Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.
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.
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.
As I said in my Theme Party Tuesday post, I ventured out in a pandemic to get this book. So yeah, I think you could say I was pretty excited.
And OH MY GOULASH IT DELIVEREDDDDD.
If I’m being completely honest, I remember loving “Aurora Rising,” but it hasn’t stuck in my brain in a super intense way. I vaguely remembered the characters but not their distinct voices; I sort of remembered the plot but no specifics; I forgot a lot of key facts about the world it’s set in. I could probably have used a reread of the first book before diving into this one, but I didn’t care. I was going to get my hands on this book come hell or high water, and it was going to get into my brain as fast as it could.
And WOW. Even given the small amount of information I remembered from “Aurora Rising” to begin with, I knew enough to know I felt like I was reading a completely different series. Each character’s voice read incredibly fresh and new: I felt like I was meeting the characters all over again. The fun action set pieces, which were my favorite part of the last book, were just as fun and action-y as they were in AR. I fell in love with their found-family dynamic and individual friendships all over again, probably moreso for having already spent time watching that dynamic develop in the first book. I was swept up in the stakes, taken utterly CAPTIVE by that CLIFFHANGER (WHY????), came away with a few new ships…
Oh yeah. This was a RIDE.
This isn’t a super coherent review, I know, but I just had to gush, dang it, I LOVE this thing. A rare sequel that surpasses its original.
Short Summary: everything you love about “Aurora Rising” turned up to ELEVEN, and it WORKS.
Favorite Scene: there are many. The one in which we learn about Zila’s backstory was a highlight; literally anytime Fin is speaking; also, the scenes where Tyler and Saedii (new character, you’ll love her) are imprisoned together, and noooo, of course it’s not because I totally ship them, why do you ask? *side eye*
What Stood Out: a lot of sequels try to give the audience more of what it loved the first time around and fail miserably. This book tries it and hits it out of the park.
What Bugged Me: the cliffhanger ending, for one. RUDE. Also, my one small critique: some of the romantic scenes between Auri and Kal are…mind-numbingly cheesy. I LOVE cheesy stuff, and sometimes it was cute, but a few other times it was…yikes. I do like them together, but there is a reason that they weren’t my favorite pairing, implied or otherwise, in this book. (Scarlett/Fin slow burn? GIVE IT TO ME. Vaguely implied Tyler/Saedii that could or could not be romantic depending on how you read it? I WANT MORE. But Kal/Auri? Ehhh…)
Objectionable Content: three f-bombs (truthfully, I’ve never read a more well deserved f-bomb in my life…seriously), a small few other uses of strong language, a fade-to-black sex scene, and a lot of non-graphic violence.
Rating: 11/5 Supernovae ❤