Hi everyone!!! I’m doing something a little different on my blog today but doesn’t that seem fitting for a new Jay and Amie book? YES I think so! I’ve teamed up with Christy and Kelly from Bookcrushin‘ to talk about our thoughts on Aurora Rising the first in the new YA scifi trilogy from Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.
As we started planning this post, the character cards for Aurora Rising were being announced (check out here!) and we thought it’d be super fun to create our own! We discussed which squad member we fit with the most and got to work. After we already decided, Underlined presented a quiz and, NO SURPRISE, we picked correct!
What are you?
We also had to include Jay and Amie into our Squad! We named it Squad 80015 (pager code for BOOK)
If you know Christy at all, you will know she’s the most amazing person. She’s organized, inspires me when I’m feeling down, gets things done and honestly, I’d follow her anywhere! These are important qualities in the Alpha of a squad and she has it! Kelly BRAIN
Kelly might be one of the smartest people I know. She’s always the go-to person for book trivia and has become someone I rely on in so many ways! She’s the sweetest person and she will do anything for friend.
I’ve always considered myself tech savvy but I got a new job this year in IT support and have learned so much! I’ve always been obsessed with created graphics and videos for YEARS and I love it! This post was a BLAST to put together!
Even though I don’t know Amie personally, I feel like she’d be amazing in any situation and could become instant friends with anyone from any culture (or alien species). So, she’d be perfect as a Face.
I also don’t personally know Jay but he announced he was an Ace on Twitter and I definitely agree. He’s fierce but loyal and he would fight for those he cares about. Plus he’s pretty badass.
🚀 Aurora Rising is about a crew in space on a mission…did you think it was similar or plenty different from the Illuminae Files?
Kelly: It may have the same feeling as Illuminae Files, as it’s a group of teens in space working together to solve a mystery and save humanity, than yes it’s similar, but I think this story has its own plot, place, and characters.
Sarah: Oh it’s definitely different than the Illuminae Files. It’s setup is normal book format (which is fine!) but don’t go into it expecting anything similar to the way Illuminae was formatted. What WAS similar was was the fun banter of characters and a great adventure.
Christy: You can tell this is an Amie and Jay book but Aurora Rising is not Illuminae. The format of that trilogy really set it apart. Aurora Rising better resembles other space books I’ve read.
🚀 Which of the squad members do you most identify with?
Kelly: In real life I’d definitely be the Brain. Science & medical was my life growing up and I graduated college with dual science degrees. I think my young adult personality was more like Cat’s (the Ace).
Sarah: Even though I definitely identify as Gearhead, the character I related to the most was Aurora. She wakes up only to find everything is different and so many strange things are happening. She’s confused and scared. I made some big changes this year that sometimes leave me confused and a little scared. But I also know it all has a purpose and I feel that came across in Aurora.
Christy: Tyler, the leader. I would have made a lot of the choices he made…and had the same learning experiences. Which is funny because then I took the quiz…
🚀 Favorite quote or snark?
Kelly: “What is funny?” I ask. “I was just thinking, ” he grins, “Scarlett did tell us to just kiss and get it over with…”
Sarah: “What’s that supposed to be?” Finian asks.
“It’s a dragon,” I reply. “Present from my mum. He’s for luck.”
“It’s a stuffed toy, how is it supp–”
“Shut up, Finian.”
“…Okay, are you hitting on me? It feels like you might be hitting on me.”
The banter was great in this book!
Christy: “I mean, you work your whole life for a Thing, it’s only natural the Thing be important to you. But most rational people would consider getting vaporized inside a derelict spaceship drifting through interdimensional space just a little more important than school. That’s all I’m saying.” This is the moment I knew I’d love Tyler.
🚀 If you had to assign 3 key words to the book, what would they be?
Kelly: Squad. Space. WTF?!
Sarah: Banter. Fun. Purpose.
Christy: Action-packed. Whiplash. Zany.
🚀 If you could crossover characters from other stories to build on Squad 312, who would you bring over?
Kelly: Wow I feel like the Squad was big enough! Maybe the addition of a real life pet. They need a space kitty.
Sarah: I would like to see Arthur from What If It’s Us join Squad 312. I feel like they need a crew member who would be larger than life and entertain everyone with showtunes!
Christy: I would bring over the Mirabelle and Josse from An Affair of Poisons. They know what it’s like to be on the outs because they knew too much.
🚀 What do you wish we saw more of or knew more of? What could have made this story stronger?
Kelly: I wanted more from Aurora’s perspective. I loved her, but didn’t get enough of her. I also think that 7 POVs was hard at times, when some characters had similar tones. Luckily the audiobook used individual casting so that helped!
Sarah: Emotional connection. I found many of the characters fun and interesting but I didn’t connect as strongly as I would have liked. I didn’t cry while reading this and I feel a good crying moment makes books better LOL.
Christy: I sometimes found it hard to follow all of the perspectives on the audio – the voices (NOT the narration) were very similar. I really want to know about ALL THINGS AURORA. Like there’s so much to uncover there.
🚀 What books would you recommend while we wait for book 2?
Kelly: Well if you haven’t read the Unearthed duology by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, I’d say start there. Also, Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston and The Disasters by M.K. England.
Sarah: Easy: Starflight by Melissa Landers, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers and Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis. These books are still some of my favorite sci-fis (other than Illuminae of course)
Christy: The Disasters, The Final Six, and The Devouring Gray. The first two are squad space books that are FAB so please read them and The Devouring Gray is such a dark and amazing story that I think pairs well with the darker side of Aurora Rising!
About the Book
Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle)
From the New York Times and internationally bestselling authors of the Illuminae Files comes a new science fiction epic . . .
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.