“Aurora” by Kim Stanley Robinson is one of those Si-Fi epics you go into knowing you are going to enjoy, but come out the other side completely blown away by all the interweaving themes that will keep you thinking about the story weeks after closing the back cover.
Throughout this 480 paged, Hardcover, adventure you are never bored. Robinson is very clever in the presentation of the narrator. It took me far longer than I possibly should have to realize who was telling the story for the majority of the time. After noticing, however, I wasn’t disrupted at all by the unfolding events that had already taken place and, in many instances, several things were cleared up upon the realization of the true speaker.
Robinson’s writing style felt smooth and gave no feeling of unease during reading that can creep into the experience from writers of lesser masters of prose. The way he writes his characters are nothing short of pure human account. Not once did I feel that I could be reading about made up personalities and instantly became engaged in every part of the character’s that were introduced. They all felt as real and as human as any acquaintance, friend, or family member that I have ever known.
The lives on the ship never stop being entertaining. Through all the techno-babel you are constantly engaged and the book gives you a sense of your mortality and that, for the human race as a whole. I can’t wait to see how this story ends.
Freya and her fellow travelers are on a mission for Earth; to travel the universe and colonize a new planet, to prolong the existence of the human race. They travel in a high functioning ship, with different biomes and diverse as on Earth, intricate cultures, and politics all with thousands and thousands of people. This theme is what drives the plot of the story. The passengers are closing in on a century of space travel as they continue through the last leg to reach their destined planet. In the ship human development has started to show signs of weakening, the biomes are showing signs of distress, different systems are creating more problems and it’s all the passengers can do to reach their destination.
Robinson cycles through a full set of characters throughout the book and they are what makes the story. “Aurora” isn’t about taking a trip through space or even colonizing a new planet, or meeting strange and wondrous new things. Throughout the entire narrative, you are bashed with the human condition over again, the mortality of the race, and the timeless question of whether or not we, as a race, should cement another world’s fate to our presence just because we can and if humans truly belong anywhere but their home planet.
From the writing style, the narration, the questions, and the plot all make for one fantastic story. I’m left feeling emotionally drained but satisfied and the ending makes for an odd one, but a perfect understanding.
We follow the passengers of the ship as they meet the questions in the form of impossible situations along their journey. “Aurora” is one story I won’t be forgetting for a while. When reading, every emotion was brought forth and ugly truths brought to life. The passenger’s fight for survival kept you reading and the end of the story gave you constant hope for their future. Robinson’s “Aurora” is definitely worth the read and I already have some of his other titles waiting.