Book Review: Aurora by David Koepp

In Aurora, Illinois, Aubrey Wheeler is just trying to get by after her semi-criminal ex-husband split, leaving behind his unruly teenage son.

Then the lights go out–not just in Aurora but across the globe. A solar storm has knocked out power almost everywhere. Suddenly, all problems are local, very local, and Aubrey must assume the mantle of fierce protector of her suburban neighbourhood.

Across the country lives Aubrey’s estranged brother, Thom. A fantastically wealthy, neurotically over-prepared Silicon Valley CEO, he plans to ride out the crisis in a gilded desert bunker he built for maximum comfort and security.

But the complicated history between the siblings is far from over, and what feels like
the end of the world is just the beginning of several long-overdue reckonings–which not everyone will survive . . .

Koepps first novel, Cold Storage was a hugely entertaining read so when I heard about Aurora I knew I wanted to read it – a fascinating premise (that could actually occur) and an author who’s writing I’d enjoyed before made for a book I was excited about.

I’m please to say Aurora more than lived up to expectations. This was a fast paced read that took us on a journey looking at how society could function without electricity. We followed several POV through the story – Aubrey who’s living in a run down house in a quiet street as a single parent to her teenage stepson.

Rusty – Aubrey’s deadbeat drug, alcohol and gambling addicted ex who’s only aim is looking out for himself.

Thom – a billionaire who has disaster planned for just this time of apocalypse style event and is confident in his ability to get his family through.

As society as they know it crumbles around them we follow their stories and different ways of coping with their changed worlds. Aubrey was someone I instantly liked, she was a fully formed person the moment we met her, she had her flaws certainly but her heart showed through as well.

I admired Thom’s self confidence and his motivations were generally good, but he often rode straight over what people actually wanted without listening, assuming that his way had to be best. I still felt for him though, yes he could be an asshole but it mostly came from a good place.

The characters made the story but sitting behind them was the event itself – a massive solar flare that shorted out earth electricity – and the faintly terrifying knowledge that this could actually happen. Reading this novel made me think about what I would do in a similar situation – how prepared I would be and how we’d cope.

A well crated novel that I sped through, I’d definitely recommend picking this one up.

With thanks to HQ and Netgalley for a copy in exchange for honest review.

Aurora will publish 7th June 2022

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