Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
For five years Tyler has trained hard to earn the privilege of hand-picking his own team of cadets at the Aurora Academy. The night before the big draft he can’t sleep and he convinces the lieutenant to let him take a scout ship out into the stars. What was meant to be a short trip to calm his mind turns into something much bigger when Tyler answers an SOS call from a ship that’s been floating, dead, in the void for two-hundred years. Among the thousands of decayed bodies in their failed ‘chronic tanks’ he finds Aurora Jie-Lin perfect and alive, but asleep in a ship that will not stay in one piece for long. Tyler decides to rescue the girl and miss the big draft.
When he returns, he finds his squad is made up of the people no one else wanted: his mouthy twin sister Scarlet; his childhood best-friend, Cat, who definitely does not have feelings for him at all; a sociopathic science nerd, Zila; an exoskeleton wearing smart-mouthed Betraskan (an alien species), Fin; and, finally, his fighter is a warrior alien raised to kill, the short-tempered Kal. Ty somehow has to get these kids if not liking each other, then at least working together, because it turns out they have a seventh member, Aurora, and it seems everyone in the galaxy wants a piece of her.
Aurora Rising is full of romance, aliens, futuristic civilisations and dangerously high levels of sass – it’s a perfect YA sci-fi novel. I had so much fun reading this book that even after 470 pages I still wanted more!
High recommended to all young adults 13+.