Aurora Rising Review

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If I’m being honest, I was really disappointed with this one. The story seemed like any other science fiction novel and I expected something more from my favorite author duo. I loved Illuminae so much I have the second book in hardcopy, but this new book by Amie and Jay just didn’t really do it for me. I can imagine it is hard to make two space books about pretty different concepts though and not fall short just a tad.
Spoilers Below
In Ty’s squad my favorite three people were Cat, Scar and Finnian. Cat because she was just so awesome (although I was a bit annoyed when she kept mooning over Tyler because he didn’t love her), Scarlet once again, because she was super awesome and Finnian because he was so humorous! Seriously, I want a friend like that guy, just to tell me jokes constantly! I liked Tyler a bit, but he was just too high and mighty for me. Kal, I just instantly disliked and Zila was ok. I would have liked to see more of her in the novel.
My only real problem with one of Ty’s squad (besides Kal of course) was Aurora. There are tropes in science fiction, such as the acceptance of a new person into a rebellion/squad when they’ve had little to no training ever, that just irk me. I was pretty proud of how well this book pulled off the Aurora joining squad 312 trope, but what I didn’t like was how helpless she was, when she wasn’t doing that sleepwalking thing. Outside of that, Aurora was constantly passing out, or just being absolutely useless to the team. There were multiple times where she had to be carried out of a battle, in someone’s arms and I really didn’t like that.
I also really didn’t like Aurora’s relationship with Kal. It was too cringey for me. Every time Kal was like, ‘I am going to leave the squad because of her’ I was like: ‘Ok, drama, drama, drama and more drama’. I also didn’t like the part about The Pull as a concept. What happens if the person you connected with died? Then what? Would you be forced to live without love for the rest of your life? I just don’t like the idea. Plus, since I didn’t like Kal as a characters, I definitely didn’t want him with Aurora, who I like just a bit more than him.
I’d say my favorite part of the novel was the masquerade ball. I loved the descriptions of Aurora’s dress and now I want a dress like it. I also liked the battle between the beast, Aurora, Cat and Tyler. What I didn’t like about that part, was how all the characters knew about the reveal, but we didn’t and we didn’t know they knew (about the reveal). It just seemed like a cheap was of making the readers nervous.
Lastly, I have to say this book was very similar to Wilder Girls at least in the reveal. The trope of people being taken over by plants has been very alive in the book world lately, I wonder what that means about where the world is going…
That shift, when we found out Aurora’s Dad’s Girlfriend had been taken over by plants was when the book really just became as bit less fun. Before it, I was fine with the Sci-fi, but the way they packed in a bit of thriller with the living planet, just didn’t sit well with me.
The next book in the series is coming out soon, but I don’t know if I’m going to read it or not. This last book ended on a pretty big cliffhanger, but I’m just not sure if it’s worth the read. I guess we’ll see… For now I’m moving onto another book by this dynamic duo author team. I would recommend Aurora Rising to anyone starting off in Sci-fi and who has not seen all the tropes yet.

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