Wars, X-Men, The Last of Us & Annhialation then chances are you might enjoy this book too.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I was so excited to read this book, the hype was insane and with it selling out online for the sprayed edges I knew it had to be something amazing! I didn’t realize how many perspectives it was going to have going into this, for me personally I don’t do well with this many switches and I did get a little bored at times but I loved aurora and Tyler the most (obviously haha) this book was fantastic. I really enjoyed the different races and how they all existed together. How crazy it would be being in auroras shoes and how she would feel jumping into it all for the first time. Now, it didn’t pass the illuminae files for me rating wise, I don’t think anything can but I would def pick this up and read it again. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read and review!
Anonymous 8 months ago
OwlishReader 8 months ago
"Do moons choose the planets they orbit? Do planets choose their stars? Who am I to deny gravity, Aurora? When you shine brighter than any constellation in the sky?" *swoon* This was really great. If you liked the Illuminae Files, but weren't a fan of the format, this could be for you. Or if you like accessible, easy-to-read science fiction, with not a crazy amount of world building. I was a big fan of the friend group, and really enjoyed the small moments of platonic love between the characters. Some of the plot points were a bit predictable; the reveal of a particular character was easy to guess. I enjoyed that the romance wasn't center stage, and the parts that were romantic were adorable and not cringey. I know that this doesn't take place in the same world as the Illuminae Files, but there are a lot of similarities between that series and this book. It's the same general concept of a group of misfits getting together against all odds to defeat some common enemy. You can also guess which characters will end up with who, romantically (if this follows the same formula as the Illuminae Files). I did enjoy that this book had a bit more diversity among the main characters than the Illuminae Files. Overall, another great book from Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. Is anybody even surprised?
Nicole Nixon 8 months ago
Another possibly incoherent review coming your way! A huge, HUGE, HUGE thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing a free digital copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review! Look. I say it all the time: how I’m horrible at making predictions about what will happen at the end of the novel. And when it comes to sci-fi novels, I’m even worse. So when I finally reached the end of this book, I’m just like: And this was definitely brought on by so many things. The more I read this book, the more I realized it had dashes of some of my favorite sci-fi series like Firefly and Doctor Who. To be honest, I had a lot of hopes for this book after the amazingness of The Illuminae Files and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The plot is intricate and gripping, truly mind-blowing. It has you believing one thing, only to be proved wrong later (at least for me, LOL). It’s also fast-paced, and I couldn’t put it down. I was happy to pick this book up and sad to put it down every time. No complaints here! I am in awe of how realistic and three-dimensional Amie and Jay make their characters. Do I think I would be a good fit for this squad? Probably not. I have a feeling I’d be a bit like Aurora… Sort of just lost in the midst of things. I loved that despite everything, each squad member seemed to fit together as a whole in a way they didn’t think possible. One of those, “It happens for a reason” type of thing seems to fit really well here. I can’t say I have a favorite, though I’m really in love with Kal at the moment. I love the connections each character made with each other, and how even the strong are vulnerable. I really thought I would dislike Tyler, as he’s nicknamed the Goldenboy, but he would really do anything for his squad and it’s admirable (yet heartbreaking). One of my only problems with this book pertained to the romance between two characters. I mean it was kind of out of the blue for one character, and when it was explained, I was like, “Okay… But…” But it wasn’t enough to deter me from giving this book less stars. I imagine it’ll be explored as the series progresses. The same could really be said for Zila, too. She’s a mystery, though there’s hint as to she is the way she is but it’s not explored. I expressed some concern about Aurora being biracial (half-white, half-Chinese) and its nuances being lost of the authors. I’m glad to say that wasn’t the case, and the instances in which Aurora thought about her dad and his desire to make sure they knew about their Chinese culture was really nice. I didn’t realize quite how much I had missed Amie and Jay writing together until I read this. I mean, I really enjoyed The Illuminae Files, and it was a great joy to meet the two authors last year. They spoke very briefly about what is now this novel, using the very specific phrase “hot space elves” which made us all LOL, but just so you know… It’s true! HAHA. This book has everything you loved about The Illuminae Files and so much more!
Bookyogi 8 months ago
In the same engaging fashion of the Illuminae and These Broken Stars books, Aurora Rising does not disappoint. Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman put together another sassy, fun, intelligent, sarcastic squad that share a high octane story. No doubt this series will be as good. I was trying to decide my favorite character, but there are elements in each that I like, but one thing they all share is unfailing, badass loyalty, with just the right amount of sarcasm these two authors are always able to pull off. The story went by so fast, it was over before I was ready to say goodbye (until book 2 ) Ok, so why 4 and not 5 stars? I really did like this book and 4 stars is very good, however, there were two reasons it is a 4 for me and not a 5. First, toward the end it falls apart a bit when the plot unfolds and we see their mission clearly. The otherworldly beings don’t quite click in place with the rest of the story, or it is a little overboard maybe? I am still working through my thoughts on that. Second, in the same way I love their first two series, in this third series the characters feel familiar, in a good, but also a little worn way. Now, don’t get me wrong and don’t hate me, I really do love the characters, and the worn familiarity is minor when you take into account all the great about this book – so let’s leave it with 4.5 stars for good measure.
SkyeWright 8 months ago
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review. *** Aurora Rising is the first in a new series by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. Set in the future where people are settled among the stars and have met alien life forms our story begins with Tyler, a hot shot future leader, who in a dashing and heroic attempt to save someone ruins the future he’d been working towards all this time. Due to his actions he missed the chance to make the dream team he’d been wanting and gets a group of misfits and outcasts instead, but Tyler is a stand up guy and he’s going to make this work. (Whether the others want it to or not.) Aurora went to space decades ago, ready to join her father in a period when space travel was still fairly new. She wakes up, after being discovered in the Fold by Tyler, to find that the ship she’d been on had gone missing for decades and she’s the only survivor. Also, she has dreams that show her the future and her life is in danger. You know, as these things happen. What follows is a fairly fast paced action book. The story is full of charm, wit, interesting powers, and lots of sarcasm. It’s also about finding yourself and finding family among people you meet. The team may not have been the one Tyler wanted but it’s the one that everyone on the team seems to need. There were a lot of things that happened, and I’m interested to see the consequences and follow up to some of them. There were also a lot of backstory and bigger things were glossed over and hinted at and I really need some of that in the next book(s). One word, Zila.
SWerbelo 9 months ago
Such a good book! From the start, it pulls you in and keeps you interested. The characters are great, the story is interesting and the pace was perfect. I cannot wait until the next one!
Anonymous 9 months ago
FadedPages 9 months ago
5/5 Stars ..but really all the stars in the galaxy! I loved this new squad so much that I think they're my new sci-fi obsession! Pacing This was one of those stories that I couldn't put down even with risk of losing my job the next morning, because no amount of coffee in the known universe was going to wake my tired self up! But I. Could. Not. Stop. Reading! I had to know what was going to happen and it was such a easy, fast read. Characters All the characters had unique, individual personalities so even though there were multiple POVs I never felt confused. Aurora was easily a favorite main character, because she felt a little lost among the living with everything going on in her life and I gravitated towards that feeling. Tyler was the sarcastic, hot-shot, handsome squad leader that tried to do what was best for the whole team. Cat was the angsty pilot who always came off a bit strong. Scarlett was the beauty with brains and sass. She was always talking sass with Cat. Finian was the gearhead and source of dry sarcasm, pointing out the obvious and usually went off on a comedic tangent in most of the conversations. Naturally, he was my absolute favorite. Kal was the squad's strategist, muslce, and resident space elf. I'm hoping more of his personality jumps out at us in the next book. Zila was the sociopathic scientist/medical officer that shot first and asked questions later. Her short chapters made me laugh out loud and I hope to read more background about her character in the rest of the series! Overall In short, this book was everything I wanted it to be and bits I couldn't have imagined. If you love the sci-fi genre, I can't recommend it enough! It was absolutely a blast to read with fully developed characters, an amazingly built world, and the sarcasm filled crazy space situations that we all love. I can't wait to see where the story takes the squad next! Highly recommend if you love: • Sci-fi crews filled with universally diverse characters, sarcasm and wit • Space adventures and shenanigans • Multiple POV • The idea of Hot. Space. Elves. • Sassy and overly informative A.I. characters • Stories that make you laugh and make you feel • A bit of mystery that you figure out along with the crew • Some creepy/thriller bits because space is not all fluffy, cute clouds! I feel ridiculously lucky to be granted an advanced NetGalley copy. Thank you so much to NetGalley, Knopf Books for Young Readers, and Random House Children's for allowing me the opportunity to read this amazing digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. I cannot wait to read everything these two authors write in the future! ***Audiobook review - I've also listened to the audiobook and I can say it's equal to the Illuminae Files in character, sarcasm, and feeling. Just like that series, this audiobook also includes a full cast packed with action.
AlisonInBookland 9 months ago
*I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. First off, no the formatting is not the same as the Illuminae Files. Each chapter is from the POV of one our 7 characters. At the end of some chapters, there is a “page” from some kind of manual (training manual perhaps?) that explains people/places/terms used in the chapter. Wow, oh wow. The Illuminae Files are fantastic. They’re pretty close to perfection for me. I’ve been looking forward to Aurora Rising since I finished Obsidio last year. I was cautiously optimistic. Could Amie and Jay really write YA space odyssey that’s truly epic AGAIN? The answer is a resounding YES. Epic space-ness is in full force with the story from page one. Botched space missions, Space academy, heist during a party underwater on a SPACESHIP, Government conspiracies, and so much sassy banter. UGH. Perfection. The story kept me on the edge of my seat and I truly hated to have to put the book down. The characters had perfectly defined voices. You never had to wonder whose chapter you were reading. The ease of the diversity of the character was fabulous. It’s set several hundred years in the future. Of course, we’ve met aliens. Making part of the crew alien was a smart choice. I loved getting a bit of a glimpse of alien races. Finian (Betraskans) is bone white, long boned, and has a really complicated family tree. Kal (Syldrathi) is an olive skinned, violet eyed, member of a Warrior race. There’s never an info dump session. You simply get glimpses through conversation and how others view them. Squad 312 worked together beautifully. Their camaraderie and annoyances with each other felt very natural. There’s some romantic tension but it really doesn’t get in the way. I’m actually pretty pleased with one of the pairings. It’s not who I would have put together but it works. The bottom line? Another amazingly, epic space journey that’s a sure start to a new favorite series.
LibaryInTheCountry 9 months ago
FLOORED. I am floored. Zila would say it’s statistically impossible for Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff to continue putting out these amazing stories (both together and individually) – one after the other. But in truth, they’re just THAT good. Kaufman and Kristoff (sounds like the name of a law firm) are back to scatter our minds across the ‘Way with more unthinkable twists and to wrench our hearts out of our chests with more romance, tragedy and soul-stopping moments. Its hard not to compare this to the Illuminae Files but besides an amazing cast of characters and space setting but we’re going to stop the comparisons there (other than to say both are great, read both!). I recently attended a panel in which Jay Kristoff was present and one of the questions was, could you change the genre of your book from sci fi to fantasy or vice versa? He answered yes and it couldn’t be more true. Aurora Rising has a sci fi setting but will absolutely appeal to fantasy fans as well – due to many strong fantasy elements (magic kinda stuff, mythology AND QUESTS). A friend recently called it “scifantasy” and I’m going to do the same because IT FITS. Aurora Rising made me so nostalgic for stories I love: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Serenity/Firefly, Starship Troopers, Defiance, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy … elements from each are there and waiting for us to indulge in them. And Squad 312 … this squad is so disjointed and an utter disaster in its infancy. Hold onto your butts though, folks. This is a squad we can all stan. There is witty banter, established and budding friendships, romance (insert googly eyes) and a genuine kinship between Tyler and Scarlett. I loved witnessing Squad 312 go from reluctant allies to working together as if they already know each other’s next move. I wont say much about the individual characters as I feel you just need to read the book and meet them, but the authors have done such a fantastic job of creating a team that is well balanced in knowledge, personality and background. As well as representation of sexuality, disability and ethnicity. ALSO. SPACE ELVES ARE A THING. The story itself will keep you on the edge of your seat with it’s constant motion. The world is vibrant and well developed in ways I haven’t experienced lately. This book is one hell of a ride and you won’t be able to set it aside once you start. I was captivated!
469480 9 months ago
The "Aurora Cycle" is different from many other ones in that the story occurs after the characters graduate from school. Aurora Academy is a military school for future space cadets; and, after they graduate, there is a draft in which the top commanders get to pick their crew members for their first set of missions. Tyler Jones, who is The Top of his Class, missed the draft because he decided to explore a restricted section of a dimension—The Fold—used for space travel, stumbled upon a ship that was lost over 200 years ago, and rescued its only survivor—a girl who is the same age as him, technically. The good news is that his twin sister, Scarlett—who is a trained diplomat—and their best friend, Cat Brannock—a pilot nicknamed “Zero”—bail on the draft in order to join his crew. Unfortunately, those who make up the rest of Tyler’s crew—the science officer, the engineer, and the combat specialist—are the ones no one else wanted in their crew: an aloof girl with a trigger finger, a handicapped boy with a motormouth, and an ostracized male whose species is in the midst of a civil war and he’s not fighting in it. Then, there’s Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley—or Auri—the girl who slept in cyro for over 200 years, who awakens with mystical powers and with the top intergalactic police forces deeming her a criminal and are attempting to arrest her. Meet Squad 312! All of these characters have flaws and with them being 17 years-old, they don’t know how to deal with their insecurities, which make all of these characters more relatable and more believable. Both the plot and the narrative are told in the point-of-views of all 7 characters! Multiple P.O.V.s are NOT new for YA books, for it allows for both character development and plot development. For example, Tyler is a leader, who jumps to conclusions surrounding his crew members—with the exception of his sister—and he would rather follow orders than question them. Kal’s species is in the middle of a civil war and he must choose between serving his tenure with Squad 312 or leaving to participate in the war. Then, there’s Auri, who is dealing with being out-of-time and understanding what is happening to her. "Aurora Rising" is a fun sci-fi book that presents the collaboration of two authors to readers who are both familiar and unfamiliar with them. While both the character development and the world-building are well done, the plot leaves more questions than answers, which means there will be a follow up to this book, obviously. Yet, the story is entertaining enough for readers to want more from this trilogy.
marongm8 9 months ago
What a spellbinding joyride to read with action and adventure packed in every page. Aurora Rising tells the story of Tyler Jones attending Aurora Academy in the year 2380 and his band of misfit friends doing whatever it takes to stand out among the rest. Then they are put in a situation that forces them to rescue Aurora Jie-Lin O'Malley in inter dimensional space and she is in a cryogenic sleep and will not wake up until the next century. This puts the academy, Tyler, and his friends in great danger and they will do whatever it takes to survive. When I finished this book, it came across sounding a lot like Ready Player One and Interstellar and that made it even more entertaining to read. We will consider adding this title to our YFantasy collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
Kaleena 9 months ago
“A billion stars are waiting to greet me […] For a brief second, all the Milky Way is silence.” The humor and writing style for Kaufman and Kristoff books just feels like home for me and it was so fantastic to dive into a new space world of their making. Honestly the way that this book opens up is so darn clever and self-aware, and I was gripped instantly. The downside of this was that I felt a little jarred on the worldbuilding front: I was sucked in based on the characters and Tyler’s predicament but had a lot of questions about what is going on. Which definitely appears to be the point because the information does come once the pressure and high stakes situation is resolved, doled out slowly. This may not be a problem for every reader, but I am one that likes to dig into the nitty gritty details and understand everything, which is why worldbuilding is so important to me as a reader. I found myself wanting to know more about the world, their traditions, & history and being confused because there were a lot of terms specific to this world that were used long before an explanation came. For example, the uniglass was mentioned a number of times but it wasn’t until chapter 5 (14%) that we got a description of what the technology does (it’s cool as hell by the way, I want one). That being said, the narrative and action is so engrossing that I was captivated from the first page and completely devoured what we were given. “Once we walked the dark between the stars, unequaled. What have we become?” This is a character driven and action-packed story, much like the Illuminae Files. I found that the worldbuilding is secondary to the characters and most that we learn about the intricate worlds of the galaxy in 2380 is shared in relation to our main characters and the people that they meet. There are many planets and alien species that the humans, referred to as Terrans, have encountered and we as the reader experience this information as our outsider Aurora O’Malley encounters it. Which I love as a storytelling device because it makes the exposition feel authentic and not info-dumpy as there is a reason to explain everything within the narrative. With the addition of her uniglass Magellan, she is able to research the history to find out what happened over the last 200 years and I enjoyed the little Magellan briefings interspersed throughout the book for additional worldbuilding. Our ragtag group of misfits known as Squad 312 is ultimate squad goals. I absolutely love every single one of these characters with all of my heart and the path from dysfunctional to found family made my heart grow 3 sizes. In addition to our cast of characters, I absolutely loved the attention to detail when it comes to the technology and science, even though it took some time for it to be explained in the midst of the life-and-death opening. From the Fold that makes their space travel more efficient to the uniglass, it felt like a world within our human possibility but appropriate for a couple hundred years in the future. Aurora Rising is a stellar start to another amazing adventure in space with Kaufman and Kristoff at the helm! They are incredibly talented in not only creating lovable and three-dimensional characters you fall in love with, but also in crafting a beautifully written and quotable story. While I was left wanting for a bit more worldbuilding, this book is well-plotted and action-packed without any dull moments. This book is funny and heart-breaking
Rebecca_J_Allen 9 months ago
I loved Illuminae, also written by this dynamic author duo, as well as LIFEL1K3, which Jay Kristoff wrote on his own, and Unearthed, which Amie Kaufman wrote with Meagan Spooner. So when I saw Aurora Rising, I was interested…more so when I read the book description. After reading the book, I’d say Aurora Rising is my favorite of the bunch. The story starts with Ty running out of oxygen as he endeavors to save a girl suspended for 200 years in a cryogenic chamber on a lost spaceship during a space storm. And the action never lets up. It has a bit of a Star Trek feel, with 6 characters (both human and alien), who make up Ty’s newly-formed squad undertaking intergalactic humanitarian missions. A stowaway lends an unexpected element to their team. The story is told from all 7 of their points of view. What I loved: the skilled-yet-outcast adventurers struggling to come together as a team, the mystery behind the spaceship lost for 2 centuries, fast pacing, plenty of action, and humor sprinkled throughout the story. The plot has high stakes and enough twists to keep fans of young adult spec fiction on their toes. And if you like heists, you just might find one of those in the pages of Aurora Rising as well. This book is a must-have for fans on Illuminae, the rebooted Star Trek movies, and YA fiction lovers more broadly. Highly recommended. I received an advanced reader copy of Aurora Rising in exchange for an honest review. Find more reviews of great YA and MG books at!
Karen_Benson 9 months ago
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have done it again!! All the stars to this brilliant book! If you enjoyed The Illuminae Files, you are going to love the Aurora Cycle series. This was kind of a Firefly meets Six of Crows with Legolas from Lord of the Rings thrown in and it was phenomenal! As with the Illuminae Files, I became so dang attached to this group of misfits who are thrown together under the command of Mr. Perfect, Tyler. Cat is the Mohawk haired, tatooed smart-ass pilot (the Ace). Scar is Tyler's beautiful smart-ass twin sister in charge of diplomacy (the Face). Zila, the odd quiet genius and medic (the Brain). Finian, the smart-ass alien Betraskan mechanic (the Gearhead), and Kal, the Legolas-looking elf-looking alien Syldrathi warrior (the Tank). Together, the six form Squad 312. Enter Aurora, or Auri, who was rescued by Tyler from a dead colonist ship where she had been in a cryogenic tank for over 200 years. The squad ends up with Auri and from there, the craziness just keeps on keeping on. The pace, the twists, the turns, the action... Never. Stops! This book could easily be one of my top favs of 2019, and how the heck am I going to be able to wait for book 2?? I've already preordered my hard copy!! *Thank you so much to NetGalley and Random Books/Knopf Books for the advanced copy!!*
miareese 9 months ago
I mean... how could I not love a book about a ragtag group of teens trying to save the galaxy? Seriously though, this book was so much fun. I stayed up way too late reading last night and seriously considered calling out from work so I could finish the rest. (Thankfully, I remembered I need money to survive and ended up going in.) I love a good ensemble cast and each perspective was so much fun to read from: you had the Alpha, the Ace, the Face, the Tank, the Gearhead, and the Brain. And a 237-year-old human who's spent the past two centuries cryogenically frozen... This book was funny, action-packed, had a little bit of romance, and awesome dynamics between all of the characters. I can't wait to see what comes next for this group!
yaratrv 9 months ago
Very minor spoilers. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff bring us a thrilling new YA sci-fi adventure where the supposed dregs of the Aurora Academy face off against a millenia-old evil that has resurfaced. At the centre of this galaxy-wide drama is Aurora, known as Auri, who Tyler rescues first off from a centuries old transport that was stuck in a space/ time flux. She’s literally over two centuries old but really just 18. This book was so much fun to read! I thought that the six POV setup would confuse me or leave me desperate to get back to certain characters, but it worked out very well. Finian kept me cracking up with is wiseass comments, Tyler kept proving that flashing his amazing dimples wasn’t the only thing he was good at, same with his twin Scarlett, she was way more than just a pretty face, and my fave of Tyler’s squad, Kal, the tall brooding elvish type who feels compelled to protect and rescue a very special someone over and over, made me wish I was that special person :) Cat’s the cool Ace who flies their spacecraft like it’s a live action video game, and Zila is a trigger-happy sociopath who just might have found her niche group. This book has it all: a space masquerade, a daring heist, tension, adventure, a surprising kiss you won’t be expecting, strangers who become tight friends, and my personal favorite, budding romance :) I can’t wait to get my hands on the next installment.