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  • Writer's pictureFarah Khaled

BOOK REVIEW: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman

Updated: Jul 4, 2022

Aurora Rising by Amie Kauman & Jay Kristoff

Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Published by: May 7th, 2020 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Rating: ★★★

Genre: Young Adult // Fantasy // SCI-FI


From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

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 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.

Where to begin? This series was one of my most anticipated releases. I loved Illuminie Files so much and I always recommend that series to everyone. So to say the expectations were HIGH was a freaking understatement.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad and I really think it was a case of “it’s not you, it’s me". I wasn’t expecting Illuminae, but I wasn’t expecting this either. there were A LOT of tropes and A LOT of cliches, up to the point where the plot didn’t surprise me at all and it kind of bored me by the end, I was just so ready for it to be over.

I don't get the hype, I found this book to be a complete letdown. Even more so because it seemed as if it was built up into something far bigger than what it really was. The first chapter had me hooked. It was really, really good/interesting, but then the plot slowed down and the characters were annoying af, so I wanted to DNF it.

Let's break down each category and why this series IS SO FREAKING HYPED:

  • The many POVs were just too much:

Two, three at maximum would have totally sufficed in my eyes. Instead of having two or three characters tell the story, we had SEVEN. The resulting "side plots" seemed to block the main plot from fully settling with me. They also mostly consisted of love interests. Excuse me? One, okay. Two, fine. BUT THREE? Don't get me wrong, I love romance in books, but this is too much and they were not even executed probably. Don't worry, romance will have its own rant lol.

  • Plot was bland

The amount of times the characters try to say things just to be funny is countless. "Son of a biscuit" - they said it in every two pages and if I never hear it again it will be still too soon. And yes it was also fast-paced which was great because something was always happening but once again, I didn't really care for the story. I would read and complain to myself that I wanted more details of this world and what it looked like but then they'd do that and my eyes would glaze over and I'd wish for more character moments, etc.

  • Writing, I blame you Mr. Kristoff:

This book is the result of old authors like Jay Kristoff writes teen characters. There are A LOT of innuendoes that made me irritated and angry. I'm getting Nevernight flashbacks *sigh*

NO teenager says Holy cakes (yes I'm still not over it) or Son of a biscuit or Mother custard.

We just don't. NO. Also, other words that annoyed me are like: By the Wyrd? Maker's breath, Maker’s bits, AND MORE.

Lately, Scarlet keeps calling Tyler (her brother) bee-bro, not once or twice but OVER 10 TIMES & baby brother too. WHY? I get it he's younger than you by 6 minutes as you keep mentioning it but repeating it is not funny, it's hella annoying.

  • Characters are weird?

The amount of times the characters try to say things just to be funny is countless. "Son of a biscuit" - they said it in every two pages and if I never hear it again it will be still too soon. They also made jokes in the most stupid and inappropriate times possible - if your life is in danger, bitch FOCUS, don't try to be funny, because you are not. You are just stupid.

Let's talk about the characters I hated the most out of the 7. Finian and Cat.

》Fin: He's the unfunniest character I have ever met. He's basically a cliche. To be the butt of the joke in every situation and break the tension WITH HIS CRINGY JOKES. (I might be a little upset that his face is in book 3 🥲)

》Cat: I don't like her. She seemed a bit irritating and overly conceited to me. What is the purpose of her character???? Just to be the love interest? to be the hardcore character in the book? Also, in the audio she's Scottish? I don't even know.

  • Romance - what happened??

I was not a fan of it at all. it just feels rushed and the mates' aspect is just a way to excuse the fact they don't actually build a relationship between the two. One minute Kal is being an asshole and then suddenly he's into Aurora and wants to be with her. And she just says yes?? Lady, he's an alien and you don't even know him.

People told me it actually gets worse in book 2, so not looking forward to that all.

So all in all, it wasn't my favorite book by Amie Kaufman, and I have loved all the books I have read by her so far. I can't really sit here and say that I loved this and gush about it when I didn't enjoy it. The end is dramatic and BIG things happen (no spoilers) but I literally did not care sadly.

Have you read Aurora Rising yet?

If not, are you going to read it?

happy reading!

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