Review: Aurora’s End by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

Posted December 4, 2021 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 16 Comments

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Review: Aurora’s End by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Aurora's End

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Aurora Cycle #3
Genres: YA Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Listening Library
Released on 11/9/21
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

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.

Challenges Met

COYER Season- Fall #41
COYER Community #12 Sci-Fi Readathon
Audio #136

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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6 months ago

I find series to be hit or miss in that they sometimes delay the natural pay off of a story in favor of saving things for the next book. Glad you still enjoyed this one!

Sophia Rose
6 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

Yes, it can be frustrating to keep having things pushed back into the next book and the next. I’m happy this pair seem to go no longer than trilogies. 🙂

Thanks, Ethan!

Anne - Books of My Heart

I own the first one but intend to read them all on audio at some point. Especially since Steve West is one of the narrators.

Sophia Rose
6 months ago

Good call to wait until they were all out. I was left hanging twice. LOL I listened to all three on audio and this cast is stellar- yes, Steve West!

sherry fundin
6 months ago

glad the series kept on giving until the end. i have been making an effort to finish more series that i start. i hate when they can’t stand alone and i am trying to be more aware of that and if i am not going to follow up, don’t even read the first one. too many sitting on my tbr

Sophia Rose
6 months ago
Reply to  sherry fundin

I know what you mean. I have a few authors where I’ll jump in when a new series starts, but I hesitate to start a series these days because I don’t know if I can fit in one more indefinite commitment especially when there are cliffies.

Vanessa @ Blushing Geek

I’m not a big fan of sci-fi, but this one sounds like a really exciting read. I’m glad you enjoyed it Sophia 🙂

Sophia Rose
6 months ago

It sure was, Vanessa. I love the excitement and worldbuilding, but the characters are what made the story for me.

Mary Kirkland
6 months ago

His eyes on the cover are creepy as heck, I love it!

Sophia Rose
6 months ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

LOL, Fin is a flirty, mischievous alien guy. His race lives underground without much light so he’s stark white, too. 🙂 I loved his character in the books.

Carole Rae
6 months ago

that big pay off moment…. was odd”
Mhmmmmmm I am intrigued.

Sophia Rose
6 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

This was a fab series, but they definitely didn’t conform to the usual when they brought it all to a head. 🙂

6 months ago

Hmmm, that cover. It sounds like you had a good time with this one.

Sophia Rose
6 months ago
Reply to  Nadene

All their covers really grab one’s attention. Yes, this was a fun trilogy. 🙂

6 months ago

I only tried the first book but I should try more!

Sophia Rose
6 months ago
Reply to  Melliane

I second that motion. 🙂