The third and final instalment in the trilogy that includes Exodus and Zenith, Aurora moves on in time fifteen years and centres on headstrong Lily — the daughter of the fearless Mara who led her people from the drowned islands of a flooded Earth to the high lands of the north where they now live. Like most teenagers, Lily feels trapped and when she learns that her real father, Fox, lives across the ocean, she determines to have her own adventure and find him. The journey takes her through dangerous lands visited in previous books by her mother, but these territories have developed and changed from when she – and the reader — last heard about them. Now new people are in charge, with power struggles and challenges that threaten to prevent Lily finding Fox. Lily cannot know that Fox is about to begin a revolution he’s planned nearly all his life against the empire in the sky towers of people who live in luxury and ignores the plight of the other flood survivors. This revolution will change the way of life for everyone on the planet.
Lyrical narration switches between the new generation of children such as Lily and characters familiar from the previous books but now grown-up, deftly weaving their personal grudges, ambitions and perspectives together. The ambitious scope of the revolution spreads across a remarkable breadth of brilliantly imagined places and people — from the netherworld of the drowned earth with its new sea-adapted species, across the deceptive fjordlands and mountains of the north full of people desperate to survive to the imperious empire of the sky cities towering over the oceans — let alone the virtual planes of the Weave and Noos where trade takes place and rebels hide behind their avatars.
This fantasy’s brisk pace and short chapters are exciting and interesting, if not always completely engaging, but it never loses itself in frivolous action, remaining focused on characters caught in fragile moments of great change, reminding us that history and futures are always created by people and the choices they make.