Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publication Date: 07 May 2019
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House Children’s
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 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.
When finished reading this book, my first thought was how in the hell have I not read anything by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff until now. These two are the ultimate dream two when it comes to writing. Sometimes when you have two authors, you can feel the differences in tone. NOT with these two. They literally write as if they are one, and it was utterly mesmerizing.
This story follows Squad 312, which is quite literally, a band of misfits.
Tyler Jones – Alpha. Squad leader and iconic golden boy. Blonde, dimples, a bit over the top for me, but if that’s your thing, more power to you. Plays by the rules. Treats everyone fairly. Always does what’s right. Would never make a ‘poor decision’.
Scarlett Jones – Face. Tyler’s twin sister who is everything Tyler is not. As the face, she specializes in speaking multiple languages and diplomacy. She’s the sweetest person when she wants to be but can skin you alive while you sleep, so don’t mess with her!
Catherine ‘Cat’ Brannock – Ace. Extraordinary pilot that could fly anything anywhere. She’s covered in tattoos and packs one hell of an attitude. Claims she’s not in love with Tyler…or is she?
Kal – Tank. Gorgeous space elf with violet colored eyes who could destroy you with minimal effort. Always pissed off and looking for his next fight. Hands down my favorite character. If anything happens to him in the next book, I’m hunting Amy and Jay down (okay not really, but please be kind to him!)
Zila – Brain. Shoot now ask questions never kind of girl. Quiet and pint sized, but once she opens her mouth, the sheer amount of statistical information she possesses slaps you back to reality. Comes off as a sociopath since she’s pretty emotionless, but is that a front for something else? I’m a softy for Zila, and I don’t care what anyone else says!
Finian – Gearhead. Sarcastic, teller of terrible jokes, and woman chaser (not that he has much luck). Finian is disabled and has to live in a mechanical exo-suit to survive. He makes up for his physical shortcomings with his banter.
Aurora ‘Auri’ Jie-Lin O’Malley – Our title character who is rescued by Tyler after she was lost in cryo-sleep for 200 years. All of her loved ones are gone and no one has heard of the mission she was a part of. Also, she can do incredibly scary things with her mind. Don’t piss her off! – Did anyone else get some serious Fifth Element vibes here?!
For this review, I don’t want to focus on the plot because I honestly felt that it was not the focus of this story. The focus of this story is how this ragtag team of misfits is able to function as a cohesive unit. I absolutely loved the character building of this book and getting to know each of the members of the squad. I appreciated the diversity of the characters (different races, disabled rep, LBGTQ+ rep, etc). This story is told from each of their POVs, which takes a bit of getting used to at first, but I was able to get acclimated pretty quickly.
Overall, I loved everything about this book. I loved the witty humor, the sarcasm, the high-speed chases, the mission to protect Aurora, and of course, the slow burn romances. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Squad 312.
Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House Children’s and NetGalley for the eARC. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
What Is Your Role in the Aurora Squad?
Take the quiz from Underlined here. Below is my result!
Trained to fly anything from shuttles to cruisers to freighters to shipkillers, Aces are the pilots of Aurora Legion squads. You bring them a needle, and an Aurora Ace can thread it with the ship of your choosing.
Aces have a reputation for being daring, confident, even reckless, and above average in the looks department. Just ask them—they’ll tell you themselves.
Being an Ace requires lightning reflexes, quicker thinking, and reproductive organs of solid titanium. Let’s be real: their job is as cool as they are.
I’m not even surprised by this result. My attitude is very similar to Cat’s, and I saw a lot of myself in her while reading Aurora Rising. However, I have horrific motion sickness, so I’d be a TERRIBLE pilot! I definitely thought I was going to get Brain since I’m a scientist just like Zila is, but I am really extroverted, which does not go hand in hand with that role.
Have you read Aurora Rising? It is on your TBR? You can pick up a copy TODAY!