Emma's Review: Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman (MILD SPOILERS!)

Image from Amie Kaufman's author website


Aurora Rising || Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
(Aurora Cycle #1)

  Published by | (Knopf Books) Penguin Random House on 07/05/2019      (DD/MM/YYYY)

  Genres | Young Adult + Sci-Fi

  Rating | AvocadoAvocadoAvocadoAvocadoAvocado ( 5 / 5 )

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 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.

Synopsis via Goodreads

Thank you to the publisher for a free galley in exchange for an honest review
~ No compensation was given for this review ~

I AM IN LOVE WITH EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK! I have so many bullet points, ladies, gentlemen, pooches and felines! So get comfy because we may be here a while!

First of all …. CHARACTER DYNAMICS! I love how this mismatched band of misfits are all working together. I am really loving the fact that they are all different, and this isn’t a heavily troped book so that I feel like I have read this somewhere before! I think that all the characters are extremely unique, and have their own voices, which is beautifully told through the use of multiple POV’s in the book. I have something to say about each character, so let's get going!

Tyler has dimples! Okay, it is CANON! This is one of the first things that Aurora notices about Tyler. I do feel though that he would have reacted more at missing the Draft? Overall, he is an amazing team leader (an Alpha) who is very good at working with his whole squad - even if he never would have chosen them under other circumstances.

Scarlett is so supportive and sassy and amazing and empathetic! She is so understanding towards Fin near the end of the book and I love how her character progresses through the story to slowly trust Aurora more, and the thing that made me fall in love with her character is her thoughtfulness when getting Aurora’s dress for the masquerade ball.

Cat. Where do I stand with Cat? I think that her head was in the right place across the whole story, but her heart got in the way. As told on the blurb of this novel, it is said that Cat sorta does/doesn’t have a thing for Tyler, and to be honest and cruel it was kind of funny seeing Cat try to dance around the edges of the fall out that was going to come from that.

Fin, yes, ma boi Fin ew I am sorry for saying that. I love his sarcasm and very dry sense of humor because I can relate to it myself. I also loved Fin’s POV probably one of the most, because he is naturally easy to read and his dry sense of humor is just enthralling. I especially love the scene when they are all discussing the fate of their squad BFF goals ✌️ and how he reacts.

Kal! My sweet, aggressive, naive little killing machine! Nicknamed Legolas (by Auri, even though no-one understands the reference, cause, you know, this book is set hundreds of years after LOTR was released) and amazingly fiery, I love the entire dynamics of Kal with the rest of the squad. He is extremely literal and I love him so much ( I think I like mean/aggressive characters a little bit too much )

Zila is the brains of the operation, and I understand that the authors were trying to build her up as quite apathetic and rather detached, but unless she makes a larger appearance in the next book, I feel like Zila is a character that is there because Kaufman and Kristoff needed a brain for the squad.

Aurora, the star of the show. I think that she handled the situation which she was thrust into with a lot of grace, and she dealt with everything that came by her like a champ. But I couldn’t connect with her. I mean sure, I liked her quirky nicknames, and some of her backstories, but I could only sympathize with her as one would a background character.

The next thing is the fact that I could see the forbidden romance from the novel a mile away. Sorry. Finally, I loved how visually stimulating the writing was! I was able to visualise the different scenes with such clarity and I am in love with it! I am not prepared to wait a whole ‘nother year for Aurora Burning, because I need it now! I am also aware that this book was criticised for not being very Diverse, and although there is not a lot of diversity, you really have to focus on the fact of the authors using different races of human and alien. I count the inter race species as diversity for this novel since the authors did well at keeping to the fact that they were different species and identifying them as such throughout the novel. If you want to be precious about it though, pretend that instead of being a different species, they are a different race or different ethnicity. What else can you do?

Overall, I love this book so much and can’t wait for more of the Aurora Cycle to be released!

Buy it here!
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Have you read this book? Do you want to? Do you like the character cards I used?


  1. Oooh, so happy you liked this book! I read so many mixed reviews I didn't know what to think of it! I am much more at peace with it now, haha, I will get it and read it :)

    1. Yes, I am very happy that I read this book! Against what I normally do, I bought this without seeing the Goodreads rating so I am glad that this turned out so positively!

  2. First off, I need to meet Cat and Fin! Those two intrigue me the most! This sounds so good! I've been wanting to pick this up. Glad you loved it, babe!
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

    1. Yes, Cat & Fin are certainly some of my favorite characters. Please do pick it up, it is certainly worth it! Thank you!


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