Most of the reviews I’ve read about Aurora Rising are pretty disappointed that it’s not as good as Illuminae. Since I haven’t read Illuminae, I may need to move it up my TBR because I thought Aurora Rising was pretty enjoyable.
I struggled a little to keep the characters straight in my head because their personalities were all pretty similar. The brash, sarcastic tone works better when there’s only one in the group, and while it made it difficult to differentiate the characters, it didn’t necessarily detract from the narrative. There were a good number of twists, and the pace was fast from the beginning. It was pretty easy to orient myself into this futuristic setting – the ‘coma patient being introduced to the world’ trope usually makes it easier to explain things without it feeling too pedantic – and I was pretty interested to see what would happen next.
I’ve already got soft spots for Kal and Auri, but I can see how, with more time and information, all of the members of this found family have the potential to draw more focus. I have high hopes for Zila and Scarlett. The quiet, socially awkward ones always get me, so it’s only a matter of time before Zila wins me over. And I was convinced at the beginning that Scar would be terrible, but her keen insight and obvious empathy help to prove that the first impression she makes isn’t accurate. She might win me over to Tyler, but his miscommunication and over-complicated history with Cat has made it difficult to take either of them seriously when they’re so caught up in their own drama. Finian is likely to be the hardest sell for me. He has a few moments suggesting he could stop lashing out with humour and sarcasm, but it was too much for me. Life-threatening missions are not the best time to be cracking jokes and making strange comments, but Finian has no filter and no sense of self-preservation. Considering how many POV characters we have, I’m surprised I wasn’t more annoyed at how often the perspective changed, but the transitions felt smooth and natural, so it wasn’t anywhere near as clunky or awkward as it could have been.
Aurora Rising is a pretty good start to this series. There’s lots of action, we know the plan moving forward, and I feel invested in finding out what will happen next.