Group Review: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
What’s up, squadmates? It’s Squad 80015 (get it? 10pts to the 90s teens reading this) here with a massive co-review of Aurora Rising, which is almost here! Christy, Sarah and I are all huge fans of this writing dynamic duo and since we all read the book together we all decided to review together! Plus, Sarah put together these awesome trading cards of our very own squad. Catch the first chapter and a bit of the audiobook here, pick it up tomorrow, and see our (spoiler free) thoughts below!
Squad 80015 Reviews Aurora Rising
Aurora Rising is about a crew in space on a mission…did you think it was similar or plenty different from the Illuminae Files?
Kelly: It may have the same feeling as Illuminae Files, as it’s a group of teens in space working together to solve a mystery and save humanity, than yes it’s similar, but I think this story has its own plot, place, and characters.
Sarah: Oh it’s definitely different than the Illuminae Files. It’s setup is normal book format (which is fine!) but don’t go into it expecting anything similar to the way Illuminae was formatted. What WAS similar was was the fun banter of characters and a great adventure.
Christy: You can tell this is an Amie and Jay book but Aurora Rising is not Illuminae. The format of that trilogy really set it apart. Aurora Rising better resembles other space books I’ve read.
Which of the squad members do you most identify with?
In real life I’d definitely be the Brain. Science & medical was my life growing up and I graduated college with dual science degrees. However, I think my young adult personality was more like Cat’s (the Ace).
Even though I definitely identify as Gearhead, the character I related to the most was Aurora. She wakes up only to find everything is different and so many strange things are happening. She’s confused and scared. I made some big changes this year that sometimes leave me confused and a little scared. But I also know it all has a purpose and I feel that came across in Aurora.
Tyler, the leader. I would have made a lot of the choices he made…and had the same learning experiences. Which is funny because then I took the quiz…I got Tyler.
In fact, we all picked our characters and decided which roles Amie and Jay would play in our squad before we all took the quiz and it matched what we picked. ha. Take the quiz here and tell us what role you’re playing!
Favorite quote or snark?
K: They’re all good!
“What is funny?” I ask. “I was just thinking,” he grins. “Scarlett did tell us to just kiss and get it over with …”Aurora Rising
S: The banter was great in this book!
“What’s that supposed to be?” Finian asks.
“It’s a dragon,” I reply. “Present from my mum. He’s for luck.”
“It’s a stuffed toy, how is it supp–”
“Shut up, Finian.”
“…Okay, are you hitting on me? It feels like you might be hitting on me.”Aurora Rising
C: This is the moment I knew I’d love Tyler.
“I mean, you work your whole life for a Thing, it’s only natural the Thing be important to you. But most rational people would consider getting vaporized inside a derelict spaceship drifting through interdimensional space just a little more important than school. That’s all I’m saying.”Tyler, Aurora Rising
If you had to assign 3 key words to the book, what would they be?
K: Squad. Space. WTF?!
S: Banter. Fun. Purpose.
C: Action-packed. Whiplash. Zany.
If you could crossover characters from other stories to build on Squad 312, who would you bring over?
K: Wow I feel like the Squad was big enough! Maybe the addition of a real life pet. They need a space kitty.
S: I would like to see Arthur from What If It’s Us join Squad 312. I feel like they need a crew member who would be larger than life and entertain everyone with showtunes!
C: I would bring over the Mirabelle and Josse from An Affair of Poisons. They know what it’s like to be on the outs because they knew too much.
What do you wish we saw more of or knew more of? What could have made this story stronger?
K: I wanted more from Aurora’s perspective. I loved her, but didn’t get enough of her. I also think that 7 POVs was hard at times, when some characters had similar tones. Luckily the audiobook used individual casting so that helped!
S: Emotional connection. I found many of the characters fun and interesting but I didn’t connect as strongly as I would have liked. I didn’t cry while reading this and I feel a good crying moment makes books better LOL.
C: I sometimes found it hard to follow all of the perspectives on the audio – the voices (NOT the narration) were very similar. I really want to know about ALL THINGS AURORA. Like there’s so much to uncover there.
What books would you recommend while we wait for book 2?
K: Well if you haven’t read the Unearthed duology by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, I’d say start there. Also, Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston and The Disasters by M.K. England.
S: Easy: Starflight by Melissa Landers, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers and Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis. These books are still some of my favorite sci-fis (other than Illuminae of course)
C: The Disasters, The Final Six, and The Devouring Gray. The first two are squad space books that are FAB so please read them and The Devouring Gray is such a dark and amazing story that I think pairs well with the darker side of Aurora Rising!