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.
Aurora Rising alternates points of view among the seven main characters: Tyler, Scarlett, Cat, Finnian, Zila, Kal, and Auri. Tyler is the goldenboy and leader of his squad. He’s also the most intense of the characters. Tyler is concerned with leading his team to the best of his and their abilities. He pushes them to the limits, but also knows what those limits are. Scarlett is Tyler’s twin sister and the “Face” of the squad. This designation means that she is a diplomat/liaison for the group, and she is perfect for the job. Scar has a way about her that puts the other members at ease. Cat is the pilot. She is a no nonsense girl and I love her for it. You never have to wonder what she is thinking. Fin is one of two aliens on the squad. He’s the engineer and comic relief. He has a self-deprecating humor that endears him to the reader. Zila is the “Brain,” meaning she is the smartest person on the ship. However what she has in smarts, she lacks in people skills….which is a lot. Kal is the other alien of the group and the “Tank,” or the guy that goes in to battle for his crew. He’s also the least trusted, and my favorite of the crew. He’s stoic but when you get his POV the first time, you’ll fall for him, trust me.
Then there is Auri, or Aurora O’Malley, a girl out of time. Tyler saves her at the beginning of the book. She’s been floating in space for over two hundred years, the only surviving member of her crew. I ached for Auri. She’s grieving the life she lost and people that have been dead centuries, but to her were alive when she went to sleep. It’s heartbreaking, but she faces it headon. I admired her courage throughout the book.
When Auri’s life is entrusted to squad 312 (without their knowledge by the way), the plot thickens. Auri’s life in the past has been erased, but why? And why does the Terran government want her? None of it makes sense to Tyler, but he will follow orders and protect her. Auri is seeing things, things that haven’t happened yet, it is all Tyler has to go on and that is what takes them across the galaxy.
Kaufman & Kristoff built an amazing world / galaxy in Aurora Rising. The different alien societies that Fin and Kal are a part of are fully established and immersed into the story so that as Auri learns about them the reader will as well. I naturally accepted them without question as I read. In addition to Fin and Kal, the crew travel to multiple areas of the galaxy encountering different settings and societies in each. Reading, I was engrossed in the story, and it flowed from one section to the next without any holes.
I loved every moment and plot twist! I particularly loved reading the multiple points of view. Sometimes when you have that many characters, it can feel like head hopping and the characters blend together. That is not the case here. Each character is fully fleshed out, and their personality radiates through their chapters. I never forgot who’s head I was in, not once, throughout the entire book.
Overall I loved Aurora Rising from start to finish. I loved it so much that I read the entire 480 pages in less than 48 hours. It is everything I love about science fiction in one pretty package. The year wait for book two is going to be SO long but absolutely worth it! Perfect for sci-fi fans young and old, Aurora Rising is everything I love about Star Trek with the dry humor and hijinks of Firefly.
*This review first appeared on Mom with a Reading Problem*
For me this was their best work by a mile, it's been a while since I have had such FUN reading a book and I couldn't put it down... quite literally, it never left my hands. With such great tag lines like 'Six of Crows in space' I could certainly see the similarities between other YA series but I definitely feel Aurora Rising is a household name all on it's own.
A group of misfits are thrown together and head off into outer space for a whirlwind adventure which quickly leads to them running for their lives and facing intergalactic enemies. Our previously model students now turned fugitives suddenly find themselves adrift and involve themselves in a high steaks heist trying to save the galaxy. I loved each and every character and they were all so very different and diverse and just everything we need more of in YA literature today. The pressure was truly on from the very beginning and I loved reading about how the team who had never worked together before stumbled but eventually became a cohesive unit. It had such a great family/friendship message that I really appreciated.
Tyler - The squad leader with dimples, exudes far too much charm for his own good. Very cinnamon roll.
Scarlett - Tyler's sassy twin, never failed to make me laugh, and had such a big heart.
Auri - Wakes up from a cryogen sleep after 200 years surrounded by strangers and can make people explode by looking at them? Don't mess with her.
Kal - White hair, tattooed, muscles for dayssss and could kill you with his little finger. A sexy elf reminiscent of Legolas