My rating: 3 of 5 stars
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE BOOK:
I read this in 2 sittings within 1 afternoon. I enjoyed getting back into reading, thank you Kaufman and Kristoff for their faultless writing! This is not my ultimate fave that they’ve made, but it wasn’t bad by any means.
Aurora: Main Character – no special title (besides Trigger I guess). Aurora was my favourite character, I enjoyed her observations. I related to her reactions throughout the scenario’s inside this book.
Tyler: Alpha – he’s the leader of the ragtag group. He’s a try hard but is humble. It took me 250 pages to realise he would NOT be Aurora’s love interest. Which was confusing: he was tall, handsome, and leader of the group??? Go underdog bois, you surprised me. I didn’t care for his will they/won’t they relationship with Cat– until the second last chapter (which broke my heart!).
Scarlett: Face – this means she’s a diplomat and negotiator in their space expo team. She’s the mum of the group. She’s understanding and never says anything out of place– similar to Charlotte from Clockwork Angel.
Kal: Tank – I already knew what this term was due to video games (ayyye). He’s the brute warrior in the space crew. He’s also a type of alien, but his home planet was destroyed due to warfare (aw). He’s a lost soul. He also has a bond with Aurora and it’s very low-key and sweet. Pretty much a tame version of SJM’s ‘quiet’ and ‘gentle’ love interest.
Cat: Ace – aka the pilot. I didn’t like Cat, I didn’t like how rough and tough she was (just a personal preference people!). The only reason I care about her is her tragic ending in this novel. I hope it isn’t the last we see of her– I hope she makes a return. (Also– why didn’t the crew just kill her instead of letting her live?).
Zila: Brains – she is 100% Amren from A Court of Mist and Fury. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
Fin: Gearhead – disabled and queer. Diversity was certainly limited to 1 character, huh? Tbh I didn’t even realise he was considered ‘disabled’ until I read others’ reviews as counting him as ‘representation’. I interpreted his space suit as a futuristic thing. Fin has cute nicknames for everyone including Goldenboy (Tyler) and Pixieboy (Kal, because he looks like an elf).
Aurora was frozen around 250 years ago (didn’t really go into detail of HOW she ended up in the cyro pod, I hope this is further explored in book 2– I got the vibe that it was not consensual).
Tyler discovers her in space, he saves her.
Kal is like ‘leave her, she’s not worth it’.
Then Tyler misses the draft and gets the worst group of Unwanted squad members ever. They include his sister, his childhood best friend/longtime crush, an elf, another alien, a very quiet, creepy goth girl, and now a mental girl who claims she’s seeing visions and from 250 years ago.
The set up for this takes approx. 250 pages to establish. Then they go on a few adventures and heists, which are not successful– but hey, no one dies. So that’s fun. Then the end happens and it gets sad. Then 6 (not 7) of them float back into space, with a map saying “do not go here, here, here or there.” Guess what they’re gonna do??? 😏
There are 3 main parts of this story. 1- Aurora navigates the new world. 2- fun excursions as a group. 3- sad times.
There are also encyclopedia inserts, similar to Illuminae (but only one per chapter, don’t worry– nothin excessive!).
– time travel
– teen romance
– team spirit / friendship
It’s not my favourite sci-fi by the two. I think Lifel1k3 is the best sci fi with misfits and a lead female so far, then Illuminae, then Kaufman’s trilogy with Spooner. I would not reread this again over rereading Lifelike or the Illuminae Files.