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 tech whiz 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.
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Jay Kristoff’s adult works (reference my five star reviews here + here), but I’ve never really been sold on his YA. I felt like LIF3LIKE really limited Kristoff to being his full self — this sort of raunchy and comedic, yet very, very dark and serious writer. I also read Illuminae when it first came out (long before this blog existed), I really did not enjoy it. So, when this book came out, I was nervous I wasn’t going to like it. And I’ll admit, I almost didn’t buy it. But an opportunity arose, and I really can’t pass up supporting one of my favorite authors (sorry Kaufman, I know you had a part in writing this too, but I’m not entirely as familiar with all of your works). So I was fortunate enough to purchase it.
I’m happy to say that, in the end, I came out really, really enjoying this one! I felt that all of the characters were very likable and that the plot was extremely interesting. I know that doesn’t really tell you a lot, but I don’t really have a ton to complain about here! Unlike my main complaint with LIF3LIKE, I felt like the world (outer space) was extremely diverse. I felt like I was getting new places and wasn’t trapped in this hot, steamy world like I felt in the previously mentioned.
Now, for my one critique:
The repetition of comedy. I understand that the authors are extremely limited when it comes to YA and the separation they want to represent when it comes to this and their adult fiction, but some of the comedy was just so repetitive that I found it annoying after awhile.
There is this running joke in the novel when something exciting happens about needing new pants, and I’ll say it was amusing the first time. But by the fourth or fifth time? Not so much. I found myself reminded of LIF3LIKE and the constant references to robot private “bits.” I feel like there’s a balance that has yet to be figured out, and that the charm is being so forced to the reader that it gets annoying. THE CHARM IS THERE!!! YOU DON’T NEED TO FORCE IT!!
Anyway, in the end, this was a super fun read, and I will definitely pick up the next one.
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What’s your favorite Sci-Fi? Let’s chat in the comments!