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From the Author
Haven't been reading the Aurora Rhapsody novels and want to catch up? Pick up the Aurora Rising and Aurora Renegades Collections: amzn.com/B0109ZA42E.
This ebook is provided free of DRM restrictions.
Visit gsjennsen.com to explore concept art and other media and get the inside scoop on AURORA RESONANT and other titles in the Aurora Rhapsody universe. Stay up-to-date on all the latest news and be the first to know about special announcements and new book releases.
About the Author
G. S. Jennsen is an internationally bestselling science fiction author, futurist, geek & gamer, as well as a recovering lawyer and software engineer.
I have read this entire series (9 books plus short stories) as it came out. This item only includes the last 3 books of the series; be sure to start with Starshine or the collection of the first 3 books Aurora Rising: The Complete Collection (Aurora Rhapsody Collections Book 1). This is one of the best and most enjoyable science fiction series that I have read. The cast of characters is large and well developed. There's plenty of action, but that's not all. There is introspection and relationship dynamics that reminds me of some of the books by C. J. Cherryh that I enjoyed. There is also lots of new tech developed and an interesting exploration of human mental extension via melding with artificial intelligence. A wide variety of possibilities for alien species and the differences in how intelligence might manifest is also a splendid exploration. There is so much in this series that I will likely go back and read it again because I suspect I missed some of the subtleties the first time through. The only other series that I have regularly reread is the Honor Harrington Series by David Weber and I think this one is an even better read. I highly recommend this series.
This final trilogy within the Aurora Rhapsody saga MIGHT have been my favorite of the three. I've read and reviewed all three books—as well as the Re/Genesis short story—previously, so without further ado...
RE/GENESIS -------------------------------- As always, these short stories are a fun glimpse into the background details of the Aurora Rhapsody universe. Re/Genesis actually features a completely new character, one who will end up playing a large role in Relativity but whom I've already come to love just from this little story. The pacing is fast and the stakes are high, making this a fun, quick read for fans of the series. Make sure to read it before the Relativity release!
RELATIVITY ----------------------------------------- Before I began reading this book, I was informed that it was probably the "most sci-fi" out of all the books in the Aurora Rhapsody series. I was also told it wasn't going to just be Abysm II; it would be a new chapter so to speak, with a different tone and style (which, if you've read the rest of the series, you may have been able to predict based on Abysm's ending).
Both of these things turned out to be 100% accurate.
While I'll always have a soft spot for Vertigo and Transcendence, I think Relativity has become a major contender for fave-of-the-series. Abysm dropped a major bombshell on us there at the end, and Relativity jumps straight into the action with Alex and Caleb acting on humanity's new-found knowledge. The book's blurb says it all: the humans aren't going to just stand by and let the enemy come to them this time. They're planning on beating the Anadens to the punch, and to do so they'll need help from characters both new and familiar.
Re/Genesis, a short story set just prior to the events of Relativity (I highly recommend reading it before this book), gives us a thrilling introduction to Eren asi-Idoni, one of those new characters. While I'm sure he'd be plenty capable of handling himself in combat situations, his strong suits are wit, agility, and all-out insanity. A fresh face amid a sea of characters who feel like old friends by this point, Eren makes a formidable—if chaotic—ally for our heroes, all while dealing with problems of his own and trying to escape from his past. Like the book itself, he has quickly become one of my favorite characters. He grew so much in this story alone, and I can't wait to see what the remainder of the series holds for him.
In addition to facing the possibility of an Anaden invasion, many of the cast members find themselves targeted by an unknown enemy, one whose attacks are up close and personal, in more ways than one. Fan-favorites like Devon, Mia, Malcolm, and Brooklyn end up working together in ways we haven't seen yet in this series, drawing on new technology and experiences in order to protect themselves and each other. Meanwhile, Miriam is as strong and stoic as ever as she leads humanity into the unknown.
I mentioned that this was the most sci fi book out of the entire series. That's not to say the others somehow aren't; this one just contains SO MUCH material. In the parts of the story that take place within Aurora, the cyberpunk element is more dominant than ever before, possibly because there are more Prevos/Artificials than ever before, and they're constantly evolving. New bleeding-edge technology ends up playing a crucial role in a sweeping space battle, the likes of which we haven't seen since Transcendence. The "military sci-fi" aspect of this series gets a chance to shine here. Meanwhile in Amaranthe, the exploration theme that was so dominant in the Aurora Renegades trilogy still plays a large role in this story as Alex and Caleb learn more about the Anadens, the Metigens/Katasketousya, and the dozens of other species who inhabit this alternate universe. Tack on a resistance-versus-evil-empire theme à la Star Wars, a (somewhat comedic) heist element, and some fantastical new alien abilities, and you have perhaps the most action-packed, intriguing, fun, and unique book in the series.
With only two books left (that we know of, anyway!) in this epic tale, it will be interesting to see how the story concludes. I can't wait to find out.
RUBICON --------------------------------------- I've gotten to where I start out all of these reviews by saying something along the lines of how this story can't possibly get any bigger, but then the next book comes out and G.S. Jennsen blows my mind once more.
Well, it happened again. Big surprise there.
As an author myself, I can't help but marvel at the sheer amount of planning that must have gone (and is still going!) into this series. And I'm not just talking about the character development, because I imagine managing this cast of characters and having an arc on some scale for each of them is a challenge in itself. But here we are in book 8, where events are being affected by things that happened way back in Starshine and Vertigo . Some things have been slow-cooking more than others and have maybe been developing over the course of two or three books, but you look back on it all and can't help but think "Everything has been leading up to this."
There's a lot of science in this book, and honestly most of it goes way over my head—my brain tends to skip the discussion and just jump to the conclusion. It seems like the characters are constantly discovering new ways to enhance their abilities, and one of the discoveries they make in this story should have some interesting implications in their future struggles against the Anaden Directorate and its fleets. Yet another discovery / experiment / secret is sure to have a huge impact as well, though on a much more personal level—this is one of those plot points that's been slow-brewing over the course of a few books and has now been...given life thanks to a combination of story elements. I never saw it coming, but looking back on it now, things have obviously been flowing this direction for quite a while.
As always, the character relationships continue to develop and fluctuate, bringing unexpected characters together to accomplish a task, or, in some cases, pitting them against each other. But what stood out to me in this book wasn't Alex and Caleb, or Kennedy or Miriam or Morgan or any of the other characters we've known for the majority of the series. They all play huge roles of course (or, if not huge, at least meaningful) but what kept my attention were the newer Amaranthean characters. Relativity obviously introduced us to Eren asi-Idoni, and while we did meet others, he sort of remained in the spotlight (which is just fine with me, because I love him). In Rubicon, some of those other characters—anarchs and Directorate alike—got a lot more screen time, so to speak, and I'm glad because after 6 - 7 books featuring mostly the same characters, this helps keep the story fresh. Cosime is entertaining. Nyx keeps me on the edge of my seat. Even Nisi got my attention this time around, perhaps more than any of the other minor characters thanks to an epic revelation toward the end of the book (which, again, will have some interesting implications in the third and final installment). Still, Eren shined the most out of anyone and found himself in the spotlight once more (literally, in one particular scene that might be my new favorite out of the entire series). He saw an incredible amount of growth in this story alone.
The story ended with three blows (mostly to the reader, partially to the characters depending on whose perspective you're looking at). Boom. Epic scene involving Eren acting on all of that personal growth. Boom. Interpersonal revelation #1. Boom. Interpersonal revelation #2. I can't wait to find out what sort of impact this all has on events in Requiem, the ninth and final (as far as we know, anyway) installment in this series.
REQUIEM -------------------------------- Oh boy, you guys.
Thinking back (not so very long ago, really) to the conclusion of the Aurora Rising trilogy, I was satisfied. Despite the fact that it was left open and we knew there was more to come, it still felt like a reasonable conclusion. I thought, "What more could there be? What could be bigger than this magnificent final battle with the Metigens?"
And then came the Aurora Renegades trilogy, where we started to get glimpses of what might be coming next. There was a ton of information thrown at us and a ton of character development, and by the time we reached the end of Abysm, there was so much momentum that we were launched directly into the Aurora Resonant trilogy. The story had just continued building and building and building, and events in Relativity and Rubicon were such that I knew the finale in Requiem was going to be huge (not to mention the implications of a title like 'Requiem' at the end of a musically-themed series were sure to be interesting).
And Requiem proved to be the epitome of a conclusion. Events and information from as long ago as Starshine and Vertigo were still relevant. The story accounted for all the major character development that took place over the last few books, and we continued to see growth and development among the newer characters we just met a couple of books ago.
At this point I almost find it hard to talk about Alex and Caleb (no offense whatsoever to the characters) because, while they're obviously running the show, it's the newer characters like Eren and Nisi who steal the spotlight for me. I've loved Eren since his introduction, but there's been something about Nisi I've really loved too, especially in light of information we learned at the end of Rubicon and despite the fact that he hasn't done anything particularly exciting. He just has a presence on the page and kind of commands all the scenes he's in (although Miriam gives him some competition at times 😉). Nyx has also come to be a favorite because I have a soft spot for antagonistic lady assassin-type characters (no way!).
After all of this, though, I still had no idea how the story was going to end. I had my theories, of course, some of which had been in development since the beginning of the Resonant trilogy, and it some ways bits of each of them ended up being correct. But in the end (*ba dum tss* the finale ended up being bigger and more spectacular than I expected. And up until the last few pages, we actually didn't know for sure what direction the story was going in regards to certain characters, and events were such that I personally would have found any of the options totally appropriate.
Regardless, it was a satisfactory ending for an incredible 9-book ride. I'm so glad to have been along for that ride and I can't wait to see what G.S. has in store next!
Side note: now that it's all said and done, I think Relativity was still my favorite out of all the books, but THIS cover is my favorite out of all of them. I know I've said that about several...