This post contains a gifted item.
I don’t typically gravitate towards sci-fi fantasy books (heh heh pun intended). However after reading and loving Aurora Rising last year I was so excited to dive into Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, the second book in the trilogy. I devoured this book in a handful of sittings over three days and let me tell you, it was a wild ride!
Huge thanks to Rock The Boat for sending me an advanced copy. Keep reading for my non spoiler review of Aurora Burning, but beware of slight spoilers if you haven’t read the first book.
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.
Aurora Burning started with a recap of the main characters, what they got up to in the first book along with brief explanations of the initial plot. I loved this and wish that more books in series used this tool! Alongside this, throughout the book which is split into three parts, there were short recaps of the major events in history that relate to that particular part of the plot which again was super helpful.
Like the first book in the series, Aurora Burning is told in multiple POV. Each style was so different; you could tell whose perspective you were reading even without chapter headings.
Speaking of perspectives, it’s funny how in Aurora Rising my favourites were Tyler, Kai and Aurora. However after reading Aurora Burning I think Aurora is now my least favourite?! Fin and Zila both grew on me massively. I think in part it’s because we got to learn more about them and see them come into their own. There was also a deeper exploration of the crew’s sexuality which I was happy to see!
One of the main themes of this book for me was strong family bonds, and as only two of the five are actually related Aurora Burning features one of my favourite tropes: found family. I loved the bickering and back and forth between them all but it was clear to see that there was so much heart and love between the misfit gang.
As I came to expect after reading the first book, Aurora Burning was full of laugh out loud moments. Packed with satire, it didn’t take itself too seriously and poked fun at some stereotypes and tropes which I enjoyed.
As someone who isn’t typically a fan of books set in space, I could still keep up with the heavily descriptive writing and the world building was, well… out of this world. There were so many locations in this story and I had a lot of fun travelling around their solar system.
I really enjoyed the romance in this story. It wasn’t overpowering, so if you’re not a massive fan of romance then this shouldn’t be too much for you. But for a romance lover like me? I loved the slow burn and sweetness and while there was no on page sex it was eluded to.
My Final Thoughts
My immediate reaction on Twitter upon finishing the book: So I just finished Aurora Burning and just excuse me one second but what was that ENDING???? Bear with me please while I try and catch my breath…
The last 1/3 of the book was just one hit after another but the last few pages? I mean what the fuck. I’m desperate for the third and final book to see where the hell this story is going to go.
Aurora Burning was action packed from beginning to end with never a dull moment. The constant plotting and genius tactics kept me entertained throughout and I fell in love with these characters even more. While I managed to guess a couple of plot points, I had absolutely no idea where the story was going to go or how these events were going to unfold which made for the perfect fast paced young adult SFF story.
Thank you so much for reading my non spoiler review of Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I know it was a long one! This fantastic book is out TODAY so make sure you get your hands on a copy. You won’t regret it.
Also…. I really want a gremp. Read it and you will agree.
Book Depository affiliate links used. If you use my link I earn a small commission.