review: aurora rising


My rating: ★★☆☆☆ 2/5 stars — I felt like it was average. Not as good as I expected, and it just didn’t have that extra “oomph”. The characters were pretty flat and the universe isn’t really well thought out and I guess my expectations were just too high. I usually don’t write negative reviews, but I was just so disappointed by this book, which was said to be the next Guardians of the Galaxy meets Six of Crows?? Well, let’s meet the characters:

art by kiranight_art on instagram

  1. Tyler, the goLdEn bOi
    He has good morals, I guess, and he tries to do what’s right to his squad. He’s kinda plain, and provides most of the exposition at the beginning. I liked his perspective but he was so flat out horrible to Cat that his character was completely degraded in my view.
  2. Scarlet, the ~saucy gal~
    She’s the femme fatale type that you always root for, kinda like Lysandra from ToG. I love her as a character but also I think she’s a bit too much at times?? she keeps a pro/&con log of all her flings and goes through it when she’s bored? aight-
  3. Cat, the misunderstood baddie
    she has tattoos. she has a mohawk. she’s that classic tomboy. but guess what? she’s also iN loVe with tyler, who doesn’t acknowledge it. also, she tells everyone to call her Zero but then nobody does for the rest of the book… wow yes such good character development. and the end of the book does not do her justice okay- i demand a rEDO
  4. Finian, the classic “i’m so tough on the outside but that’s because i’m insecure af” character
    He’s pretty funny (and openly bi- we stan a bicon) and i enjoyed reading in his perspective. bUT HE LOOKS PRETTY DARN CREEPY NGL- DON’T LOOK AT HIS FANART IF YOU’RE NOT PREPARED FOR AN ALIEN-LOOKING DUDE
  5. Kal… i don’t remember his last name
    He’s like that boring character with actual good morals that you roll your eyes at… or maybe it’s just me. His world is very messy and his kill instinct is always present and it makes him want to bash everyone’s brains in but most importantly, his Pull… i doN’T LIKE HOW IT’S PORTRAYED- There was just not enough character development, and I hope book 2 is better at this.
  6. Aurora, the girl we’re all here for
    We know next to nothing about her background, which I feel like could have been delved into way more because she’s the titular character, y’know… She’s glossed over for most of the book, and I feel like she’s very side character-esque (because she’s the source of all the problems, and she really doesn’t do much to solve the problems), even though she’s supposed to be a main? i’m very conflicted about how I feel about her, because she’s just meh. not good, not bad, just meh.
  7. that other girl that doesn’t even get a POV- oh apparently her name is Zila
    She could have been the Sherlock of the squad but nooooo she’s completely cast aside?? We know pretty much nothing about her except that she’s really smart and does calculations in a split second, and that she is a complete sociopath who likes shooting people with stun guns for fun. I need more about her please and thank you!!!

Okay I’m pretty sure that’s all the characters but I might have missed one or two because they were all so similar? I feel like all the characters and the plot just got squashed together into a giant intergalactic pudding?? The plot in the middle was all so unconnected because the crew just travelled from one place to another and the outcome was always the same (but I’m not gonna say what because this is a spoiler-free review k-). The end did nO JUSTICE TO ANY OF THE CHARACTERS and the plot was so thin and the main conflicts just *happened* without any leadup.

I liked some of the characters on a superficial level (except fin, who i aDORE BECAUSE HE’S THE MOST WELL ROUNDED SASSY BABY OKAY- yes i have a thing for fictional boys who are tough on the outside and complete cinnamon rolls on the inside, deal with it) That said, I’ll probably still read Aurora Burning sometime soon, but if I have to deal with more weird Kal x Aurora Twilight-esque crap then I’m getting the heckin’ darn out of there *drops mic*

(yes this was originally posted on goodreads and you can see it here )

If you felt like Aurora Rising deserved a better review, please leave a comment and tell me what you thought of it! I’d love to hear your opinions!

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.


  • Lovelybluepanda

    I was actually excited about it because there’s a lot of buzz around and I hope it’s not for nothing. Maybe the next book from the series will save the day? I hope you hear your thoughts about that volume too!

    • Whitney

      I personally thought that the book didn’t live up to the hype, but I’m going to read the second book anyways (probably in a month though). I’ll definitely post the review on here!

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