Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (11/16/21) – Aurora’s End (Aurora Cycle, #3)

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Wow. The day has finally come, folks. 1 and a half years of waiting, and now I have answers. My favorite series has come to a close, and yet it doesn’t feel like the end. It’s surreal to think that this may be it—the series that changed the course of my life, finally capping off. But if this really is the end, then Aurora’s End is the best conclusion that I could have ever asked for, and a book that I will no doubt cherish just as fervently as the first two books.

Now, TREAD LIGHTLY! If you haven’t read Aurora Rising or Aurora Burning and intend to, beware of spoilers! If you want to read my previous reviews, look no further:

Enjoy this week’s review!

Aurora's End by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | Penguin Random House Canada
F I N

Aurora’s End (Aurora Cycle, #3) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

my copy ft. Aurora Burning and Aurora Rising, plus a cool filter and some crystals (not Eshvaren crystals oop)
last picture, I promise—here’s Finny boy with Hobbes, one of my cats

For all intents and purposes, the Battle of Terra was the end for Squad 312. They failed to stop the Starslayer from harnessing the Eshvaren’s Weapon, and intergalactic war is imminent. Meanwhile, the Ra’Haam slips in through the chaos, threatening to cover the entire universe in its spores.

But by a cosmic twist of fate, Tyler, Auri, Kal, Zila, Scarlett, and Finian are unscathed. They’ve been separated by time, and the only chance they have at thwarting the Ra’Haam is turning history itself inside out. Time is not on their side, though, and it may not be enough to save civilization itself from being wiped out.

karlmordo - This is how things are now! You and me. Trapped in...
Aurora’s End without context

TW/CW: graphic violence, mild sexual content, blood, near-death situations, severe allergic reaction, emergency medical procedures, loss of loved ones, death, descriptions of injury, body horror

[WARNING: this review may contain spoilers for Aurora Rising and Aurora Burning!]

I still haven’t come to grips with the fact that this is really the end of the Aurora Cycle. But as someone whose life was permanently altered for the better by this trilogy, I can say with certainty that this is the best end to the series that I could have ever asked for. My heart is so, so, so full of love.

There were so many factors that went into the separate situations that Squad 312 got themselves into, but Kaufman and Kristoff have once again proved that nothing is impossible. Time is distorted, there are future selves to be dealt with, technology and ancient aliens races are as complicated as ever, and of course, Past Pete is here to kill Future Pete. Lucky for us, Kaufman & Kristoff have been rapid-firing Chekhov’s gun, and every detail from the past two books comes full circle. After how mind-boggling the plot and cliffhanger of Aurora Burning were, Aurora’s End brings everything back in superbly clever and surprising ways, making for a trilogy that’s more cohesive than ever before.

And my emotions…MY EMOTIONS! After so long apart, reuniting with Squad 312 felt like reuniting with long-lost friends. Despite this being the last book, the development that many characters got was such a beautiful way to bring them all the way back and display the enormous growth many of them have had over the course of the series. Out of all of them, though, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see Finian and Scarlett’s relationship develop; they’re such an unlikely couple, but the love they have for each other is so consistently tender and heartwarming. Plus, a) NORMALIZE BI PEOPLE IN STRAIGHT PASSING RELATIONSHIPS! STRAIGHT-PASSING RELATIONSHIPS ARE SO VERY VALID!, and b) DISABLED PEOPLE!! IN LOVING RELATIONSHIPS!! WE NEED MORE OF THOSE!! Nothing can top Kalauri, but Fin and Scar come very, very close. I LOVE those two. Power couple. Finian is the once and future disaster bisexual.

Also, Tyler trying to be all “space pirate”-y after an entire lifetime of being Captain America was a train wreck…comedy gold

One aspect of Kaufman and Kristoff’s writing that I haven’t often touched on is how they build tension. Their skill at developing heart-pounding tension is especially evident in Aurora’s End; they did such a masterful job of raising the stakes over the course of these three books, and bringing it all to a nail-biting cataclysm towards the end. The last 100 pages of Aurora’s End had me stressed out to no end, but…in a good way? It made me genuinely worried for everybody involved. Look, I’ve gotten way to attached to my space misfits over the past two years. Let me off the hook this once.

Along with all that, Kaufman and Kristoff once again more than delivered with everything that made the first two books so strong. The universe was expanded upon in surprising ways, the characters were more fleshed out and lovable than ever, the chemistry was impeccable, the action sequences had me clutching the book in a vice grip, and the dialogue hit the perfect balance of levity, tenderness, and solemnity. The found family of Squad 312 is stronger than ever, and my heart is still bursting with love for all of them.

It’s hard to end this review. It isn’t every day that a series changes my life, but the Aurora Cycle truly did. These books taught me so much about moving through this world as an outsider; Auri taught me that I didn’t have to be brave or strong to be a hero, and that people with the fate of the world on their shoulders can have their big feels too. She was the first time I’d really seen a mixed-race hero, and having a character like her means the world to me. I’ve come to see myself in Finian, and he’s taught me that I deserve love just as I am. And Squad 312 has taught me that no matter who you are, there will always be a home for the outsiders. It cemented, more than ever, that even if you think that you are alone in the world, somebody out there loves you, and will give you a home.

All in all, the perfect ending for a series that changed my life for the better. 5 stars for the sake of Goodreads, but realistically, however many stars there are in the known universe.

Squad 312 forever. 💗

never again shall we submit

Aurora’s End is the final book in the Aurora Cycle, preceded by Aurora Rising (#1) and Aurora Burning (#2). Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have also written the Illuminae Files together; Amie Kaufman is also the author of the Starbound trilogy (co-written with Meagan Spooner) and the Elementals series, and Jay Kristoff is also the author of the LIFEL1K3 trilogy and Empire of the Vampire.

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags

Bookish Blog Tag

Happy Friday, bibliophiles! I’m off a bit earlier than usual because of my school’s asynchronous Friday schedule, so I figured I’d do a nice little book tag. 🙂

I found this tag over at Whispering Stories. I don’t know who originally created the tag, so if anybody knows, please don’t hesitate to tell me and I’ll credit them! It looked super cute, so I figured I’d give it a go.

Let’s begin, shall we?

📚THE BOOKISH BLOG TAG📚

What are 1-3 of your favorite books of all time?

The anatomy of Frankenstein book covers
Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720964): Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books
Amazon.com: Heart of Iron (9780062652850): Poston, Ashley: Books

I’d have to go with Frankenstein, Aurora Rising, and Heart of Iron. In no particular order…kind of? I love them all, but I suppose they have varying degrees of sentimental value/specific memories attached to them…

I love Bruce's expression after Loki said that. He looked so freaked out.  XD | Loki marvel, Loki, Loki thor

What are 1-3 of your favorite authors of all time?

Oooh, that’s hard…Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, and Ashley Poston, maybe? I’d put Mary Shelley on there too, but I’ve only read Frankenstein…

Who is your favorite female character from a book?

Extras – Amie Kaufman

Again, such a hard pick…but I love Auri from Aurora Rising! Since the book came out, her character has spoken to me on so many levels, the most prominent of which being the fact that you don’t have to be brave to change the world.

Who is your favorite male character in a book?

Jeez, that’s super hard too…

Just one? Again? I suppose I’d have to go with Jax from Heart of Iron, maybe.

What’s your favorite fictional world?

Amazon.com: Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) [Assorted Cover image]  (9781250027436): Bardugo, Leigh: Books

The entire Grishaverse is so detailed and beautiful, just the kind of fictional universe that I’d want to get lost in. (Maybe. Probably not. Definitely not the Unsea.)

What book has your favorite cover?

Amazon.com: Skyhunter (9781250221681): Lu, Marie: Books

For me, it’s impossible to pick a single favorite book cover. I have an entire shelf on Goodreads of books with covers that I like, so I just had to trawl through that…

I eventually settled on Skyhunter for this prompt, though. The colors are just so beautiful, and even the inside of the hardback edition I have is gorgeous!

What’s your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

Fantastic Mr. Fox' Poster | AllPosters.com

Fantastic Mr. Fox, without question! Even though I myself abide by the general “the book is always better than the movie” adage, this is one of the few book-to-movie adaptations that’s even better than the source material. That’s just the magic of Wes Anderson, I guess.

If you could make any book into a movie, which would it be?

Amazon.com: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499117): Amie Kaufman,  Jay Kristoff: Books

Illuminae would make a super tense movie! Now that I’ve seen the Alien/Aliens movies, this novel gives off similar vibes, so I feel like it would be a good fit for the big screen.

What was your favorite childhood book?

The Search for Wondla: Amazon.co.uk: DiTerlizzi, Tony: Books

The Search for WondLa trilogy shaped me as a person in so many ways…it made me fall in love with sci-fi literature, and it made me want to be an author. So for that, I’ll forever be in Tony DiTerlizzi’s debt.

Fantasy or sci-fi? (Or neither?)

The Bookish Mutant – Page 2 – Books. Writing. Film. Music. (But mostly just  books.)
putting this in here because Prometheus has the most immaculate sci-fi vibes

Sci-fi, of course! Can’t say no to having strange adventures while hurtling through space. Plus, aliens are pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

I TAG:

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Today’s song:

“Anonymous Friend” – Jim Noir (Bandcamp link)

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Random

Aurora Rambling: My scatterbrained theories for the cover of Aurora Rising #3

Pepe Silvia | Know Your Meme

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been wanting to do this post ever since I finished Aurora Burning, because ever since May, there have been OH SO MANY THOUGHTS RUNNING AROUND MY BRAIN. As a reader, I’m not really the best at predicting plot twists and theorizing about the actual content of books (and judging from That Ending, I’m even more clueless than usual), but I’ve had a lot of fun thinking of who the cover might feature.

So, prepare for a lot of incoherent thoughts here, folks…

Let’s begin, shall we?

Now, FAIR WARNING: This post is guaranteed to be CRAWLING with spoilers for both Aurora Rising and Aurora Burning, so please be careful if you intend to read them and haven’t yet!

Spoilers GIF by University of California - Find & Share on GIPHY

THE COVER, AND WHO MIGHT BE ON IT

First, there’s a few characters we can probably eliminate from the pool for the star of the cover:

  • Auri: Our favorite Space Rogue had the gorgeous cover of book 1 all to herself.
Rogue x men GIF - Find on GIFER
“Check a mirror, Elrond…”
  • Kal: Same deal–his lovely face was on the cover of book 2.
  • Cat: [ahem] apologies for putting salt on the wound here, but…unless Kaufman and Kristoff decide to tear our hearts in two again and just put Ra’Haam Cat on the cover (which I highly doubt), Zero’s out of the running.

Gone, but not forgotten…[sad harmonica]

So now that we have those three characters out of the running, let’s see who else might make an appearance:

  • Tyler: Personally, my last choice for the cover, but hey, a lot of people like him. (For the same reason people adore Captain America, I guess.) By the end of book 2, he’s separated from the rest of the Squad, so if he’s on the cover, that might allude to one last, grand finale hero act for him, proving his eternal loyalty to Squad 312 above all else.

I also had a dream where Tyler was on the cover of book 3, and no offense to all his fans out here, but that’s a dream that I’d prefer not to come true. I don’t hate him, or anything, he’s grown on me a lot, but he’s my least favorite of the Squad.

Captain america GIF - Find on GIFER
“Ease off, legionnaire!”
  • Scarlett: I would LOVE to see her on the cover, but I’m not sure what the authors have planned for her. There was that reveal in the last few pages of book 2 that her *diamond* necklace might have far more importance than the others once thought, so that could give her an interesting role in trying to save the universe. Scarlett’s played an essential part in each novel, but she’s never fully had the spotlight, so maybe book 3 could be her time to shine?
  • Zila: I’m thinking that this one has SO much potential for book 3. Other than the fact that we haven’t seen how her gifted hawk earrings factor into it (most of the Squad’s gifts from Admiral Adams have had a crucial role to play, like Kal’s cigarillo box and Scar’s necklace), it’s not unlikely that she could have an answer to all this intergalactic chaos. Her quick wit has gotten the Squad out of many a bad situation, and since we’ve started to see her character arc develop in book 2, I think she could finally come into herself in the final installment in the trilogy.

And honestly? I would be 100% here for it. I adore Zila. Short girls UNITE! Plus, a sapphic, Black girl on the cover? SIGN ME UP!

Last but not least…

  • Finian: At this point, a good 80% of the fandom is willing to hand over their entire life’s savings to Kaufman and Kristoff for the chance to have him on the cover, so the chances here are…interesting.
Wholesome memes | Wiki | Furry Amino
The entire fandom @ Finian

And to be honest? I ABSOLUTELY understand the sentiment. Aside from Auri and Kal, he’s my favorite of the Squad, and such a wonderful balance between comic relief and a genuinely complex character. Beyond that, I think he might have an important role to play–after all, we haven’t seen how he uses the ballpoint pen, and how the “tell her the truth” note plays into that.

Also, as with Zila, wouldn’t it be great to have his representation on the cover? He’s bisexual and has impaired mobility, so that would be amazing to have him front and center.

PERSONALLY? I’d like to have either Scar, Finian, or Zila, but more so the latter two.

SEMI-LOGICALLY? I think that Zila or Tyler have the best chance of being on the cover, judging from their previous roles. Of course, they’d face the wrath of the Finian side of the fandom, but will that stop them? I doubt it…

In conclusion, I really haven’t been able to get this series off my mind. At all. May 2021 can’t come soon enough, but it’ll certainly be bittersweet, knowing that this will be the final book in the trilogy. Judging from what happened last year, we’ll likely get the title by October and the cover reveal by November, so I’ll check back then to see how my scatterbrained ramblings match up.

So stay tuned, folks…

X men GIF - Find on GIFER

Today’s song:

That’s it for this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!