I have a weird relationship with Sci-Fi. I love EVERYTHING about space travels and exploring unknown dimensions but it’s harder to find the goods when it comes in a novel format. There’s a lot of trashy space books out there so I’m usually a bit wary of new spacey Sci-Fi series. However, this particular author duo are the geniuses behind the Illuminae Files so I knew I didn’t have much to fear this time.
Aurora Rising is probably the best thing out there for you if you’re craving that Skyward/Illuminae vibe. While completely being its own story, it just have that same element of not knowing exactly what is going on other than this is bigger than we know. I love when books get you so hooked, you’re way beyond page numbers – and a regular bed time.
The plot is a little insane. I won’t go into details about it because, well, things are happening people and it’s a wild ride! We start off in the heat of life-threatening action. Wonderboy (aka aspiring crew captain Tyler Jones) misses the opportunity to select his crew members – a goal he has waited years for. Why? because as the ceremony unfolds, he’s busy saving the life of a girl who’s suspended in cryo. On a legendary 200 year-old space ship floating around in the void. Yeah.
When Tyler returns home to Aurora Academy with his damsel in distress, he’s left with the castaways from the selection ceremony. A bunch of no-goods with zero team coordination. Everything he’s worked hard for crumples and he still has no clue who the strange girl is and how she’s even alive. And my friends.. this is just the very tip of a ginormous iceberg!
The crew is a lot of fun. There’s a lot of strong personalities crashing together and it’s tension in the best way. They all come with their own background stories that are both interesting and sad and they just.. fit. Alone, each of the crew members are either an outcast or too intimidating to have friends. But together, they make a wholesome team that I just love to see bicker – while having each other’s back every time. Again, I won’t go into details, because a lot of the fun happens while getting to know the individual characters and following the ties they make (and break).
The suspense is real too! Because there’s so much going on all the time, you never get to walk down the plot in a straight line. There are twists and turns you don’t expect and this constant gloomy feeling of something being completely off. I get the same vibe when I read a great thriller and I just have to know what’s going on. It’s like playing an awesome game with super interesting side quests. That’s really the best way I can explain it. We see different worlds, species and cultures along the way and it makes it so much more interesting than having the whole book take place at e.g. the Academy.
In conclusion, I LOVED Aurora Rising and it was a perfect companion for a while during this lockdown inferno. This book is filled with very eccentric characters, great banter, romance, “magic”, action and high stakes drama. It has it all. I truly believe this could be an epic movie as well (IF the budget is high enough) but for now we can look forward to book 2 – Aurora Burning, which is released this May.
Page count: 473
Goodreads rating: 4.1/5