Monday, 21 October 2019

Review of Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik

Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik
Consortium Rebellion #1
Published 5 February 2019 by Harper Voyager

A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.
In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars.
Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head.
When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape.
But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for . . .
This review has taken a bit longer than usual for so many reasons, but the book was worth it. And, I, Maggie Lowe of Once Upon a Time, I Read a Book, listened to an entire audiobook. It took me a bit longer than the actual recording time because of stop-and-go, but I listened to the audiobook of Polaris Rising in addition to reading the book itself. So y'all get a special review here in recompense for the lapsed content.
Polaris Rising has been on my TBR for a bit and I finally bit the bullet of trepidation, oh, so much trepidation, and read it this summer. And, I'm glad I did because now I'm actually a little bit obsessed with Polaris Rising. I own ebook copies on each platform, the audiobook on Google Play, and the physical book (I could just plotz over it). I have come across a couple special books that ping my weird autistic hyperfocus-book obsession and I have to collect it. Polaris Rising is one of those of books. Be prepared to see that collection grow, y'all.
In Polaris Rising, a runaway space corporate princess, Ada von Hasenberg, teams up with space outlaw, the Devil of Fornax Zero, Marcus Loch, to try to prevent interstellar war from breaking out. Together, they cross the universe, have run-ins with enemy forces and mercenaries, make lasting friendships and steal an enemy spaceship, and play socialite games. And somewhere along the way, they fall in love? Excuse me while I make myself some popcorn because, apparently, “space opera” is my genre and I didn’t know it until now. I feel deprived.
From the tech dreamt up in the story to the Code Queen style Ada von Hasenberg possesses, you can tell that Polaris Rising is written by a fellow geek and I love it! I love all the different ways the geekery is displayed, from the com tablets to the ships AI to Ada’s shields and so much more - my favourite though was the nanobots. I have so many questions. Do they take care of migraines? Seizures? Cancer? Is there a limit to what they can do? I need answers.
World-building. I was in awe of Ms Mihalik’s writing all-around, but especially how she managed to create an entire universe and take her characters to different planets in said universe and the planets weren’t just mirror images or carbon copies, they were different, as planets are. It reminded me of why I love my Gene Roddenberry shows and I’m glued to my seat for that.
The romance appeal. The connection between Loch and Ada was tenuous but immediate from the get. I like the banter they share, the zingers were most excellent. And the steam was evident despite not having actual in-depth sex scenes. This was still one of my more entertaining romances despite none of the romping most of my romances have. Now, the audiobook! Polaris Rising is read by Emily Woo Zeller, a VO actress that I'm actually a fan of in the anime world. Zeller's voice doesn't hit my sensory levels in the way most voices do so to discover quite by accident that she recorded for books as well was delightful! Normally, I can’t listen to audiobooks because voices make me want to take a knife to my ears (yeah) but I got to listen to Polaris Rising in its entirety and I celebrate that. She wasn’t going out of her way to create a million sound effects that I’d hate and she had clear enunciation and concise pronunciations. I wholeheartedly recommend Ms Zeller’s audiobook recordings to everyone for that!
Overall, I’m giving Polaris Rising all five of my shiny gold stars and a three flames for spiciness. If you’re looking for a romance with a little bit of zing but a lot of space opera vibes, check out Polaris Rising. If you’re looking for a space opera without boatloads of sex, well, hey lookie here!







Jessie Mihalik has a degree in Computer Science and a love of all things geeky. A software engineer by trade, Jessie now writes full time from her home in Texas. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing co-op video games with her husband, trying out new board games, or reading books pulled from her overflowing bookshelves.






Okay, folks! That's it for this entry. My brain's kind of fried. I got upped to the higher dose of Aimovig and got my flu vaccine this weekend, and I forgot I'm supposed to be careful mixing those two shots so I've been whooooo for a bit. I have since put it on a sticky note for my wall so I'll remember next year.
My charity for this post is National Girls Collaborative Project which helps to encourage and foster girls interest in STEM. Although, I'm a total advocate for STEAM because the world will always need art. But girls need to be reassured that they have a place in male-dominated spaces like STEM fields, so if you're in a position and mood to give, NGCP is a good charity to think of!

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