Author: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Aurora Cycle, #2
Page Count: 495
Publisher: Knopf Books
Original Publication Date: 2020
Genre(s): Young adult, Science fiction
“Burn it all away.”
The squad it back…for the most part. But there’s no time to grieve for their losses. Aurora still doesn’t know how to control her powers, but now that she knows she’s the Trigger, she’s going to have to learn. And fast. All while hunting for the Weapon. Ya know, to save the galaxy from the evil Ra’haam, which is about to take over the universe and all. Speaking of Ra’haam, the infiltrated GIA agents are still hot on the squad’s trail, seeking Aurora. And then Kal’s sister shows up, hell bent on bringing both Kal and Auri to the Starslayer. Can’t forget about him! But our favorite squad can handle all of this. Right?
So. Okay. I have no words.
That’s it. That’s the review. Bye-bye!
Okay, just kidding. I have SOME words. It’s just those words were mostly inappropriate and shOUTED at the top of my lungs. Like, WHAT KIND OF ENDING WAS THAT, GUYS!? I’m about to drive myself to Austrailia, or wherever Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman live, and knock on their doors, and just sob.
Okay. Okay. Pulling myself together here. Okay.
Aurora Burning follows the same format as book 1: it’s divided into four parts, and told through alternating perspective POV chapters. Of course, with Cat gone, we lose those chapters, but we do get to know a LOT more about Zila and her past, as well as more Fin chapters, too. We follow the gang as they search for the Weapon, all the while running from just about every evil villain out there in the ‘Way.
I have to say, if you would have told me one character had to die in Aurora Rising, I absolutely would have picked Cat. #SorryNotSorry. Like I said in my review for book 1, Cat was not my favorite, and though I didn’t exactly want her to die, I definitely preferred it over anyone else dying. That being said, if you would have told me one character had to die in Aurora Burning, I would have said NO FREAKING WAY, DON’T TOUCH MY BABIES. I loved the squad with all my heart in book 1, but this book solidified my fierce love for them all, and I was on the edge of my seat the entire book hoping that nobody would die. Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman really know how to stress a girl out. Just like in the first book, all the characters, even the new girl (AKA Kal’s sister, Saedii), have depth and unique voices and amazing character arcs. Each one brings their charm to the sequel, and truly make this book amazing.
But we can’t forget about the plot. What I love about Kaufman and Kristoff’s plots is that they’re always layered. There’s more than just one thing happening. And I love that. It never feels rushed or busy, just full-on thrilling and interesting. Now, I called the twist in Aurora Rising, but Aurora Burning totally shocked me! There’s twist after twist, and they all made me GASP. This book will keep you guessing until the very terrible, awful, no-good ending.
As far as sequels go, this one crushed it. I usually don’t like sequels nearly as much as their predecessors, but Aurora Burning really comes so close to perfection. The only part of the book I didn’t fully care for was the Echo scenes. They’re not poorly written or anything like that. I guess I just found them slower and a little more boring. I know that was the point—to slow down the novel—I just didn’t love it. But again, personal opinion and all.
This book is exactly what I expect from a sequel. And with that ending, I can honestly say I’m legit DYING to read the next book. I don’t even want to read anything else until I have my hands on Aurora _______, book 3. Until then, I will just suffer—loudly—with the rest of my fellow readers.
And of course I buddy-read this book with Heather over at A Cozy Fox Blog! We literally finished this one within minutes of each other, and it definitely made my reading experience much more enjoyable. I was gasping and freaking out through the last 200 pages of the book, and having Heather freaking out along with me over messenger made me feel less alone in my panic. If you don’t follow Heather on Goodreads, you need to, because her in-progress updates while reading are hilarious and so relatable. Check out her blog for the links!