Home Anti-Hero Aurora Burning Review
Aurora Burning Review

WARNING: Not advisable for people who have asthma, heart problems, panic attacks, or weak nerves. You have been warned. Read at your own risk.

Do you think you know high stakes? You haven’t known high stakes until you read a novel written by Ms. Kaufman and Mr. Kristof.

In Aurora Rising we were introduced to a lovely mixed bag of overachievers and bottom of the barrel rebels who are forced to work together in order to help a stowaway with newfound powers save the universe.

In Aurora Burning the readers were promised a more tightknit Squad 312, (really familiar in some cases) that begins to understand and prepare for the danger they are about to face. Hopefully.

Aurora Burning Review

Aurora Burning Kristoff Kaufman
Still not over this cover. Never was, never will be.

General Impressions

If Aurora Burning had been written by anyone else other than the duo behind Illuminae I would probably praise it a lot more.

As it is I still think it’s an amazingly original story with a group of characters that will forever be at the top of my favorite fictional people list but it fell somewhat short.

Don’t get me wrong I loved seeing Squad 312 interact with more alien species and getting to learn more about their universe but it felt too much like any other middle book in a trilogy.

The plot was predictable, I saw the villains coming a mile off and the final plot-twist can barely be called that.

The Setting


That’s it. Nothing more to add.

No one can create believable, diverse, culturally rich societies the way Jay and Amie do.

If there is something in Aurora Burning in which I cannot find fault are all the people and traditions we were introduced to. Everything from the smallest detail to the biggest cultural differences make sense.

The Characters

One of Aurora Rising’s biggest gifts to its readers were its characters. The way they were treated in Aurora Burning ended up being one of its biggest sins.

The foremost relationship in everyone’s mind was Kallis and Aurora. Although I did like to see all that “instant mate mumbo jumbo” being furthered into an actual relationship with the couple taking the time to interact with one another, the chemistry was still lacking.

More than romantic feelings, what I liked seeing the most in this book were the friendships, mainly when it came to people that hadn’t had any up until then.

I loved reading Ty and Fin’s chapter and learning more about their pasts and hangups. Zila’s I have mixed feelings about.

One of my other favorite aspects was how thirsty Fin and Scarlet were for their other squadmates and their own praise of their own attributes but there were some instances in which it crossed a line for me and felt forced or even “icky”.

An Ode to Scar and Fin

Not only are they gorgeous, smart, and refuse to take sh*t from anyone…

Scar is the kind of character that few authors would dare to make female, even today. The way she spoke about her body and sexuality and refused to let anyone else define her is the greatest not only of examples but compliments to all the teenage girls that will get to know her.

As for Fin? Good luck finding someone with a major disability being portrayed not only as a hero but having their disability, only one part of them and not their entire identity.

Fin is his squadmates equal in every way (except when he is much better which is often). And when he has to slow down, that is never used as an excuse to leave him behind any more than when someone else is hurt.


“Real space is rainbow-colored. Ours is no exception. :)”

Jay Kristoff

When you hear an author whining about forced inclusion and how writing diverse stories is not believable, show them this book.

There was disability rep, LGBTQ rep, faith rep, diversity rep,…this might not have been my favorite book but I’m ecstatic that this is a book written for everyone, where no matter what you identify with or what you look like, you know they got you covered. You know you get to be the hero.

Looking for more great books?

Check out my review of Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie.

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