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 techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder. An alien warrior with anger management issues. 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.
I fell into the hype for this one. I wasn’t anticipating this too much. It sounded interesting, but I was kinda ‘meh’ towards it. Though, I saw a lot of people talking about how excited they were and people talking about how much they loved it. So, I got intrigued and I was lucky enough to get an e-ARC from the publisher!
I personally prefer writing spoiler free reviews. When I think about talking about everything that happened, in detail, it sort of freaks me out. I can talk about everything I want to and get all my points across easier if everything is spoiler free! But with this book, I want to talk about everything. I want to gush about the twists, certain plot points, certain scenes, certain character relationships. I loved so much about this book.
There are a lot of sci-fis out there that feature a ragtag crew. It was one of the reasons I stayed away from this book since there are just so many out there. But this one feels fresh and new and all the characters are so different, but I love how they came together. They made their squad what they wanted it to be.
The plot was familiar, but it had it’s own twist on it. I can’t say much without spoilers, but I personally loved how things played out. I’m a fan of what things turned out to be. Everything is so connected and plays a big role in the overall plot, that I can’t say much without ruining it! It’s so awesome to read, but it’s hard to talk about since I don’t want to spoil anything.
There were a few super awesome tropes in this book. The “Oh no we slept together, but it was a ‘mistake’, let’s forget about it even though we’re totally in love” is one of them.
There is also a thing with possessiveness that I’m not quite sure how I feel about yet. I think the way it played out ended up being pretty decent, but I haven’t fully worked out my feelings toward that plot point. I think it will carry over into the next books, so it should be interesting to see what happens.
The characters were a strong point for me. I loved them all a lot. They all have their own problems, struggles, emotions, and sense of self. But they mesh together weirdly well. I loved them all a lot. They each had their strengths and weaknesses. I loved watching their relationships unfold and how their stories played out. There were so many POVs, but it actually wasn’t overwhelming and it was easy to switch between them!
There was a few weird things with all the POVs though. I felt like I got more information about a character through someone else’s eyes. If it was an Finian chapter, I could get a really good look at how Cat was feeling and doing, for example. It was weird, but I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing? It’s just something I noticed. It definitely helped with not missing any of the characters or wishing I had a different POV!
Aurora is half Chinese, Zila is a POC (all that’s established is that she has brown skin), and Finian is disabled. I can’t comment on the rep other than it’s there. If you’re OwnVoices for any of it, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Overall, I really, really liked this book. I can’t wait to see where this story goes. There are a lot of paths that it could take and it should be interesting which one it chooses. I can’t wait to see the characters again. I can’t to see their relationships blossom even more. I can’t wait to see how the plot progresses.
Thank you for reading!