**Possible SPOILERS if you haven’t read the first book, Aurora Rising.**
So that’s how it’s going to end, huh? I should know better than to believe anything else when it comes from Amie and Jay, LOL. I briefly saw people reviewing this with somewhat polarizing opinions. But the general consensus is that the ending is a cliffhanger. And it’s true. It totally is! What the heck!
Title: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2)
Author(s): Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release date: May 5, 2020
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi, fantasy
Length: 512 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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.”
This book is a complete mind game in the best way. After the ending of book 1, I really wasn’t sure where I wanted Squad 312 to go and I certainly didn’t expect it to be like this. I love how we dive right into the action, and I simply love everyone in our Squad (despite everything that happens). We see them dealing with the repercussions of the ending of book 1, still trying to figure out Aurora as well, and again, still learning if she’s worth the risk. There’s a lot more at stake in this book than we (or the Squad) thought–it’s a bit of a nail-biter!
One of the things I enjoyed the most is the romance between Aurora and Kal. I know, I know someone is either rolling their eyes at me or agreeing with me completely. I have a soft spot for fated/destined lovers, if it’s done well. I think it is here, especially since Auri is hesitant at first but slowly finds her feelings and her understanding of Kal. I’m also really glad we got to know more about Zila and why she is the way she is, especially in book 1. It’s sad, but it’s nice to see part of the wall she built around herself slowly break.
And of course there’s a plot twist in this book! After reading book 1, I never would have guessed it. But there were parts of this book and the interaction and appearance of Kal’s sister, Saedii, that sort of made me guess what the plot twist would be and I was sort of right, lol. Of course I keep saying I’m a sucker for a good backstory and I really see it with Kal and Saedii, and I wonder if things could ever be properly repaired between the two. There is also one minor revelation about Tyler and Scarlett and to be honest, I still don’t know how I feel about it. I hope to see and know more about it the third book because as of right now, I’m not completely satisfied with this particular revelation.
Now there is one part of the book that I still have questions about, and it, along with the above mention revelation about Tyler and Scarlett, another one of the reasons I didn’t give the book a full five stars. I won’t say anything because of spoilers, but I really wasn’t able to see how all those things tied together as a whole. I imagine this was definitely done on purpose but it was still frustrating because I’m the type of reader who likes to see things come full circle in a book, even if it’s a sequel. However, I didn’t get that here and we weren’t even able to see all of these things used properly. So…yeah. Lots of questions there.
Overall a really enjoyable book. I don’t think I love quite as much as Aurora Rising, but I am super glad to see Aurora come into her power and feel more confident in herself. I feel like there’s less humor in this book and it becomes infinitely more serious as the book progresses. I’m excited (and scared!) to read the final book.