Release Day review – ‘Aurora Burning’ by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

TITLE: Aurora Burning
AUTHORS: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
WORD/PAGE COUNT: 512 pages (paperback)
PUBLICATION DETAILS: by Allen and Unwin on April 28th, 2020
RRP: $19.99 AUD (paperback)


Blurb from Goodreads:

Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of this massively hyped-up sequel earlier in the month, which was an amazing surprise! The danger with a sequel, especially the middle in a series, is that expectations are set too high and it may not satisfy the audience, but barring a couple exceptions, Aurora Burning improves and expands upon Aurora Rising in the best ways.

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ARC Review – ‘The Perfect Escape’ by Suzanne Park

Title: The Perfect Escape
Author: Suzanne Park
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word/Page Count: 336 pages (paperback)
Publication Date: by Sourcebooks on April 7th, 2020


Blurb from Goodreads:

Nate Jae-Woo Kim wants to be rich. When one of his classmates offers Nate a ridiculous amount of money to commit grade fraud, he knows that taking the windfall would help support his prideful Korean family, but is compromising his integrity worth it?

Luck comes in the form of Kate Anderson, Nate’s colleague at the zombie-themed escape room where he works. She approaches Nate with a plan: a local tech company is hosting a weekend-long survivalist competition with a huge cash prize. It could solve all of Nate’s problems, and Kate needs the money too.

If the two of them team up, Nate has a true shot at winning the grand prize. But the real challenge? Making through the weekend with his heart intact…

This is one of those books where the blurb has a killer hook – two teens from a zombie-themed escape room team up in a survivalist competition to win a grand prize and fall in love! How could you NOT be intrigued by that?

Unfortunately you’d be better off going into this blind because the blurb sets up high expectations that the book doesn’t meet – the escape room barely figures into the story at all, fading out after the fun opening chapter, and Zombiegeddon begins at the 60% mark, which is way too late for something that sounded like the main event. I got the impression that these crazy kids would be falling for each other while trying to outwit, outlast and outplay their fellow competitors, Hunger Games style, but they actually develop mutual crushes when they first lay eyes on each other long before they join forces for Zombiegeddon.

So let’s take the blurb out of the picture – how does the book fare on its own merits?

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