Aurora Burning is the newest sci-fi book from the co-author team of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, who brought us the Illuminae trilogy. Published on the 5th of May 2020 by Rock the Boat Publishing in the UK it is the sequel to Aurora Rising, a YA Sci-Fi from last year. The books follow a squad of misfits straight out of Aurora Legion space academy who uncovers a mystery that could have repercussions across the galaxy.
I’ve read Aurora Rising three time since I got it last year and the plot is very much go-go-go. In Aurora Rising, you could argue that it feels a bit all over the place because of this, though I would counter that argument with the idea that it’s intentionally that way. The authors give you time to breathe and absorb what is happening or what has just happened before jumping into the next big action sequence though bits of characterisation. For the most part, this stays the same for the sequel.
Aurora Burning drops you straight back into action and it feels like it’s going to have the same sort of pacing. However, towards the middle of the book, there is a lull during which an extended training sequence unfolds. This killed the pacing for me, to the point that even after this was done, I cared a lot less about what happened.
I imagine that on a reread this would be a bit different because I know now when the training will come to an end, but at the time it feels endless. This could be a symptom of middle-book syndrome, but it is always hard to tell what you cannot look at the series in its entirety. Despite this lull the plot it overall a lot of fun, just like the first book.
A big part of my enjoyment of these books is the characters. There is nothing I love more than when you spilt your chapter perspectives between a group of people, particularly ones that don’t know each other very well and are just thrown together. I loved them in Aurora Rising, and I still love them not but I’m not sure I love them more.
There were two standouts in terms of characterisation. The first being Zilla, which wasn’t hard to do given she probably only has a page of perspective in Aurora Rising. Still, it was nice to see her come out of her shell and get to understand her a little more.
In my opinion, Kal was the character who got the best arc, although I would have liked to see the authors push that even further. Perhaps they held back a little so that he would not overshadow the rest of the cast. At the end of the day, this is a multiple-perspective book, and you want to try and keep those perspectives as equal as possible.
Overall I gave this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of a possible five stars. I think that it was an enjoyable addition to the series, though it’s difficult to see it’s importance until we have the whole series. The ending was a bit upsetting, and I am in denial about where we left our squad, so I will be busy with theories to correct those events until we do get another book.
What about you… Have you read Aurora Burning, and if so what did you think? If not, then what sci-fi new releases have you enjoyed?