Young Delight Review: Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Posted November 17, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Audio Delight, Reviews, Young Delight / 16 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Young Delight Review: Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Aurora Burning

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Genres: YA Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Listening Library
Released on May 5, 2020
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

Futuristic space and alien sci-fi setting, political intrigue, a mysterious girl and her situation, a squad of misfits up against insurmountable odds to save the galaxy?  Count me in.  Oh, a fab narration ensemble cast?  Be still my book-loving heart!


Aurora Burning is the second of the Aurora Cycle trilogy.  This is all one ongoing story so it needs to be taken in order.

Aurora Rising left things off in a stunning, dire place.  Squad 312 must pick themselves up and get on with their mission that is all the harder because the known galaxy thinks they are traitors and criminals and are out to get them.  Their enemies are powerful.  And, their own raw weaknesses are enough to submarine their chances.  In spite of all this, this unlikely crew has come together and are managing to inch forward and stay out of captivity or worse.  They know what Aurora was brought forward into the future for and now they must track down the method she is to use to accomplish her task while staying one step ahead of their pursuit.  Meanwhile a few big-time secrets get revealed, dire went to worse, and, no way… that was where this exciting second leg left things?

I will try to be really careful with this one.  I was as vague as can be with that summary on purpose.  Aurora Burning had the job of joining the opening act to the grand finale while coloring in some of the mysteries.  It also inevitably  ramped up the suspense and drama while developing more of the characters like Kal and Zila and introducing a new exciting character.  It did it’s job for the most part.

Aurora Burning surprised me for two reasons and they were not good surprises.  I felt that there were sluggish portions and the transitions that needed to be there and get things from point A to point B were not as smooth as they could have been.  Then there was the fact that I spotted what should have been some exciting twists and reveals, but I saw all with the exception of one coming from a long way out- that one I still worked out ahead.  If it weren’t for the escape and fight scenes followed by that crazy cliffhanger, this was a predictable book.  That is not always a bad thing and it didn’t make me hate the book, but I can’t say I was as riveted as I was to the first book.

When it came to Kal’s secret, I was really hoping I was wrong about how the rest of the Squad would handle it.  Hello?  He kept a secret because he feared that exact reaction.  The guy gave them his very all so many times and hinted at the truth for so long that I knew it from the first book and yet to the last one, they all flipped their wigs and treated him like their worst enemy.  In truth, at the point when this went down, I felt it was a serious overreaction.  It felt like a clunky way to set up for what came next.

Okay, I’m done dissing a really good book with what niggled.  Now, to what I adored.  I loved the mysterious-ness of everything about how Aurora ended up waking 200 years into the future, the reason, and now the journey to gather the clues so she can do her stuff.  Interesting reveal in that last scene with Aurora and a certain menacing powerful Warbreed leader.  I like that feeling that there may be more than one way to take those who set her on her mission and her friends are sacrificing right along with her.
Tied with that is how it was so amazing to see the squad firing on all cylinders with each of their strengths keeping them in the game.  They were so in sync and a great camaraderie going on even against their situation.  I think that’s why I was disappointed over the Kal thing.
Another part that really made me happy was getting more of Kal and Zila’s backgrounds.  This shored up one of my niggles from the first book.  That book got us up to speed on Aurora, Tyler and Scarlett, and Finian’s backgrounds, but was lacking for these last two.  The reason becomes obvious when their pasts play a huge role in the present situation.
Oh, and the new kid on the block with the lethal tendencies?  I loved that.  Tyler has met his match.  Whew!

Now, I can’t say I was exactly pleased with that stupendous cliffhanger, but it didn’t ruin things for me.  So long as the final book does a stellar job of making that cliffhanger worth it.

As to narration, the same full cast is back and I settled right into their storytelling much easier since I’m used to their voices and the style of the book slipping between so many narrators.  Some did better sounding the age of the characters and some did better with opposite genders and other races, but overall, they were sensational and I saw the story clearly in my mind as a result.  There are times when the narration moves from point of view quickly that I think I’d have done better with the print version in those spots, but I loved this book on audio.

And so, I must wait it out until the third book’s release.  I wasn’t as dazzled, but was by no means disliking this second installment.  Those who want exciting sci-fi action, a superb cast of misfit characters, and some good intrigue should give this series a go.

My thanks to Listening Library for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #165
Audio #93
COYER Quarantine #75

About the Book

Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffAurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Our heroes are back…kind of. From the best-selling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic Aurora Cycle series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: An ancient evil – you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal – is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes – and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.


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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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Carole Rae
1 year ago

Ooo book 2s are rough to be as good as book 1. I’m glad you still liked it overall though.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Yeah, there was all the fabulous world building and that intense scene at the end of book one so book two did have to work harder. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Anne - Books of My Heart

I hope to get to these. I think I have purchased the first one on audio already.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

It’s easy to keep going in this one past where you planned to stop. Good that you got book one on audio. I love all their voices.

1 year ago

Oh yes I really want to try their books! Keep hearing great things about them

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Melliane

Worth all the excited talk. 🙂

1 year ago

I’ve seen this and the first book everywhere – I didn’t realize it was YA. Thanks for such a great review. If I decide to pick up the series, I’ll be sure to wait until the third book is out so I don’t have to wait. lol

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Jen

Oh my yes, definitely worth waiting for them all to be available after this zany ending.

This pair writes YA that often doesn’t feel like YA because it can go darker and grittier with the action side and the stuff the characters have to do. But, once in a while their youth will poke out and remind one. 🙂

sherry fundin
1 year ago

sounds like one i would enjoy. i had a chance to grab this in a contest, but i chose something else because i hadn’t read the first one. glad it’s good for you. 🙂 i think i would enjoy the series too
sherry @ <a href=””> fundinmental</a>

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  sherry fundin

Great sci-fi adventure action! Really? LOL, hope your pick was a good one, too.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

LOL, on your niggles. I am so glad you are enjoying this series!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Now, we have to wait for book three. 🙂

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
1 year ago

Oh love that cover and your review Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

I got the hard copy and it is as gorgeous as a painting. Thanks, Debbie!

1 year ago

I am happy to see you still enjoyed it despite the niggles. Great review.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Nadene

Oh yes, it was a strong book even with the petty stuff that bugged me. 🙂