The Aurora Cycle by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff Review

***WARNING*** There is mild cussing in the book blurb.



The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch . . . A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates A smart-ass tech whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder An alien warrior with anger-management issues A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem--that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline cases, and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy. NOBODY PANIC.

When I read the Illuminae Files, I was hooked from the first chapter of the first book. After finishing the series, I had the biggest book hangover, but when I discovered Kauffman and Kristoff had joined forces to write another series, I rushed to give them all my money. I wasn’t disappointed.

I did enjoy the Illuminae Files a bit more, but The Aurora Cycle didn’t disappoint. The trilogy follows Squad 312 as they embark on a mission that goes to Hades in a handcart within a few hours. The writing style is fun and sarcastic, with a lot of humor between really dark and dangerous moments.

I wouldn’t say this is clean ya fiction, so for those who prefer no cussing, mild kissing, and off-page steamy scenes, this might not be for you. The “steamy” scenes are fade to black but still exist, so some readers might not be interested. That said, I adored the strength of this group. They stuck together even when everything tried to tear them apart—even when they were torn apart, they still fought for each other.

Tyler is the alpha, the leader of the squad. He is great at what he does, and he knows it. He’s confident and cocky, but he also knows when to listen to his team. He’s a great leader and never asks his team to do something he wouldn’t do himself. I loved the dynamic between him and his twin sister, Scarlet. She’s a bit of a wild child, but she’s smart and reads people like a book.

For the entire trilogy, I couldn’t stop laughing at Finian. He was hands down my favorite character, and I rooted for him the whole series. The will they or won’t they between Scarlet and him was to die for.

As for Aurora… don’t yell at me if you loved her, but… I just didn’t. She wasn’t awful, but I just never got behind her, especially after a certain incident between her and one of the other characters that resulted in drama that just didn’t need to happen. That said, I did like her willingness to accept her fate and jump in head-first.

Kal was intense, which was expected from a war breed alien, but sometimes he was so intense it bordered on flat. Whenever he got in a fight, though, I was 100% all-in for Kal, the purple-blooded alien.

Then there was Zila, who deserved so much more screen time in book one. It wasn’t until book three that I felt I had a good grasp on who she was, and it made me wish I’d known her better in the first two books.

As for Cat, well… there was a lot to love about the feisty faux-hawked ace. I could literally write a book about her one-liners, but she always felt “in the way” to me. Don’t get me wrong, I liked her, but I knew she wasn’t the endgame for a certain character from the beginning, so it was just a matter of “hurry up and wait” for her to figure that out. By the time she did, well… things had happened, and I felt so bad for her I cried—literally.

All said, I loved the series and would place it in the “to read again” pile for sure!

You can find the series here.

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