Aurora Rising

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

My rating: four stars

Genre: YA, Sci-fi

Edition: audiobook

Goodreads 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.

I am going to be honest and say that I don’t usually read space-themed books, however, this book has been all over BookTube and so I just had to see what all of the talk was about. 

Likes: One, the audiobook was really good! I don’t think I have listened to a full cast audiobook before and it helped me comprehend who was who so much easier than one-reader audiobooks! As for the story, one aspect that I appreciate is how there isn’t an automatic set romantic couple. It seemed like all of the characters had some sort of connection and chemistry with each other. There weren’t automatic “couples”, which was fun because it truly allows the reader to put characters that they like together instead of the author doing it for them. This doesn’t often happen in books and I found it refreshing! Especially since romance wasn’t a main theme in the book, so it allowed a lot to the imagination in terms of who should be with who. The pacing was also pretty good. It was a little slow at parts but the majority of the pacing was fast and the slow parts made sense and didn’t last too long. The mystery behind Aurora was intriguing and I enjoyed how I would get snippets of information throughout the whole story instead of no information the whole time and then all of it at the end. I tend to like the styles where I get some information throughout and then at the end I get a larger influx. 

Dislikes: The ending was great, don’t get me wrong. It was just a little much for me. So much happened at the end, and a lot of it was just so different from the rest of the book it unnerved me. All of a sudden, so many different elements were added to the story and the pace ramped up a crazy amount. I still enjoyed where they went with the ending, I guess it was just so unexpected and sudden that I couldn’t feel a deep connection to the book. 

Overall, this was a great read that I would definitely recommend! The difference between a four and five star read for me is honestly just a feeling. If I love the book and don’t really have anything wrong with it, but don’t feel a deep connection to the book, it will get four stars. I need that feeling of loving the book and wanting to read it again to give it five stars. For some unknown reason I just didn’t feel that way about this book, which is why I gave it four stars.


Neverwhere (London Below, #1) by Neil Gaiman

My rating: three stars

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Edition: Audiobook

Goodreads Summary: Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.

I actually read this book because it was a recommendation from my boyfriend. He doesn’t read books often but he does listen to audiobooks occasionally. This is one of the audiobooks he said that he actually liked, so I wanted to see what it was all about. 

Likes: I really enjoy the writing style of the author. It is quite different from most books that I read and I found that refreshing. He had a quirky way of writing that kept things interesting and he made sure to describe things in depth which helped me picture the world. Speaking of the world, London Below was SO neat! It was so similar to London but at the same time different. I don’t know how Neil Gaiman thinks up half of the things that were in this book but they were awesome! For example (not a spoiler), there are a society of mice that hire these people who are basically their translators for humans. It was pretty funny. There were many more unique ideas like this and it made the story a lot of fun to listen to. 

Dislikes: The main negative thing about the book was that it was confusing. I think it was partially the story line and partially because I am more easily confused when I listen to audiobooks. When I read physical books I can go back and reread something if I don’t understand it, whereas in audiobooks that is more difficult to do. So the fact that this world was so different than ours, and so many things were going on in the story line, I was a little confused at times. I think the audiobook version of the story just didn’t allow me to fully immerse myself in the story and I would love to get the physical copy so that I could re-read it. There aren’t any negative aspects to the story that I can think of, I was mainly turned off because of the confusion and complexity. 
Overall, I did really enjoy this book. It was a fun world and story line, I had a great time listening to it. The two main antagonists were a funny duo, their personalities were conflicting and it caused some comedic scenes even though they were ultimately terrible people. I would recommend this story, the characters were well flushed-out, the world was amusing, and the story line was a fun journey. I still would like to read the physical copy to see if I am less confused though.