Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Good thing I got on top of ordering books 2 and 3 in this series; I couldn’t wait long after Aurora Rising, could I! I raced through these 500 pages and I don’t think it’ll be long til I’m in book 3, sadly the last one. Very fine pacing and invisibly-easy-to-read prose make for a lovely indulgent time. I need so much more like this (Liz, keep ’em coming).

Where Aurora Rising offered lots of delightful comedy in between its world-endingly-high stakes, Aurora Burning gets a little more serious. It’s right there in the titles: in book 1, Aurora (and our team, and the plot) were on the upswing, and now we are settling into the action, with increasing temperatures in several senses, and no margin for error. We see the development of one deeply intense romantic relationship, and otherwise a bunch of flirting and sexual tension, because these are just teenagers, folks – something we rarely forget because they behave like teenagers, but also sometimes forget, because they’re carrying the weight of worlds, and it’s really too much for the kids that they are. (Also, I love that everybody just loves [flirts with, has sex with] whomever they please, with little bother over gender. It’s refreshing.) We lose some people (‘people,’ to use the term loosely), and we uncover some damaging secrets. We also gain another sibling: it turns out Kal has a sister, whose personality and values are quite opposed to his own, with several comparisons to the contrasting closeness between twins Ty and Scar. Kal’s sister is the source of pain and anguish, but also some much-needed comic relief.

I don’t want to give too much away, but this middle book of the trilogy ends us in truly dire straits. I’m not sure how long I can hold off on the final installment, Aurora’s End (foreboding, that, although I’ll choose to read it as the end of the series, thank you), although the longer I wait the longer I get to spend in this world before it’s gone…

The Kaufman & Kristoff writing team is outstanding. Pacing and voice are perfect. I disappear into these pages and lose track of the world. I don’t believe I mentioned in my earlier review that there is a fairly sentient, very advanced smartphone-type-devise (a uniglass, here), named Magellan, that has a personality its own and narrates short informational sections as well as speaking to (haranguing) our squad, and this detail is genius. Give me more.

Rating: 8 gifts.

One Response

  1. […] Aurora Rising, we met our cast of wacky characters, and saw them just begin to fit together. With Aurora Burning, we saw those bonds tighten even as the group began to be split apart by circumstance. […]

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