It’s very rare when I find a sequel more interesting than the first book, but Aurora Burning exceeded my expectations.
From the Blurb:
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. p 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.
The story picks up right where Aurora Rising left off as Squad 312 is on the run while simultaneously trying to save the entire galaxy.
Our favorite group of misfits are back, but there have been a lot of changes since the events from Octavia III. The squad are now branded as traitors with everyone in the galaxy searching for them. Our fearless leader, Tyler, is in way over his head and he knows it. How are they supposed to keep each other safe? Will Aurora ever be able to control the powers she’s scared of? Where is he even supposed to lead his squad to? With a million questions left unanswered, Squad 312 faithfully follows Tyler into the unknown. Whether it’ll kill them or not.
The world inside of this universe is set so that it allows for more action — and there sure was a lot! Squad 312 is fighting off everyone who is trying to either capture or kill them throughout the entire book. Just when they believe they are free of worries there’s someone new to battle. Including Kal’s older sister, Saedii.
In Aurora Burning we learn more about Kal’s people, the Syldrathi, which I enjoyed. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff did an amazing job setting up this world in the previous book. This time around they were able to expand on what readers are already familiar with. It added a lot of depth to the series. On top of discovering secrets about the Syldrathi, there are shocking truths behind the Ra’haam and Eshvaren as well. All of it ties together in an exciting way.
The characters are still the shining stars of this series, though. The events from Aurora Rising has drastically changed each of them and it shows in this book.
Both Tyler and his twin sister, Scarlett, are grieving and rightfully so. Unfortunately, they don’t have the time to be upset and have to keep pushing through their pain. Their loss is apparent in each of the choices they make throughout the book. Our lovable Finian is trying his best to lift the entire squad’s spirits when they need it, but in truth sometimes he feels this mission is breaking him as well.
Zila has been a character that I’ve wanted to know more about since the beginning, and I’m happy to report that she gets her moments in Aurora Burning. She’s one of my favorite characters now. A lot of her past is revealed and shown to allow readers a chance to understand where her heart is throughout all of this, and why she cuts off her emotions, etc.
The two most important characters seemed to be Aurora and Kal. They appear to be the center of this series. Aurora is still trying to learn what being the Trigger implies and how to control her power. Her growth is an amazing one and she left me speechless by the end. Then we have Kal who I have always loved. Learning about the Syldrathi lets us see more of who Kal truly is and what led him to be a member of this squad.
Aurora Burning is packed with a lot of action and revelations. I’m a huge fan of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I think these co-authors make a great team. Their words easily flow together and they truly outdid themselves with this series. I’m sure other fans of their work will be left impressed.
With that being said, the co-authors are known for their burning cliffhangers. Aurora Burning has one of the worst ones I’ve read from them, so beware. The tension builds up to the final act and the story abruptly ends there. It will have readers either excited or angry. Days after finishing reading this book I’m still trying to figure out which side I’m on.
Overall, Aurora Burning tops its predecessor. The action, politics and the continued world-building adds so much to this series. I recommend reading this one in doses though, because there were multiple moments when I felt angry or sad for our favorite squad of misfits!