*Spoiler free, but spoilers for Aurora Rising*
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.
I liked Aurora Rising a lot more than I thought I would. It had a fantastic rag tag crew dynamic. I managed to make that trope seem fresh and new through humor and characters you can’t help but fall hopelessly in love with. Plus, the plot was explosive and a lot creepier than I thought it was going to be. It had this darkness to it that I really liked. All this to say, I was definitely looking forward to the sequel! To see the characters again and to see where this world is going to go.
I was surprised with how much I liked Aurora Rising. I’m surprised at how complicated my feelings towards this one are. I’m not as enthralled by it as I was for the first one. I don’t think it was a bad book, I think I was just expecting something different than what I got.
One of the things I liked the most in Aurora rising was the pacing. It was so incredibly spot on. At the end of each Part, it felt like the music was swelling, like the curtains would drop after the last sentence, and like the it was the perfect place to usher us into another section of the story. I didn’t have the feeling with this one. The pacing wasn’t bad, it wasn’t rushed or too slow, but I didn’t get the same feeling after the Parts as I did in the first book. I guess I was expecting more and I just didn’t get it. I kind of felt like the book was one long piece, when it could have used some breaks in there. I know it’s a minor thing, but I thought it was worth mentioning for me!
The plot sort of felt the same way to me. Like it was one long, straight road, instead of the nuts wavy thing of the first book. Sure, there were twists, but I didn’t get the same sense of urgency, of mystery, of lets figure things out. There was some unexplained instances here and there, and there are some things I am incredibly curious to know, but I felt like they were kind of on the side instead of a main point of the story. Now that we know what the squad is fighting, I felt like it took a big piece of what made the first book so good. The stumbling around, the not quite knowing, the sense of danger lurking beneath the surface but not knowing what it is wasn’t there. They know what they’re fighting against now and I kind of missed the cluelessness and horrifying truths coming to light.
That’s not to say the plot wasn’t good! Because dang, do Kaufman and Kristoff know how to write a sci-fi book. This world is so expansive, filled with secrets in every single corner, with plenty of space fights thrown in there.
I don’t know how I feel about where the plot went in the ending. I can’t say until I know what happened, so I can’t say until I read the third book. I also can’t say things because even if I don’t say it outright, if I even allude to it, it’s spoilers. But dang is it something. It’s so fast paced and so, so well done. It’s a truly fantastic heartbreaker of an ending.
Every member of Squad 312 has a special place in my heart. I love how different each of them are and I love how I don’t care who’s POV I’m reading from because I like all of them so much. Zila even has longer chapters! I also wasn’t expecting to miss Cat as much as I did. She added so much spunk and there really was a gap left without her. Plus, the mutual pining between her and Tyler was top notch.
I also didn’t quite love where Auri and Kal’s relationship went. There was a bit of possessiveness in there that I didn’t really love. Also, there was this weird time where time was weird and I felt like it did weird things to the pacing. I don’t quite know why that aspect was added in, but I felt like development, both romantic and not, could have been done in a different way. It just felt kind of awkward.
Oh, this was a filler book. I think I just realized that. It doesn’t feel like a filler book and it doesn’t read like a filler book, but all the things I wasn’t a fan of point to the fact that I missed the intense build up, the intense fights, just the general intensity. But I feel like that’s what the third book is going to be. It’s going to take the small clues in laid but kind of pushed to the side in this book and turn them into explosives for the third.
This wasn’t a bad book. Kaufman and Kristoff are both spectacular writers and they cometeply know how to write a good book with plenty of things to keep readers enthralled. I just think a lot of things didn’t work for me. I should be interesting to see where things go in the third book and I think it will make my feelings about this one a lot clearer.
Thank you for reading!