Title: Aurora’s End
Series: The Aurora Cycle #3
Author: Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Published: November 9th, 2021 (Knopf BYR)
Synopsis: What happens when you ask a bunch of losers, discipline cases, and misfits to save the galaxy from an ancient evil? The ancient evil wins, of course.
Wait…Not. So. Fast.
When we last saw Squad 312, they were working together seamlessly (aka, freaking out) as an intergalactic battle raged and an ancient super weapon threatened to obliterate Earth.
Everything went horribly wrong, naturally. But as it turns out, not all endings are endings, and the team has one last chance to rewrite theirs. Maybe two. It’s complicated.
Cue Zila, Fin, and Scarlett (and MAGELLAN!): making friends, making enemies, and making history? Sure, no problem
Cue Tyler, Kal, and Auri: uniting with two of the galaxy’s most hated villains? Um, okay. That, too.
Actually saving the galaxy, though?
Now that will take a miracle.
Earth still stands after the intergalactic battle and the Starslayer attempting to obliterate it, thanks to Aurora stopping the superweapon. But her using her power triggered a whole other problem and has left Squad 312 scattered across space – and time. With some in the past, others in the future, and Tyler alone in the present, they must all find new allies to prepare for the battle ahead and figure out how to get back to their time before it’s too late. The times they have landed in portend some dire possibilities for the days ahead, but this accidental time travel may not be so accidental after all – but a final chance to figure out a way to defeat the Ra’haam and save the galaxy.
I had many theories about what the direction the plot might take in this finale, but suffice to say, time travel was certainly not on that list. It’s a tricky trope to pull off, but Aurora’s End managed to do so beautifully and in a way that makes so much sense given the story so far. The way the plot progresses shows just how well planned it has been right from the beginning. As expected, this was an action packed ride, and I’m very impressed with how perfectly paced this book was and how well the events flowed. This was an intriguing and engaging read throughout and I’m particularly thankful for the informative yet humorous recap by Magellan at the beginning because it has been over a year since book 2 and naturally, I remembered nothing.
“Maybe heart was all we ever had, maybe love was always the flame we used to hold back the dark.”
The multiple timelines did make things a little harder to follow, especially in Tyler’s case. However, contrary to what I said regarding the first two books, the voices of these characters felt very distinct in this book and it was quite easy to tell them apart. I was quite glad for the many POVs as they each had a critical role and the story wouldn’t have felt quite as complete without seeing it from each of their perspectives. The found family trope has always been a favorite of mine, and this is one series that has done it right. It was so easy to connect with and root for every single character by this book and as a reader, I was completely invested in all their fates, hoping they would make it to the end.
“To die in the fire of war is easy. To live in the light of peace, much harder.”
One of the best things about this series has always been the characters and their group dynamic. And with the squad being apart for nearly 90% of this book, that was something I really missed in this book. The only other thing I didn’t like too much was how cliched the ending turned out to be after what was a brilliant buildup to what promised to be an epic battle that didn’t happen. However, I adore these characters, so if a cliched ending is what gets them all out alive, I’m alright with that.
Aurora’s End was a fantastic conclusion to this series and I think it’s the first sci-fi novel I’ve ever added to my best of year shelf. I’m going to miss these characters but I’m looking forward to seeing what these authors might write next. I can’t recommend this series enough!
“I will see you in the stars.”
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: