5 Reasons to Read Aurora Rising

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Today’s book review is Aurora Rising by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. A sci-fi young adult novel it’s action packed and truly enjoyable! If you’re looking for reasons to check out this book, today’s post will give you five.

But first,

What’s this book about?

It’s 2380 and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their very first mission. Star pupil Tyler Jones is all set to pick the squad of his dreams, but when he rescues a girl stranded in space, his plan of leading the best Aurora squad goes out the window.

Tyler is left with the recruits no one else wanted. A confident and sarcastic diplomat, a scientist who really is mad, a tech-whiz with a giant chip on his shoulder, an alien warrior with anger issues and a tomboy pilot who’s definitely not got feelings for the squad leader.

Added to that bunch is the mysterious girl he rescued. Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley. She’s been trapped in space for over 200 years, cryogenically frozen. She’s awake thanks to Tyler, a girl out of time and space.

Follow this rag-tag bunch on their first mission as they figure out what is going on with Aurora and try to save the galaxy in the process.

Why should I read this book? Five reasons why:

1. Fantastic Writing

Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are the author duo that brought us the Illuminae Files. (If you haven’t read my full review on that series you can do so here). This duo writes really well together which is apparent from that series as well as Aurora Rising.

They write in a way which is hilarious, but still maintains emotional integrity. You feel deeply in their stories. After how much I enjoyed Illuminae files I wasn’t sure if this latest book was something that could live up to my previous experience. It did.

This book is written in traditional format as opposed to Illuminae files. This did make it quite a bit easier to get straight into.


This year I’ve read more sci-fi than I think I ever have before. I started off the year with Out of the Silent Planet by C.S Lewis and Illuminae Files. I also read Genex of Halycon by Joshua Stelling for guest review on the Independent Book Review. I’ve really enjoyed spending some more time in this genre!

Aurora Rising was another fantastic sci-fi adventure. The world is unique and believable. The additional information sprinkled throughout the book was useful and entertaining.

The Mister is a big Star Trek fan and we’ve watched quite a bit together. The Aurora Academy gave me similar vibes with the Aurora group’s purpose aligning somewhat to Star Fleets. If you’re a trekky you will probably really enjoy this book!

That being said, this book holds its own against star trek and other sci-fi space organisations. The book has a very colourful and flawed array of characters which was extremely entertaining, and the book quickly moves to distinguish itself from books and other content like it.


I genuinely liked all the characters in this book! Kaufman and Kristoff manage to handle six separate point of views throughout the story. This is no easy feat. All the characters have their own distinct voice and in depth story.

I enjoyed the diversity of characters. You’ve got humans, space elves and characters facing stigmatisation because of mental health and physical disability. Did I mention the space elves? These characters are really great. I enjoyed how the authors took the tropes that could’ve been associated with these characters and did something unexpected with each of them.

If I had to narrow down my favourite characters…it would be Aurora, Finian and Kal. Bravery in the face of isolation and rejection seems to be the common thread between them all. No more or *spoilers* will be disclosed!

4.Squad Goals

You’ve probably seen #squadgoals around the internet. As a society we tend to idolise having a group of people to belong with.

Yes, it’s a wonderful thing to celebrate having friendships. Having people you can rely on, trust and do life with is very important.

Many people don’t have this. For different reasons, it can be hard to form meaningful relationships with those we share the world with. The fact is many times we live in isolation. It’s a issue when we constantly strive for something that can be unattainable. #squadgoals I think can, at times, perpetrate an ideal of friendship, not the reality.

I appreciated the way this book is aware of that fact. I want to share the author dedication from Aurora Rising with you:

If your squad was hard to find, or you’re still looking, then this one is for you.

Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Aurora Rising dedication

I connected with this dedication. It acknowledges the way people feel when everyone else seems to have a #squad and they’re on the outside looking in. Yet it also offers a sense of hope, as does this story, that eventually you’ll find people who will be close friends.

It might not be an easy journey, and they might not be who you first expect, and that’s okay. As this is a young adult novel I think there will be a lot of teens reading this book who will hopefully feel encouraged by this message.


This book was really entertaining. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, adventure packed book, check out Aurora Rising. I read this book in a day, which I haven’t done in some time!

Aurora Rising has also been optioned for a television series by MGM. Very exciting! Even if you’re not a fan of sci-fi, this book is one that I think many people would enjoy. It has a good dose of action, drama and comedy! It just happens to occur on a spaceship…

Final Thoughts

This is one of my favourite books of 2019. It was a lot of fun and the characters were wonderful. The plot has left me wanting to know what happens which is usually a good gauge for me in terms of how much I enjoyed a book.

As a result of enjoying both Aurora Rising and Illuminae Files I have resolved to read some of both Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman’s work independant work.

I’ve started with Never Night by Jay Kristoff which is an adult fiction novel. So far so good, it’s definitely dark but with a lot of humour. I’ll let you know my final thoughts on this book in a few weeks time with a review.

Where can I get a copy of Aurora Rising?

Good question! As Aurora Rising was released in May 2019 it is now available from most booksellers.

*Alternatively you can pick up a copy from The Book Depository here.

Let’s Connect

Thanks for reading today’s post! I hope you enjoyed today’s review. If you’ve read Aurora Rising I’d love to hear what you thought of the book, comment on this article to let me know. If you haven’t read Aurora Rising what is your favourite/least favourite element of the sci-fi genre?

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  1. R A I N says:

    You had me sold at the mention of JAY KRISTOFF! I have only read his Nevernight series and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! ❤ ❤ ❤ Illuminae Files is also on my tbr for this year because I have been seeing sooo many good reviews about it! BUT FIRST I THINK I AM GONNA READ THIS ONE TOO! Loved your review. And your blog! ❤ Its soo white and clean and beautiful!!! *heart eyes*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Jay Kristoff’s books are all AMAZING. I want to read his Lifelike series, that’s on my TBR. Illuminae files series is great too, but Aurora Rising is an easier read because the format is prose. It has some great pop culture references too so that’s a win!
      Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. R A I N says:

        You had me at pop culture references! 😍🤣😊😊
        Thank you!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that these two authors work so well together! Were you ever able to distinguish each of their writing styles throughout your reading experience? It’s also a huge plus for me to hear about the friendship angle, that’s something I love to read about hahaha 😀 Great review and thank you for sharing, Steph!


    1. Hi Lashaan! Thanks for your comment. I am currently reading some of Jay Kristoff’s novels (The Never Night Chronicles), so am beginning to detect his voice more clearly in this author duo. I haven’t read Amie Kaufman’s novels, but I plan to soon!
      They’re both very talented writers that’s for sure. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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