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Presented by State Library Victoria

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff Book Review

This book took me longer than suspected…

With books I tend to read them in three days (maximum a week) but with Aurora Rising I just couldn’t get into it as much as I did withIlluminae (which is by far my favourite sci-fi of all time.) There were so many characters and so many perspectives to keep track of them all. I attempted and I tried but I stumbled a bit unaware of just what was going on in the book or the setting. Even after finishing all the 470 pages I still have no idea of everyone’s roles they played in Squad 312 and I never got any sense of the characters and their likes and dislikes. They were just there and honestly the book would’ve been better without half of these perspectives.

I only cared about three characters and their storylines:

Kal’s
Tyler’s
And Aurora’s

But Scarlett, Finian and Cat’s I found were not needed or at last until the very ending.

I also had no idea what the heck was going on in terms of plotline until the very end. I had no clue what a Ra’haam was or whatever the person starting with the letter B had to do with anything. I guess you could say I was reading blindly because honestly this was such a puzzle for me. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t “letting the book take me away” and maybe I was too caught up in trying to work out what was happening instead of focusing on the narrative but I expected myself to fall into this so easily but instead I was trying to tie two ends together trying to make them meet for the whole duration of the novel. And let’s just say its not something I really enjoy doing when I’m trying to enjoy myself.

I also was so angry… I was such a hardcore shipper of Tyler and Kal thinking: “YES YES YES PLEASE WORK OUT!!!” but did it go ahead? Nope! Just super lowkey fuming here because I had my hopes for those two so high… and come on! Who DOESN’T love a good gay story? Speaking of which….

I have no idea how this book got listed as LGBTQ+ yes two male characters did kiss but it’s not like they openly said “Hey I’m gay/bi etc” and the kiss was a distraction to distract the enemy. Just because two same sex people kissed does not cement the fact that they are gay. Maybe in the sequels it would become more lgbtq+ but this book specifically had none of that sexual diversity that I was looking for.

Okay but aside from the negatives lets have a look at the positives:

-SUPERPOWERS!!!
I loved Aurora and her abilities and I absolutely loved the backstory of hers! It MADE the book (and made me rate it 0.5 higher than what I would’ve rated it 🙂

-KAL
I loved this guy and I have no idea why. I guess it’s because it’s just such a strange concept: Lord of The Rings-esque elves IN SPACE (because everythings cooler in space) which goes into my next point

-DIVERSITY!
SO. MANY. ALIEN. RACES
I couldn’t keep track of them all but I’m glad that in 2370 Humans got more accepting of otherworldly people. Honestly, I thought the space elves were 10x more cooler than the humans.

-SARCASM
I love sarcasm. It makes a character 10000% better! But if EVERY character’s perspective is with sarcasm intertwined in it then sarcasm doesn’t do their voice as much justice as it’s meant to. Unfortunately this was the case and all perspectives bled into one with nothing to really differentiate them. I had the biggest troubles with Scarlett and Cat the other character’s not as much but not better either.

Look, I’d read the sequel. At the end the book got better in terms of me understanding what the heck was going on. I think this series has potential but this book in particular didn’t amaze or WHOAAAA me away. Illuminae was better but I’m pretty sure Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff would pull something out of the bag and this series would become incredible and on my favourites list. I. Have. Faith!

ACTUAL RATING: 2.3 STARS

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