I feel like I’ve been avoiding writing this. I suppose that’s because I don’t enjoy giving negative reviews. Recently, I listened to the conclusion of The Aurora Cycle series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. It’s a three-book series consisting of Aurora Rising, Aurora Burning, and Aurora’s End. All three books demonstrate, in my opinion, excellent story-telling skills. It has a plot that isn’t entirely predictable, characters that you learn to love or appreciate, action to keep things popping, and the usual romance.
But, the one thing I just can’t get over, and the reason I feel that I can’t, in good conscience, recommend this series to my friends, is that Amie and Jay seem to have accepted teen characters using the F-word as normal. Think of me what you will, but I’m not ready to accept that as normal, especially in books written for young audiences.
The stories and characters in this series were compelling. I listened to all three books, after all. I really wanted to know what was going to happen.
As always, I encourage you to form your own opinions. Suppose you are an adult, and you’re reading the physical copies of these books. In that case, you can probably easily skip over anything you may find objectionable. If you’re listening to the audiobooks, it might be a little more complicated, as you won’t be able to simply skip over things with your eyes the way you can when you’re reading a book. Personally, I don’t recommend this series for teen readers, even though that is clearly the target audience.
Phew. It feels good to have that off my chest. Inevitably, someone will read this, and by this point, you’ll be fuming, unfollowing me, or typing your comment below to tell me how wrong I am. Ok. More power to you. We probably aren’t destined to be best friends, and I’m Ok with that. We aren’t all going to like the same things. We aren’t all going to have the same standards for ourselves and our families. I get it.
Ok, enough of that.
Let’s talk through a brief summary of The Aurora Cycle Series’ storyline.
In Aurora Rising, the team (Squad 312) comes together. In book one, Tyler Jones finds Aurora Jie-Line O’Malley asleep in a ship that has been stuck in the fold (hyperspace) for over 200 years. Of course, it’s this mystery girl who is destined to be our hero, the savior of the galaxy! She has been selected by an ancient alien race to be the key to a massive and powerful weapon they left behind. It’s this weapon that gives the inhabitants of the Milky Way a chance to survive against the Ra’haam, a plant-like, uni-mind bent on conquering the galaxy.
In Aurora Burning, Aurora learns to control and use her powers. This comes in handy during the many close-calls that Squad 312 find themselves in, like the time they faced the Great Ultrasaur or Abraxxis IV.
Of course, the story all comes together, though maybe not in the way you would expect, in Aurora’s End. There might be some time travel involved and love interests between members of Squad 312 that you would never have guessed.
In the end, I really enjoyed the story. If you’re an adult and think you can handle the characters screaming the F-word 4 to 5 times in a row when faced with a particularly hopeless situation, then, by all means, enjoy this series. If you’re looking for the next series for your teen to read, maybe check out some of my other recommendations.
One last thing… According to Jay’s website, The Aurora Cycle is going to be adapted for TV. Now that could be interesting! Unfortunatly, I don’t see any information more current than 2019, so undoubtedly, COVID-19 has had an impact on the timeline of the show’s creation and release. Keep an eye out for that though. This really would make a great TV series!