The second instalment in the bestselling Aurora Cycle series
Our heroes are back. Kind of.
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 cadre of illegit GIA who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.
Or 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.
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.
One of the characters I was very excited to hear more from and about was Zila. In the first book, Zila has very little to say and she was the one character who's story I thought we needed. Well, Amie and Jay definitely delivered on that one! what a story Zila has. It was absolutely heartbreaking. With Kal's sister showing up we learn a lot about his childhood. We also learn more about the rest of the squad too. We get to learn more about some than others but that was the way with the first book. Each character tells their story at just the right time.
As with the first audiobook, the cast does an amazing job. The characters and voices are just so well matched. If you can listen to the audio of this book because these narrators really bring the story to life!
This book has a lot of mystery in it and I for one cannot wait to explore it even more! The ending was such a big cliffhanger that I am just dying for book 3 now. These two sure know how to break a girl's heart! What makes it worse is knowing that Amie and Jay have already written it and I can't have it yet. I mean I think it's in edits or something but I'd take it if I could!
Day after review: 3.5 stars
Okay, so first off holy lord. This book is a wild ride in which no one even hits the brakes once, not even on the last page. Jay and Amie did a fantastic job with this sequel, keeping the danger, mysterious, and plenty of banter/flirting going all through the pages. The only downside I have, and what sequentially knocked down my rating from a 4.5 or even a 4 to a 3.5, is two things. One, is I felt like there was quite a lot of the same issues going on; what I mean is that I felt they would get captured, someone would be in danger, they would escape, lose someone on the way, and rinse and repeat. It felt like they tried to keep the story going when they could have cut it and still had the same story. The other issue was one of the big plot twists. I actually went into this book thinking for some reason they had told us this in the first book, but apparently not, so it was a let down.
Besides that I really did love the book. All the characters have their own personality, and we finally learned more about Zila, who is my favorite character. I'm very excited/terrified for the last book to come, but I know I'm in good hands.
How on earth will I survive until book three?
Review to come.
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"Ty is a natural leader and a brilliant tactician, but according to his sister, he "wouldn't know fun if it invaded his planet."
05-11: Bear with me, this is going to be an unusually personal review.
Binge reading isn't something I do a lot of. Sure, I might push myself through a book in a day, but largely that's to meet a deadline. I'm good about staying on schedule, fitting personal reads in where I have time.. patiently waiting to get to that title I owe no obligation to, but simply.. even sometimes desperately.. want to read.
Hear me out though. Look at that face. Those eyes. Even the wound. I've been seeing it everywhere for months as the buzz for 'Aurora Burning' by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff continued to build to a fever pitch. But, I digress.
Initially, I didn't think I was interested. I read the synopsis, which came across as pretty tongue-in-cheek. I felt like it was a group I didn't really care to learn about and some kind of space drama I wasn't really intrigued by at all, which isn't to say I don't like sci-fi or fantasy hybrids. I do actually, quite a lot.
Of course, I'm on Twitter and I browse my notifications from various book industry members.. and so, I've followed Kristoff for ages. Not because I'd ever read anything he was involved in, but rather.. because I liked the way he spoke to people. To his fans. How he spoke for people. For friends and people he felt deserved more respect. Though again, I really only saw glimpses here and there and regretfully, hadn't paid as much attention as I now know I should have.
Last week I even caught him on an Instagram Q&A, discovering he's incredibly charming, pretty brilliant himself, and even funnier on video than in text. I haven't gotten to know much about Kaufman yet, but they write so seamlessly together, I'm eager to learn.
In my defense, the last several years have been very rough ones for me. I drifted away from doing almost all the things I loved, even reading. I missed the moments where many of my now favorite writers were emerging on the scene. I picked up 'Nevernight' as a cover-buy not long after it came out, it just drew me in visually and it sounded amazing. Yet, still to this day I haven't read it. I will though. As my schedule evens out, I intend to be reading a lot more from both Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.
"The Pull is more than words.
Love is a drop in the ocean of what I feel for her.
Love is a single sun in a heaven full of stars."
A few weeks ago, with Kal's face haunting my thoughts as I tried to do other things, I finally gave in. I took the first step. I went to Amazon, clicked that little 'Look Inside' option, and read the available pages from Aurora Rising. Immediately, I was hooked. I fell for Kal from the moment he appeared in the hall. I fell for Cat's smart mouth and aggressively physical nature, both of which were things I could relate to. I fell for pretty boy Tyler with his savior syndrome.. and the aloof intellects of Fin and Zila.. even the sarcastic twin sister. My heart went out to Auri.
Just a few pages of story from these authors and I was utterly lost. It wasn't the Hadfield that was adrift. It was me. I didn't get to finish that book, as obligations were in the way, but I will.. and soon. Still.. desperately I bought both of the Aurora Cycle novels.. and tried to be patient. I tried to focus on my tasks at hand, as I always do. To keep my head down and work diligently, to earn the time to read what I genuinely wanted to read.
Yeah.. that lasted exactly three days. It's a good thing I wasn't the one being interrogated.. because I am weak. Three days of working my deadlines before I tossed everything to the opposite end of my desk and began to read 'Aurora Burning.'
Here I am though. Adrift again. I feel raw. All of my insides are on my outside. At least the nerves.. and they're all screaming.. because they didn't just want to put us through the proverbial ringer, they wanted to leave us there at the end. Which is, exactly what they did. They left us hanging there.. wounded and hoping for relief.. with no real certainty we'll get it. Not after what happened in the past.
The book is brilliant. It's bloody, it's beautiful, it's sweet, and it's brutal. Sometimes, all at once.
"I know my friends, and they are few. But those few I have, I would die for."
Though I hadn't finished the first book, it was easy to pick up the second. Kaufman and Kristoff sprinkled in just enough necessary information in from its predecessor that I was able to hit the ground running. The major plot points were reminisced in a cohesive way with the current story, so that it flowed naturally.
I read this one straight through. When I couldn't keep my eyes open, I took power naps.. but I kept going. Why? Because I couldn't.. or.. wouldn't put it down. Squad 312 couldn't just walk away for awhile. How could I?
An ancient evil has been waiting, biding it's time. That's the gist of the theme. No one really knows about it but the 312 and they're not in the best position to be stopping it with everyone after them, even their own. That doesn't stop them from trying though. They don't know the meaning of the word 'quit.' And honestly, that's part of what I love about them so much. The team just has so much heart.
Auri is the only hope they have of defeating the evil that is waiting for its chance to consume everything.. and Squal 312 is her only hope of surviving to get that far. If she can't learn to master her powers, the galaxy is done. Over.
There are scenes I will never forget. Some tragic, some funny. (Oh.. that mesh top, bondage pants, and glaring Syldrathi. Amirite?)
"The practice fell out of vogue in the twenty-second century, after Terrans discovered in the twentieth that it killed you!"
"It took them two hundred years to stop doing it?"
"Isn't that insane?" "Honestly, doesn't that sound like a species that would benefit from some kind of benevolent machine overlord?"
Kaufman and Kristoff did a beautiful job of managing the pace, letting that crescendo swell as things grew more intense. The dialogue IS a bit tongue-in-cheek, but in a way that makes sense. The banter of a team that has grown so close, they're really all like siblings. They know each other's likes and dislikes, their quirks, and sometimes they say or do things just to irritate each other.
Late in the story, there's a moment for me that was more devastating than the others. A moment I felt everyone was sort of overreacting, and ignoring what they knew deep down, for an ideal. As if, everything that had come before no longer counted. And in the suffering of that moment and those to follow, I was crushed under the weight of this story.
I loved that though. These two authors can break my heart and soul to pieces again any day. And, if this book is any indication.. they probably will. Hopefully sooner, rather than later.. and "thank the Maker".. there WILL be a book three.
PURCHASE LINKS: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOOGLEPLAY BOOKS | KOBO | WATERSTONES
05-09: My eyes are still puffy.. and my soul is in pieces today. Read it straight through.. and that ending.. how.. dare.... *sobs* Review to come.
05-08: I may never get the image of Kal in a mesh shirt and bondage pants out of my head. I 3 you Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
05-07: Had to focus on a different title today for a tour tomorrow, but I've still got my eye on you Kal..
05-06: Have I read Aurora Rising yet? No, only a bit of the beginning. Am I going to let that stop me from reading Aurora Burning now? Also, no. Nothing's getting between me and a book with Kal on the cover. I'll just go back and read the first book afterward and read this one again.
I LOVED THIS SO MUCH.
Son of a... *keyboard smash* I didn’t want this to ennndddddd ugh. Especially not w/ a such a huge cliffhanger
I am actually really annoyed right now, and this is after having slept on it (I finished the book last night). I really like both of the authors, a lot, and the stories they write together have always been fantastic, as are the stories they write separately. Of course I will read the last book, and of course I will buy the hardcover so I can have a matching set. I may feel differently when I am able to go right into book 3, but this cliffhanger really seemed unnecessary.
Now outlaws and without a ship, the squad work together to procure transport and complete their mission. However, it seems someone is aiding them, but how and why?
Kaufman & Kristoff know how to weave an addictive tale and provided the perfect balance of suspenseful action, intense battles and time with each of crew members. We see them work together, face down enemies, form relationships and discover lost family.
It may be wrong, but a certain ruthless ruler with a Syldrathi army at her back was a character I enjoyed the heck out. She is ruthless, cunning, devious, and her scenes with Kal were enlightening.
We get perspectives from each member of the Squad, some more than others, but each propels our story forward and expands our insight into events as they unfold. The authors do this at the beginning of chapter and narrator changes. Even as I screaming from being pulled from one narrative, I found myself equally addicted to the next.
Aurora Burning is narrated by Kim Mai Guest, Johnathan McClain, Lincoln Hoppe, Donnabella Mortel, Jonathan Todd Ross, Erin Spencer, and Steve West. Each brings a voice to their characters and the use of voice simulators and effects heightened the sci-fi thrills.
The ending was KILLER with just enough bite to leave me screaming for more. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer