Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Summary:

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

Review:

I was very excited to find out that after the Illuminae files that Kay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman was going to write another series, because if you have read my blog, you know that I love the Illuminae files and its one of the few series that received 5 stars for each of the books.

Aurora Rising, isn’t however written in the multi media format that the Illuminae files was written in but in the standard format with POV chapters for the characters. I like that each of the characters has their own personalities and charter arcs within those chapters and what makes it really good, is the fact that you get to see the different perspectives of what is going on in the story. It really reminded me of Mass Effect in a sort of way.

What also made the story great, was that it was about a crew of misfits who no one would really want on their crew, especially the main character of Ty, who is in the top of his class at the academy and is now dealing with the rejects because he was late for the ceremony and now has to deal with the last picks of the cadets.

The main plot of the story is dealing with a young girl named Aurora who wakes up and is found by Ty. Aurora is a girl out of time who was suppose to be in a sort of hyper sleep and is now waken up to a time not her own. There is a lot of mystery to unpack in the novel, and the story takes a lot of twists and turns.

My only issue with the book, was sort of the pacing. While the beginning and the end was very well done, the middle section of the book It is not as action packed as the Illuminae files but it still kept up with my attention.

In the end, I enjoyed Aurora Rising, while it did have some issues with pacing, it was the characters that kept my attention. I am very excited to see another Jay and Amie Sci Fi series.

Grade: 4/5

Obsidio by: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Summary:

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion? 

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. 

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

The Review:

If you have been following my blog, you should know that this book, Obsidio was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018.

Obsidio, sort of picks up right where Gemina ended, in which Nik and Hannah escape the Heimdall and meet up with Ezra and Kady on the Mao with the refugees. From the beginning I love the interactions between those characters , especially with how Gemina ended seeing them all come together and work together has a definite highlight of the book. Even with some new characters introduced they still were able to have some great development.

Than we are introduced To Asha (Kady’s cousin) and Rhys, a soldier for BeiTech. I was a little concerned that we are introduced to new characters especially for this being the final book. But they are fully fleshed with the time they have in the book. With the character of Rhys, we get a lot of background with the Beitech soldiers and their operations. Asha just sort of got caught up during her internship in the conflict with Beitech. Even though she does not have the skills that Kady and Hannah had, she does have a good heart which helped on Kerenza.

Than there is AIDAN. Oh, AIDAN, never have I seen such great character development for an AI. You really get a sense of his moral conflict and wondering if what he is doing is right.

The book still has the format of being seen through IMs and chats. But I still love the surveillance summary, The narrator is always just so snarky and kind of breaks the forth wall.

Obsidio, as a final book of a trilogy, and really lets it be known that. For a final book, everything is going down and it sort of ends in a nice giant space battle, perfect for an ending.

In the end, Obsidio is everything I wanted a final book to be. It was paced really well, action packed and managed to give us a great ending. I am very sad to let these characters go, but I am glad that I read it.

Grade: 5/5

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Summary:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

The Review:

This is the second book of the Illuminae files, in which the first book, Illuminae was one of the best books I read last year, and this book did not disappoint, in fact I think this was an excellent sequel.

Gemina follows another person Hanna, in which she is one a different space station, so this one doesn’t really follow up with Kady’s story but she does play a role in this book. She is the captain’s daughter, and she is a great character. She reminded me a lot of Jyn Erso from Rogue One with a little bit of Katniss Everdeen. Even though she is basically a “princess” she really doesn’t act like it and when stuff goes down she is on the scene trying to get the job done.

Nik, as a member of a crime family is basically Han Solo. He deals drugs to the people at the space station and has a great backstory which really adds a lot to his character. Both Nik and Hanna are an amazing couple and you get a real good sense of their relationship, especially their IMs and chat logs.

The plot was also really well done. I like that the main antagonist was a strike team, and how Hanna and Nik had to take them out individually. The leader Faulk, was a really good villain which reminded me a lot of General Zod, who always cared about his troops and making sure that they are focused on the mission. I like the idea of having a take over, while the the virus was a good plot, I like that it had an actual antagonist that you also got to follow.

This book was also a lot more action packed than Illuminae. While Illuminae focused heavily on the political aspect, this one had a lot more action scenes, which was very easy to follow mainly due to seeing the security footage.

Like Illuminae, this book is also told through unconventional means, and what I liked about was that it puts you right in the middle of the action and it feels like you are actually there witnessing everything that is happening. This book also had a lot more security footage which made it little bit easier to follow the story. Also the illustrations was done by Marie Lu, and it looks awesome.

The ending twist was also amazing, seeing Kady again was great and having here work together with Hanna added a lot to both Illuminae and Gemina. Also the possibility of other universes also makes me excited about future books .

In the end, Gemina was an amazing sequel that really pushed on where the Illuminae files will go, It gave a us great new characters and a really well done plot. It makes you want to see where the story and the characters will go.

Grade: 5/5

Illuminae by: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Summary:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

The Review:

How did it take me so long to read this book?! I mean wow! I have seen this book around the blogging sites and Booktube for a while, and I never thought to pick it up.

This book has a weird unconventional narrative to it. It is told mostly through reports, dossiers, security footage, reports and not as an actual book. At first, this confused me because I thought for the first couple of pages I was reading a prologue or background, but than you find out that it is the entire book, and I was still surprised on how it still managed to tell a compelling story.

You the relationship of Ezra and Kady through a series of chats and IMs, and you get a sense of character through those means, and that is what made the book very interesting. Kady is a great protagonist, she is a go-getter and risk taker and is willing to do everything and everything to find out the truth. She reminded me a lot of June from the Legend Trilogy.

The book is also visually amazing. As someone that grew up and is still reading comics, I just loved all of the images the book presented. I say ship designs, propaganda posters, and other great illustration.

The plot centers around trying to find out the truth about what happened on the planet Kerenza, with Kady trying to figure out the truth. It reminded me a lot of Battlestar Galactica, in which this is more of a political story that just so happen to be set in space. The plot also never slowed down, which is a good thing, it was fantastically paced, and the book was on go mode from page one.

As a political story set in space you see a lot of the moral implications of what happened on the planet, and wondering if they should do a certain something. That’s where my comparison to Battlestar Galactica comes in.

I also felt that the world building was really good, and with its use of reports it gave me a sense of the world where it is set in and a lot of the background information that is needed to follow the story. While it does take a while to get through the format of the story, it was still a great story.

In the end, Illuminae was a very great book, that I can fully recommended to any fan of space operas. Its use of an unconventional story telling format can keep you engaged in the story for a long time, and I will be reading Gemina very soon.

Grade 5/5