Review: Aurora Rising

4.5 out of 5 stars

Always having more fun than any reader, Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are back at it with another spunky, action-packed space opera. Aurora Rising, by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (The Aurora Cycle #1)

Space ace Tyler Jones, top of his class at Aurora Academy, is set to graduate tomorrow. So, of course, he picks today to break the rules justonetime. It’s a simple solo leisure flight… on which he finds the wreck of a famous space vessel lost over 200 years ago with all souls on board.

Or not.

Aurora – call her Auri – is a young member of that crew, bound for a new planet. Now she wakes, far into the future, and everyone she knows is dead.

Or not.

This leaves Tyler, who lost his top spot at military graduation because he was saving Auri, is stuck with a ragtag band of leftovers instead of the A+ crew he would have hand-selected. Among them are his sister, his best friend (female), two alien boys, and a girl with serious emotional issues. They get a presumably crap assignment that turns out to be a secret mission to save Auri, maybe a whole world, and maybe even the universe. Because that is what teenagers in Kaufmann/Kristoff books do! And they do it so well.

Aurora Rising is fast and fun and sexy and smart. It’s a worthy predecessor to my beloved Illuminae Files. While I miss the unique way characters communicated in Illuminae – texts and chat apps that made both language and the book’s layout so deliciously sharp – Aurora doesn’t suffer from it’s lack. Instead, Aurora is a little more high-concept; the bad guy here is bigger than corporate greed (or a computer, RIP AIDAN). Even by the year 2380, we haven’t explored all of space – and we’re not the most powerful beings out there.

There are definite echoes of the Starbound series, by Kaufmann and Meagan Spooner, here. Overall, Aurora is a little more Kaufmann, while Illuminae was a bit more Kristoff. I’m happy to report that both standards are high, and The Aurora Files is a great book… which is why it’s been optioned as a TV show! MGM TV bought the rights, as it also has with the Starbound series. The deal was inked in June 2019. TV can take forever to develop, so I’ll believe this when I see a start of production. But I could really use it – I mean, The 100 can’t actually last forever. Can it? (#Bellarke)

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