Aurora Burning by Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Spoilery Book Review

Aurora Burning by Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Spoilery Book Review

Hai Beautiful!

This one fell slightly short…

I’m not gonna lie, I will purchase and read anything written by Amie or Jay either individually or as a collaborative duo. So even though Aurora Rising, didn’t live up to my expectations set by the Illuminae Files, there was something unique and carefree to the story that I loved it all the same.

Aurora Burning by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman Book Cover 196x300 - Aurora Burning by Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Spoilery Book ReviewBlurb:

Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

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.

Despite what I just said, I still enjoyed this novel. Everyone really hyped up the heartbreak of the ending which, in true Amy and Jay fashion, ended on a cliffhanger, though was not as devastating as cliffhangers at the end of Illuminae, Gemina and Deviate.

I’m back from my one-week hiatus with another book review. I was so close to writing and posting this last Monday as planned, but I for some reason couldn’t find the words I needed to articulate how I felt about this novel.


Aurora Burning kicks off shortly after Aurora Rising and has a fun little ‘who’s-who’ and summary at the start of the novel just in case you’ve forgotten the characters and their roles within the story. I was so grateful for this because it’s not that I forgot the story, some of the details had escaped me since I read the first book.

Our favourite squad members (less one) are back to their old shenanigans!

Since the first book, I have treated this series as something lighthearted and fun as it’s not as heavy as Jay and Amie’s other works. The team dynamics are wonderful, especially since we are seeing relationships bloom and fall apart in this novel, although at points, it does move really fast which was a little jarring.

The best way to sum up my feeling about Aurora Burning is probably by saying that I am content and the teeniest bit underwhelmed.

I got so absorbed into the hype that everyone on Instagram was stirring up that I just had such high expectations for this book to destroy me with some absolutely huge shock factor and it just wasn’t there.

The shock was there and it was big, just not big enough and that’s what made writing this review so hard. As much as I love the lightheartedness of the squad and the unfamiliar casual/ playful feel of a sci-fi novel, once it started turning serious, I didn’t know how to react.

As with all blond hair, blue-eyed, brokenhearted, single heartthrobs, I felt sorry for Tyler (whose name I actually forgot while writing this…). He is literally the trope of the sweet, caring, goody-two-shoes, family man, captain who does everything for the greater good”. Even when a huge family secret is revealed to him by his enemy, he doesn’t falter but continues to fight.

Before I mention anyone else, I’ll address the other single pringle in the squad, Zila. Dude, I fukn love this girl! She is everything I aspire to be and more. From her epic earings to her amazing brain! The fact that we got to explore more into Zila’s backstory and see her as a character open up was amazing and something so necessary to the storyline. That, plus the fact everyone was begging for it since book one!

Kal and Auri’s relationship, I love the use of love as a way to strengthen someone’s abilities. Literally, make love the reason for anything and I will eat that shit up! Also, Auri so visually battling with letting go of EVERYTHING and also trying to weaponise love was so cool! Just being able to see that battle through her character’s choices and development without it being so explicitly stated was really fun.

But we all know that I really read this novel for and that was Finian (and Scarlett). Fin is sassy and sarcastic and get’s really flustered when talking to Scar IT’S SO CUTE!!!!! If they both just owned up to how much they love each other, I don’t care what happens to Kal and Auri on that phallic rainbow ship, everything will be perfect!

★ Rating ★

I rated this book ★★★★☆ (4/5 stars) because you truly cannot fault this novel when it comes to team dynamics, constant setbacks, nerds, jocks and pining. Amie and Jay really know how to break our hearts and leave us hanging in more ways than one.

Regardless of how underwhelming the ending was and the fact that I keep comparing it to the magnificence that is The Illuminae Files, there are some things that this book does better and that’s team dynamics!

I don’t think I’ve ever loved a squad of misfits more than I have this one and for that I am grateful. Now, to go off and find my own squad of misfits to cause trouble in space with.

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Do you have a favourite ‘squad’ from a book or series?

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See you back here on Monday’s (book reviews), Wednesday’s (storytime/ writing updates) and Saturday’s (other bookish content).

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