Book Review: Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (eARC)

Alright, so before I even get into the synopsis of this one or the review, if you have NOT read Aurora Rising, DO NOT CONTINUE READING! You’ve been warned.

Aurora Burning

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Publication Date: 05 May 2020

Genre: YA – Science Fiction

Pages: 512

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

Every since I finished the last few pages of Aurora Rising, I have been dying to return to Squad 312 and make sure that no more harm would befall my beloved characters. I thoroughly loved Aurora Rising, so I couldn’t wait to see what Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff concocted in Aurora Burning.

I’ll be honest, I definitely went into this one with really high expectations after absolutely loving Aurora Rising, and I just felt a bit let down with how Aurora Burning played out. I felt like the Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff played it safe in this book in comparison to the others, which I was really surprised by.

As far as the characters go, we technically got a deeper insight into all of the members of Squad 312, but I just didn’t connect with the characters the way I did in book one; with the exception of Zila. I loved that she got more book time in this story, and we finally got answers as to why Zila has the protective shell that she does, and she may or may not be the “psychopath” that she was touted as in book one.

For Auri and Kal, their relationship takes center stage and is heavily focused on in this book. The entire concept behind the Pull still hasn’t been clearly defined (I assume it’s akin to imprinting) when it comes to the Slydrathi (Jay Kristoff did say that this will be addressed in book three). While I was all for this union in book one, I felt that we focused a little too much on this at the cost of more action heavy sequences.

In terms of pacing for the plot, the first 70% of this book is slow like to the point that I was debating DNFing. I was expecting nonstop action, however, I found myself having to slog through the first half of the book to finally get to a point that I was excited to get through the pages. What ended up saving the book for me was the last 30%, which was the high octane, action packed fun that we’ve come to expect from this dynamic writing team. This book does end on one hell of a cliffhanger, which I am still trying to process how I feel.

Overall, Aurora Burning is still an enjoyable book and there were moments that I really loved (you’ll have to see because no spoilers), but it’s not the sequel that I was expecting in this trilogy. I will be continuing with the conclusion of this trilogy because with that ending, I NEED to know what happens next.

Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for my review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

5 comments

  1. Great review! Sad to hear this is a bit of a let down after book one.. I’m happy to hear though that we get to see more of Zila!

    (www.evelynreads.com)

    Like

  2. Oh no! Hearing that this was a bit of a letdown makes me a little sad 😦 I’m glad I read this review though because now I’m definitely going to try and better manage my expectations going into this. I’m so glad to hear that Zila gets more time in this book though because she was sorely lacking in the first! Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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