Genres: YA Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Listening Library
Released on 11/9/21
As the third leg in a trilogy after Aurora Burning left matters for Squad 312 and the rest of the galaxy dangling by two fingernails on the edge of a cliff, Aurora’s End was going to be the grandest of grand finales. The Aurora Cycle has been another YA Sci-Fi hit from a pair of authors who have demonstrated that lightning can strike twice and deliver another amazing sci-fi world, a fabulous cast of characters, and edge of the seat excitement.
Aurora’s End is the third book of the Aurora Cycle and this is a series that follows closely the events of the book that preceded it so not to be read out of order.
As there is a third book following that mind-blown moment at the end of book two (which I am still side-eying as uber over dramatic), I don’t really consider describing where things are at in the opening of this book as a spoiler (because obviously somehow they survived or there wouldn’t be a third book). That said, I’m going to stay pretty cagey because I don’t want to ruin the next reader’s excitement over just how and where things stand.
So, the squad was nearing a critical moment in the fight against the hive-mind like alien growth that will take over the whole galaxy if Aurora can’t trigger the only weapon that can destroy it before the spores all harvest and spread like wildfire. But then, there is a big galactic size boom and game over.
But we know it wasn’t because we have another book. After the big boom, the squad finds themselves separated and still not in good places. Tyler was trapped aboard an enemy ship with a hostile Saidi and ends up in the hands of the dangerous Unbroken group who hate him on sight and have no desire to help him be a hero. Speaking of sight, he keeps having this nightmare vision and a voice in his head urging him to stop a terrorist attack on a key conference held at a key installation. Is it real? Zila, Fin, and Scarlet end up together in a weird situation on the edge of a black energy storm and it takes their combined cleverness, ingenuity and perseverance- oh and Magellan- to figure out what is going on and how them figuring it out will tip the scales against the enemy, Raham (spelled wrong). Meanwhile, Auri and Kal are stuck with the ‘WorldKiller’ on the Weapon Ship and somehow ended up way off their original course and task, but slowly it is obvious that the deviation might prove critical to the final battle.
Aurora’s End is non-stop and keeps up the adrenaline rush with all plot threads. Each member of the squad take up the narration so the reader/listener gets the plot threads from more than one point of view. There are tight corners, certain death moments, and lots of breath-stealing scenes. But, there is also the very strong feeling that the Squad who were stumbling about and not functioning as a team or individually have gotten it together in all the important stuff including some of those hinted at romances. There is an additional surprise romance for our brainy Zila this go around too. I did not want to put this book down and couldn’t find a place that I felt confident was a good place to stop because that’s how into it and excited I was.
However, that big pay off moment…. was odd. Can’t say it was awful, but it really went somewhere weird even for where things had already been and gone. I’m not full-on disappointed with the choice for dealing with the enemy and Aurora’s part of it that, but, let’s just say I was in the mood for something different and more consistent with how things had built to that moment. Now, the overall finish and the very end and that surprise were superb. I wanted to soak in all the good things after all the team and the rest of the galaxy had endured.
Again, the audio team that performed the characters shifting as each character took their turn at the story was abso-fabulous. By now, I can only hear their voices for the characters and saw this trilogy come alive under their excellent voice work. Normally, I struggle when multiple voices tackle a story, but that didn’t happen once with this series. Audio is the way to go on this series if possible.
All in all, the trilogy wrap-up did a stellar job. I felt exhausted through all the tension and excitement. I loved this squad of misfits who made a team and family together and found a way to save the galaxy. Those who enjoy YA Sci-Fi should definitely put this trilogy on the booklist.
I rec’d a digital copy from Listening Library to listen to in exchange for an honest review.
COYER Season- Fall #41
COYER Community #12 Sci-Fi Readathon
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