They're not the heroes we wanted. They're just the ones we could find.
The book reads quick with emphasis on action more than descriptions until the very end when emotion and mental imagery finally push to the front. Relationships are a key component and while romance and sexual tension are present, the relationships serve to define each character's uniqueness as contrasted with the others. A major theme of the book is the seemingly incompatible divergent cast forging together, becoming stronger through unity.
There is a fair amount of mild swearing, some in alien languages but enough instances of strong language that parents should be aware. The book also mingles an evolutionary view of the universe's origins with an unexplained belief in a Maker. Religion, like other elements, serves only as a way to unify or distinguish the crew and does not try to comment on our current culture.
Faith is also a central theme but who or what is the author of that faith is never explored. Instead it becomes a blind faith in each other and that circumstances will somehow work out despite astronomical odds against success.
I would recommend this book for high school or older and for readers who enjoy a space action thriller. Overall it was a fun read but shouldn't be taken seriously as any sort of moral commentary or explanation of how the real world actually functions. Parents can discuss the role of faith, loyalty and relationships and how they shaped each character's decisions and actions.
This is the first in a series with additional titles yet to be released.
Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Positives: Diverse character development and complex settings
Negatives: Language and alternating viewpoint writing style
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