Title: Aurora Burning
Series: Aurora Cycle #2
Author: Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Published: May 5th, 2020 (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Synopsis: 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.
“All of this is unfolding as it was supposed to.
The only way out is through.”
Still reeling from the loss of Cat on Octavia III, the remaining members of Squad 312 are in Emerald City trying to sell their ship when they are declared traitors with a massive bounty placed on them by the Aurora Legion. Their narrow escape turns into a desperate race against time as every powerful force in the galaxy is on their tail for one reason or the other, from Kal’s sister Saedii (and an army of Unbroken warriors) to the GIA agents. But Aurora still needs to find the truth behind what happened to her on the Hadfield and how she, as the Trigger, can master her powers to use whatever weapon the Eshvaren left behind and put an end to the Ra’haam once and for all.
So this was a long book with way too much room for potential spoilers, but I’ll do my best. But before that, can we take a minute to appreciate that there is finally have a book that doesn’t assume I remember every single detail of a book I read over a year ago? I really didn’t have the time to reread Aurora Rising so to see what was effectively a concise summary of the book was both a delight and a relief. Did I mention that said summary was narrated by Magellan?
Aurora Burning was definitely better than than the first book, which I had enjoyed, but was not overly impressed with. It was wonderful to see these amazing characters again, and get to know more of their past through the intermittent flashbacks. I was really glad to see that Zila has POV chapters now, and it was great getting to know her backstory after so long. The team has a great dynamic and their constant banter is ever entertaining even as the constant trials they face deepens the bond between them. Saedii, Kal’s sister and a Syldrathi warrior is going to be a character you love to hate – for the time being. Also, was it just me, or was the team’s reaction to the reveal of what Kal’s been hiding seem a little extreme? Shouldn’t they trust him more than that by now? Their actions were absolutely appalling in my opinion, especially in Aurora’s case, as she is probably the only one of the crew whom this secret does not really affect.
As with the first book, I found that the six characters did not have distinct enough voices to keep track of who the narrator with each new chapter. As for Aurora, well there’s no other way to put it, she gets on my nerves. Her deplorable attempts at swearing were downright irritating. For about the first 80% of this book, she is much the same, having vague visions and losing control of her powers at the worst moments possible. And when she’s not doing that, she’s thinking about her relationship with Kal – who is also doing the same thing. It’s quite a pity, because I rather enjoyed Kal’s character in Aurora Rising, and a large part of this book was him mooning over Aurora before we get to the interesting truths of his past.
Lastly, I cannot believe the book just ended there – I seriously thought I’d skipped a couple of pages somewhere! That has to be the most frustrating cliffhanger I’ve read in a while and there’s still a year to go until it’s resolved, but atleast this way, I’m more excited for the finale than I was for this book. Aurora Burning was an action packed space adventure from page one and even if you didn’t like the first book all that much, this is definitely worth a read! Highly recommended!
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: