Aurora Burning: What an Ending! It Burns!

4/5 Stars

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Publisher/Imprint: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Edition: Paperback ARC, 495 Pages

Hardcover Publication Date: May 05, 2020

A Spine that Shines? Fairly Well!


*I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher. All quotes used in this review come from the uncorrected proof. These are my honest opinions. Thank you.*

Book Synopsis

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.

Squad 312 candle made by @WickyWickyCandleCo.
Squad 312 candle hand-poured by @WickyWickyCandleCo.

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.

Book Review

Love is what drives us to great deeds, and greater sacrifices. Without love, what is left?

-Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, Aurora Burning

Initial Thoughts

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetHello, bookworms! I hope you’re all doing well and finding some activities to do at home on this lovely Saturday afternoon. Amidst the pandemic and some dental appointments, I’ve been having difficulty focusing on reading itself. But I managed to finish Aurora Burning, sequel to Aurora Rising, this past week and wanted to share my thoughts with you all 🙂

  • I enjoyed the storyline of this sequel much more than that of the first book! It seems as if everyone in the galaxy is after Squad 312!
  • I am glad that the authors tone down slightly on the dialogue and stuff I found slightly cheesy in book one, but there is still plenty of wittiness! Is it still comical and dramatic in some places? Yes. But they would make great movie scenes!
  • There are definitely some Star Wars vibes! Lots of family drama and some good twists!
  • The book feels a tad long, with some sections that lose forward momentum, but the multiple POVs overall keep things interesting.
  • The Squad gets a new, super-cool ship to fly!
  • Mysterious gifts are also presented to each member of the Squad, and it is interesting to follow along and find out the purpose for each item.
  • I was hoping for a more tangible/fightable villain in this novel in addition to the “foe” from book one, and that is exactly what we get!
  • We also get a better understanding of Auri’s powers and the Eshvaren in this book, which was something I was hoping for. Some things make more sense by the end of book two, but there are still plenty of questions left to be answered in book three.

I know my friends, and they are few. But those few I have, I would die for.

-Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, Aurora Burning

Characters & Romance

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetI was glad to see that there is more character backstory in this sequel. For books with multiple POVs, it can be difficult to convey enough character depth. I definitely noticed the authors’ efforts to improve on this in Aurora Burning. They really push and challenge these characters in book two.

  • Kal’s character especially receives a lot more attention in this novel. Yay! There are several secrets that come to light that book one had NOT prepared me for. But part-way into this sequel, I was beginning to guess.
  • Aurora’s powers continue to develop, and her relationship with Kal continues to bloom. It was sweet to see the progression of their relationship, and I’m hoping to find out what happens to them in the next book.
  • There is a new potential love-interest for Ty, the Squad leader! I have to say, I love the enemies-to-lovers trope. There is another huge reveal regarding Ty and his twin sister Scarlett that I wasn’t expecting, but it is really fascinating!
  • I like that the authors include some disability rep through Finian’s character. He has a suit that helps him move, but his disability is not what defines him.
  • Zila, the team’s science officer, still wears earrings that always seem to match the situation perfectly! She has a flashback to her childhood, and she also begins to feel more emotions in this sequel.

Sometimes the only way to win is to break the game.

-Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, Aurora Burning

Final Thoughts

There is a HUGE cliffhanger ending, which could be both a positive and a negative. On one hand, it certainly generates a ton of anticipation for the next book in the series. On the other, it may be difficult to live up to all of that anticipation. I truly hope the authors can deliver when it comes to book three.

Aurora Burning loses a few points for the multiple uses of the f-word, but overall I’m rating it 4/5 stars because I really enjoyed the story itself. I am curious to see how book three will wrap up the story. Happy reading, everyone 🙂

*Content Warnings: Sci-fi action/violence; several uses of the f-word and s-word scattered throughout; some kissing/innuendo and off-page sex implied.*

Copyright © 2020 by Spines that Shine (Caitlin Shaffer)

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Cliffhangers or perfectly wrapped-up endings? – BOOK REVIEW – *I received a free review copy. These are my honest opinions.* Thank you to @getunderlined ! Full WordPress review will hopefully be up on my blog on Saturday (blog link in bio) 😊 – My rating: 4/5 stars ⭐️ -Amid pandemic and dental stuff, I have finally finished Aurora Burning 😂 -So what did I like? -Really liked the storyline of this sequel more than book one! -The authors toned down slightly on the dialogue and stuff I found slightly cheesy in book one, but there is still plenty of wittiness! -More character backstory! Yay! Especially for Kal! -Got some Star Wars vibes! Family drama and some good twists! -Perhaps felt a tad long, but overall keeps things interesting with multiple POVs. -New potential love interest for Ty! Gotta say I love the enemies-to-lovers trope 😂 -Mysterious gifts for the Squad! -More understanding of Auri’s power -A more tangible/fightable villain -HUGE cliffhanger ending!!! Ahhh need book threee!! -Loses a few points for the multiple f-words, but overall I really enjoyed the story itself! Will be looking forward to book three 😁 – #whattoreadnext #whattoread #booknook #booknookstagram #mybookfeature #booksofinsta #bookphotograph #bookcollector #bookcollection #anticipatedreads #allthebooks #turnthepage #youngadultbooks #yabookstagrammer #mybookstagram #bookwormlife #getunderlined #aurorarising #auroraburning #amiekaufman #jaykristoff #yascifi #squad312 #bookreviewer #bookreviews

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Next on My TBR: Seasons of the Storm & Tempest Tossed

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