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Review “Aurora Rising”

It hasn’t been that long that I have discovered Science Fiction for me. A few years, three or four at most. Before that, science fiction was more for movies, where you could relish the big explosions, the weird designs of spaceships and foreign species. Lately, I’ve also discovered Science Fiction books for me as well. At the moment, it’s still more YA Science Fiction. But that counts!

ABOUT:
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 and 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. NOBODY PANIC.

I don’t quite know where to start with this book. Probably with the worldbuilding.
Worldbuilding is always the one thing that blows me away with science fiction and here, too, the world building was exquisit and amazing. It’s colourful, it’s inventive, it’s thrilling and awe inspring. I loved to discover so many things in this world, to find new species, technologies, planets, to (metaphorically) rub my eyes in wonder.

The overall story was interesting and nicely paced. To let every chapter be told by a different character in first person made the book interesting and surprising and really mixed it up. Sometimes I wish some events were told by a different character but I think that just shows how well written the book was in general – when you wish you had more.

The story line seemed at some point like a rather basic YA to me but there were still things that could surprise me, little twists and turns that kept me hooked. Especially the ending, the reveal of the overall villain I really liked.

The other and most important part of the book would be the characters. As aforementioned ever chapter of “Aurora Rising” is told by a different character, which has their own distinct voice with different levels of sass, formality and tone.

The characters themselves are colourful and diverse at first glance but I noticed quickly that every one of them had their own burden to carry. Which of course gives each and every one of them a nice character arc that will be resolved over the span of this and the next books.

While I definitely had favourites among them and wished to see more of some and less of others, I can say that I generally liked all of them. One irritating problem started to arise while I was getting on with the book though – while the story was funny and thrilling and inventive I couldn’t help to think that the characters felt like somebody had made a list and checked off all the boxes one after the other. Concerning the characters there were really no surprises for me here. It was all rather predictable.

In the end I can say that I mostly enjoyed “Aurora Rising”. Amie Kaufmann and Jay Kristoff surely know how to write and engaging, fun and thrilling space story. And even though I sometimes felt a little bored with the characters I’m still mighty curious what will happen next and I most definitely look forward to the release of “Aurora Burning”.

Aurora Rising|Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufmann |Hardcover |Aurora Cycle #1

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