Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion, #1)
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 . . .

Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion, #1) Details

TitlePolaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherHarper Voyager
ISBN-139780062802408
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Romance, Adult, Space, Space Opera

Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion, #1) Review

  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    Release day - February 5th - TodayWow. That was my first thought upon finishing this book - which I devoured; I couldn't stop reading. This was the absolute best way to start 2019. There's so much I want to talk about, where do I start??Okay. World-building. Damn. This is everything I'm ever looking for in sci-fi. I've never been one of those readers that loved all the technical and/or military overtones that some sci-fi has. I don't want to be drowned in techy words, detailed descriptions of sa Release day - February 5th - TodayWow. That was my first thought upon finishing this book - which I devoured; I couldn't stop reading. This was the absolute best way to start 2019. There's so much I want to talk about, where do I start??Okay. World-building. Damn. This is everything I'm ever looking for in sci-fi. I've never been one of those readers that loved all the technical and/or military overtones that some sci-fi has. I don't want to be drowned in techy words, detailed descriptions of said technological marvels, and pages upon pages of the minutiae of war. I do like my world to be detailed, thorough, solid, and feel real. And this one does. I can picture myself walking around the ships, even digging into some of the details about how they run. When we step on a planet, I feel the gravity, the sun blazing, the weight of the history of that particular place.World-building is more than just places, it's also the history of the people that built and inhabit those places. Polaris Rising excels there as well. A good eighty percent of this book takes place away from the center of that history, but it's still deftly woven into the fabric of this book. We learn from Ada as she moves through the story, so that when we do encounter the core of these worlds, I was fully invested and clamoring for more. Jessie Mihalik delivered.Ada, oh Ada. I love you. I've rarely felt such an instant connection and love for a character. In fact, only one other comes to mind. She's smart, honorable, strong, and kick-ass. Her morals and values are hers regardless of what is expected of her as a House member. The dichotomy of her privilege and her chains is fascinating and something that I really enjoyed exploring. Ada is everything I ever hope for from a heroine. And more than a match for Loch.I don't want to say too much about Loch, because his secrets are his to tell, but I don't think it's a spoiler to say that I always felt how trustworthy he was. Never mind that our first glimpse of him is when he's chained to a wall. Peeling back the layers on his history is fascinating. If I thought him a little too alpha at times, well, it never crossed over the line to unacceptable. He has a core of respect and never steps over Ada's boundaries, regardless of what he wants.Their romance feels slightly rushed, but I think that's more me than the book. I've been primarily reading Urban Fantasy and Fantasy for the last year or so.  Relationships develop  much more slowly there. Still, Ada and Loch progressed their relationship at a believable pace for all that was happening around them. They were forced to find out if they could trust each other, and intense situations always bring out intense feelings. I thought I would complain about the "misunderstanding" in the book when it came up. And, honestly, I did roll my eyes when I saw it. So often I want to shake the characters and demand they talk. But you know what these guys did? They TALKED. AND each took responsibility for their part in the argument. Love. Love, love, love.Ada was also driven by much more than just her feelings and hormones for a love-interest. She felt responsible for millions of people, and moved forward on things because she knew them to be right, sometimes in direct contradiction to Loch's desires and needs. And there were times when he did the same. I think one of the things I loved the most is seeing how these two came to terms with each other's independence and compromising on how to deal with the things the other couldn't or wouldn't change about themselves. Their acceptance of each other and how they got there was amazing.I am absolutely dying for the next book, and many more, in this series. I've already marked it on my calendar and am counting down the days.More available at The AlliteratesPre-review.Wow. That was kick-ass, awesome, sexy, and fun. I can't wait for more!!Full review to come.
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  • Jeffe Kennedy
    January 1, 1970
    SFR at it's very best! I loved everything about this story: the capable, regal, kickass heroine and spaceship pilot; the muscular, dangerous and enigmatic escaped war criminal hero; the well-realized universe and secondary characters; and the the fast-paced plot that kept me turning pages. I had a serious book hangover when I finished and the story left me craving more of this world and characters. Highly recommend!
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  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    January 1, 1970
    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/02/04/...Not gonna lie, I’ve always been hard on the romances in my fiction. While I have nothing against romance, I’ve always said that if there’s going to be a romance arc in any book, it needs to be convincing—not to mention I also want the characters, plot and other story elements to be strong. It also helps when a novel is upfront with the reader on what to expect. In the case of Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik, it is an exam 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/02/04/...Not gonna lie, I’ve always been hard on the romances in my fiction. While I have nothing against romance, I’ve always said that if there’s going to be a romance arc in any book, it needs to be convincing—not to mention I also want the characters, plot and other story elements to be strong. It also helps when a novel is upfront with the reader on what to expect. In the case of Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik, it is an example of a sci-fi romance mashup that handles all these points very well.The protagonist of this tale is Lady Ada of High House von Hasenberg. As the fifth of six children, her usefulness to her family only extends to her marriageability into one of the other High Houses, and only so that her father can have a spy in a rival’s house. To avoid that fate, Ada ran away years ago and has since survived on her own by living under the radar on space stations and mercenary ships. But unfortunately, her luck has just run out. As our story begins, Ada finds herself in a holding cell with another high-profile prisoner named Marcus Loch aboard a bounty hunter’s ship, soon to be handed off to Richard of High House Rockhurst, the man she was supposed to marry. Though Ada knows better than to trust Loch, a known dangerous criminal, she’s also aware he’s her only chance to escape. And so, the two of them strike up a tenuous alliance, agreeing to work together until they make it some place safe. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Loch is hot as hell and has the body of a Greek god.However, Richard is not about to give up so easily. For some reason, House Rockhurst is really keen on having his and Ada’s arranged marriage go forward, presumably to get their hands on her dowry. But what exactly is it that they want? And why does Richard also seem to want to capture Loch as badly as he wants Ada? As our two fugitives go on the run together, they end up finding the answers to all these questions and more. In order to protect her house and prevent war, Ada will need to recruit more help and put a stop to Rockhursts’ plans. Meanwhile, she’s also realizing that Loch is more than he seems. He’s certainly not the heartless mercenary she had expected him to be, and as the two of them grow closer, Ada must also admit to herself that Loch has become more to her than just an escape plan.In case it’s not glaringly obvious, Polaris Rising is mostly a romance first, and a genre novel second. By that, I mean it can be awfully self-indulgent at times, being predominantly interested in focusing the attention on the romance arc between Ada and Loch, and it does that boldly with no apology. For one, the plot is light and leaky and doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny. World-building elements are plentiful but just robust enough to get by. Characters are also on the conventional side, with Ada being your typical heroine with a fierce personality and a strong independent streak, while Loch is even more clichéd as the tall, dark, brooding and possessive alpha male whose sculpted face and abs appear to be his main appeal. As they’re both archetypal to an extent, neither instilled much likeability at the beginning, though credit where credit’s due: both scored high on the believability meter. Ada and Loch are flawed characters each dealing with a painful event in their past. Ada’s prevents her from letting anyone get close, while Loch has done some terrible things that he’d rather forget. Again, it’s not the most original setup, resulting in drama that could have been predicted from miles away. And yet, the emotional growth they each experienced was convincingly written and fun to watch, and in the end, isn’t that why we read such stories?Another point for this book: the supporting cast. Characters like Veronica, Rhys, and Bianca are fully-fleshed individuals in their own right, adding much flavor to the story (not to mention a nice break from the smoldering gazes our two protagonists are constantly throwing at each other). Even if romance isn’t your thing, you’ll love the meaningful relationships that these other characters add to the equation. And ultimately, that’s what I enjoyed most about Polaris Rising—the fact that there’s so much else to like beyond the main romantic arc. In spite of the light world-building, there is also a clear and strong effort to make the sci-fi setting as authentic and full-bodied as possible. It feels developed from the ground up along with the story, and not as though it was slapped on as an afterthought. And of course, if you’re here for the romance you’ll leave very happy, but those of us who require an actual plot with some action too will certainly not be disappointed either. Mihalik manages to balance the sexy times with enough suspense and thrills so that neither aspect overshadows the other, leaving both coming through very naturally.Overall, I had a really good time with Polaris Rising. Admittedly, the romance genre is still not something I can take in large doses, but I love throwing a book like this into my reading repertoire whenever I feel like I need a change. Like a rich, fluffy, decadent dessert, I can only read these types of novels once in a while, but whenever I do, it’s always oh so satisfying and delicious.
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  • nick
    January 1, 1970
    I tend to shy away from science fiction books because the worlds and concepts can run right over my head. Still, there was something about Polaris Rising that got me intrigued. I'm so happy my gut told me to pick this book up! As it turns out, I just need my science fiction novels to have a strong romance for me to be invested, and Polaris Rising delivered on the romance front.This intergalactic adventure is told through the voice of Ada, a princess and the daughter of a powerful man. We find ou I tend to shy away from science fiction books because the worlds and concepts can run right over my head. Still, there was something about Polaris Rising that got me intrigued. I'm so happy my gut told me to pick this book up! As it turns out, I just need my science fiction novels to have a strong romance for me to be invested, and Polaris Rising delivered on the romance front.This intergalactic adventure is told through the voice of Ada, a princess and the daughter of a powerful man. We find out very soon that she is on the run from her home because her father is forcing her into an unwanted marriage. That's not the sort of life that Ada wants to continue on, so leads a life trying not to get captured. Until the day that the bounty on her head gets so high that everyone is on the lookout for her. I loved Ada's voice. She was the perfect sort of heroine for this kind of story. I imagine that you have to a certain amount of courage and ruthlessness to your personality to be on the run from your powerful father and your powerful fiancee. As more of the plot in Polaris Rising unfolded, we see the different facets of her personality, including her kindness and her genuine desire to help others. When she is first captured, she is put in a cell next to Marcus Loch, the galaxy's most wanted criminal. Together, they forge a way towards their escape. Marcus had that cocky hero act down to a tee. He was very piratey (if that's even a word), mysterious and very very sure of himself. Mihalik writes his character in a way that's appealing. Yes, the guy has certainly got an arrogant side, but he was easy to warm up to as he exposed more of his heart. This brings me to the romance. Holy chemistry! I was not expecting the sort of steaminess presented in this book and I have to say, it wasn't an unpleasant surprise at all. There were some strong hate/annoyance vibes at the beginning that I was totally there for, but then these two actually began to see how much in common they had. I was an absolute goner at this point. It was the perfect balance of hot and tender. Then, there were the plot and the world-building, both of which were first-rate. There was danger, lots of kick-butt action and plenty of twists and turns all throughout this novel. I liked how the Mihalik made the world so accessible to readers too. She doesn't bog you down with an overly complex world. In fact, I found much of the politics and the world building to be very easy to digest. Jessie Mihalik is clearly a talented author. Even the secondary cast in this book was well-developed. Also, I LOVE that this is going to be a companion series with each book featuring different couple. Readers will still need to read the series in order because there is an over-arching plotline.Polaris Rising is an exciting to start to the Consortium Rebellion series. I loved this first book and I will be eagerly waiting for more from this author. I definitely hope this book is on your radars, romance readers!
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  • Taryn Pierson
    January 1, 1970
    A space princess escapes an arranged marriage only to end up captured and imprisoned with a notorious criminal, and that’s just the opening setup to this balls to the wall adventure. The universe is controlled by three enormously wealthy families, all rivals but currently in an uneasy truce. Ada is a daughter of one of the houses and grew up in the lap of luxury, but since running away from her family and fiancé she’s enjoyed living a lower key lifestyle—that is, until her father’s minions catch A space princess escapes an arranged marriage only to end up captured and imprisoned with a notorious criminal, and that’s just the opening setup to this balls to the wall adventure. The universe is controlled by three enormously wealthy families, all rivals but currently in an uneasy truce. Ada is a daughter of one of the houses and grew up in the lap of luxury, but since running away from her family and fiancé she’s enjoyed living a lower key lifestyle—that is, until her father’s minions catch up to her. Ada will do anything to escape—seriously, there is no risk this chick won’t take—but she’s not sure if the dangerous yet alluring stranger sharing her cell is ally or foe. Politics, intrigue, action—the pace is nonstop and doesn’t let up until the very last page. This is the book I would put in the hands of people who claim romance is formulaic (and then dance around in victory when they love it).
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  • Laura the Highland Hussy
    January 1, 1970
    Review posted on Got Fiction?Someone recommended I read Polaris Rising, and while I don't really read Sci Fi, I was really intrigued by the plot, add the fact it's Sci Fi Romance, and I wanted to give it a shot. I'm trying to read more authors than just my favorites.This books starts out strong. A fight, a capture, an escape, and a kiss.Ada is on the run. Her father wants her to marry someone from a rival house, and he didn't take her seriously when she said she would not marry the man he'd pick Review posted on Got Fiction?Someone recommended I read Polaris Rising, and while I don't really read Sci Fi, I was really intrigued by the plot, add the fact it's Sci Fi Romance, and I wanted to give it a shot. I'm trying to read more authors than just my favorites.This books starts out strong. A fight, a capture, an escape, and a kiss.Ada is on the run. Her father wants her to marry someone from a rival house, and he didn't take her seriously when she said she would not marry the man he'd picked. So she ran. She lived as a mercenary and it wasn't until her father put the universe's biggest bounty ever on her head, that she was finally captured.But when she's captured, she doesn't go quietly. For her efforts, they toss her in a cell with another bounty they've captured. Marcus Loch had previously held the honor of highest bounty in the universe until Ada. Being locked in the same cell is intriguing. She's working on an escape plan and once she realizes who he is, she knows she needs him. Their escape isn't easy and neither is surviving.The man who tries to pay her bounty turned out to be her would-be fiance, and she knows something more is going on than a worried man bringing his would-be fiancee home. There's trouble brewing and he basically threatens an intergalactic war, if she doesn't marry him. Because that's normal. The two of them were friends growing up, but he's changed, and not for the better.Marcus Loch becomes more than just her guide/ticket out of there.I've read this book twice already. I mean that alone should be my review. I grew up reading Sci Fi and Fantasy. It's what my dad had in his office, it's what my friends read. I craved books, and my dad had thousands...One fortuitous camping trip when I was 13, I found Harlequins and spent 3 days binge reading them. I've never been able to go back to Sci Fi. And then this book happened.I think that even if you aren't a science fiction fan, that this book will work for you. I also think that if you are a Sci Fi fan, you'll love this book. I've been telling everyone on Twitter and in real life that they should read this book. But usually I'm saying it in shouty capitals. ;)***ARC courtesy of Harper Collins via Edelweiss
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  • Jen Davis
    January 1, 1970
    So good. Review to come.*ARC provided by publisher
  • Has
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to be posted at The Book Pushers.Highly enjoyable sci-fi romance, with an engaging heroine who is smart and resourceful. The world building was rich and detailed and the SF elements was well thought out. I also enjoyed the romance which was tension filled and sexy although I did felt the resolution at the end was a bit rushed with its development. However this is a fantastic start to this series and Jessie Mihalik is definitely an author to watch out for!
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  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! This wasn't an especially bad book. It had its moments: we got to see interesting worldbuilding, fast-paced action and a nice heroine. But the hero was mediocre and the writing wasn't really my cup of tea. The summary is very fulsome when it comes to revealing the basic plot of the book, so I'm not going to go into much more detail. It's basically Ada and Loch doing their best to simultaneously elude the members of Houses Rockhurst and ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! This wasn't an especially bad book. It had its moments: we got to see interesting worldbuilding, fast-paced action and a nice heroine. But the hero was mediocre and the writing wasn't really my cup of tea. The summary is very fulsome when it comes to revealing the basic plot of the book, so I'm not going to go into much more detail. It's basically Ada and Loch doing their best to simultaneously elude the members of Houses Rockhurst and Hasenberg, two of the three High Houses who rule the Consortium - essentially, the government of the universe. The Houses have always had a fractious relationship; they're competitors in the spaceship market, so when Ada discovers something that could give the rival Rockhurst house an edge, it's her familial duty to learn more about it. This whole thing gave me serious Rockefeller/Vanderbilt vibes. Ada was a relatively good heroine. Cool as a cucumber, smart, knew how to defend herself. I didn't particularly like her but I didn't really dislike her, either. She was okay. Very close relationship with her siblings, which I always like to see in a book. Loch, on the other hand, I just could not get behind AT ALL. He felt like a cliché of the tall, dark and handsome hero; in fact, a lot of the time, I got the sense that he was an extremely sub-par Jericho Barrons. Somehow there was zero heat and tension in his relationship with Ada. Just mechanical sex scenes and manufactured misunderstandings. Also, we got barely anything on his past or personality. AND IF THAT WASN'T BAD ENOUGH, HE HAD A SHAVED HEAD. I'm sorry, but I cannot take a hero with a shaved head at all seriously. The action scenes were nice and there was complex world-building but the dialogue was ridiculously stilted, it got a bit jarring. Contractions weren't used when they really should've been. Most of the other characters were obvious sequel bait - they were all implausibly young and unnecessarily good-looking. The other important male characters were compared to Loch, just so you'd know they were sexy and tough and ready to be heroes in the rest of the trilogy. Good space opera, terrible romance. [Blog] - [Bookstagram]
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  • Rhode
    January 1, 1970
    DNFed at 15%. The universe it’s set in is as sexist as today’s world, right down to men being in charge, often preferring demure women and staring at their breasts. I don’t think LGBTQ people exist. And the hero, who is enormous and bulky with abs (hello stereotype) just told the heroine he likes her because she’s not like other girls.As a woman who literally owns a t-shirt that says, “What’s wrong with other girls?” I couldn’t stand another page.Nothing particularly creative about this as SF ei DNFed at 15%. The universe it’s set in is as sexist as today’s world, right down to men being in charge, often preferring demure women and staring at their breasts. I don’t think LGBTQ people exist. And the hero, who is enormous and bulky with abs (hello stereotype) just told the heroine he likes her because she’s not like other girls.As a woman who literally owns a t-shirt that says, “What’s wrong with other girls?” I couldn’t stand another page.Nothing particularly creative about this as SF either. [later] Picked it up for one last try... a chapter later the heroine is arguing because she wants to risk her life to go out to buy shampoo to wash her hair. Which we had a full scene of her washing two days before. There’s no special world-building reason to explain this. Am dumbfounded. Toss Kindle aside.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    As the fifth of six children Ada's main purpose in life was always to marry into one of the other prominent houses so that her father, the head of the von Hasenberg, could place a spy in an enemy camp. Her father doesn't care that it would be a loveless marriage and that she'd be miserable, he just sees it as her duty to her family. Ada isn't quite so willing to go along with his plans though and she's spent the last couple of years on the run, hiding as a mercenary and taking whatever jobs she As the fifth of six children Ada's main purpose in life was always to marry into one of the other prominent houses so that her father, the head of the von Hasenberg, could place a spy in an enemy camp. Her father doesn't care that it would be a loveless marriage and that she'd be miserable, he just sees it as her duty to her family. Ada isn't quite so willing to go along with his plans though and she's spent the last couple of years on the run, hiding as a mercenary and taking whatever jobs she can just to survive.Now her father has lost patience with her though and placing a huge bounty on her head left her vulnerable to any lowlife who just wants to collect the cash. Taken prisoner she is thrown in a cell with another notorious and high value prisoner Marcus Loch. Ada will do whatever it takes to escape before she's taken back to her father and if that means allying herself with another prisoner then that's what she'll do. She doesn't trust Loch but neither of them stand a chance of escaping alone so they'll have to work together in the short term at least.Polaris Rising was such a fun read and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was the perfect blend of sci-fi world building and romance with plenty of action, great characters and hot chemistry. Ada is a brilliant character who is both smart and fierce, she has no intention of getting caught by her father or her unwanted fiancé and she will do whatever it takes to figure out why House Rockhurst are so eager for the marriage to go through. Loch is the kind of mysterious alpha who I find it very hard to resist, it's obvious he has secrets and I enjoyed unravelling some of the layers to find out more about his past. Ada and Loch fit together really well, they balance each other out as a couple and even when they have a big misunderstanding they're both adult enough to talk things through rather than just act without thinking.This is a romance so that is a large focus of the story but there was plenty of other things going on too. The romance is fairly slow build and completely believable and the action and mystery kept me on my toes while I was reading. I'd be very happy to read more books with Ada and Loch as the main characters but I'm also excited that the next book stars Ada's sister Bianca. The next book is definitely at the top of my wish list and Jessie Mihalik is an author to watch out for.
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  • Romance Schmomance (Malia)
    January 1, 1970
    BLOG | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON PROFILE | BOOKBUB | TWITTER And BOOM, my first new to me author read of 2019 and I'm an absolute fan after reading Polaris Rising. This book had everything that I look for in a sci-fi romance; a strong heroine, a sexy (yet stubborn) hero, and suspense that keeps you engaged the entire time. OH, and we can't forget the love! Jessie Mihalik, I'm your newest fan and can't wait to add this amazing book to my shelf for all to see!I'm not sure when my last sci-fi book was, a BLOG | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON PROFILE | BOOKBUB | TWITTER And BOOM, my first new to me author read of 2019 and I'm an absolute fan after reading Polaris Rising. This book had everything that I look for in a sci-fi romance; a strong heroine, a sexy (yet stubborn) hero, and suspense that keeps you engaged the entire time. OH, and we can't forget the love! Jessie Mihalik, I'm your newest fan and can't wait to add this amazing book to my shelf for all to see!I'm not sure when my last sci-fi book was, and a non-YA one might I add. When it comes to sci-fi, if they don't start of strong, it tends to my lose my interest pretty quickly. I was so thankful that it wasn't the case at all. Mihalik woven such an engaging tale that I was pretty lost in Ada's story. I couldn't put this one down.Like I mentioned earlier, I love when we have a strong heroine and Ada is just that. My connection to her was instant and I was eager to learn more about her and the world and life she was born into. Being such a high status and on the run, she's forced to cover all of her tracks and to trust no one. She's clearly no damsel in the distress, but being on the run for so long will eventually go it's course. She's definitely not the life that she was born into and I really loved that about her. It really shone in her personality and I held onto to all the scenes with her siblings. And I'm hoping that we see/hear more about them in the rest of the series. With all of that being said, she's a badass and definitely perfectly matched for Loch.I'll quickly comment on Loch because he is truly a treasure for you to discover on your own. I connected with him as soon as he was introduced. I don't know how she did it, but Jessie was able to write a hero and had me rooting for the guy before we even knew his story. How does that even happen?! Little by little, his past is revealed and that just added to the suspense a bit of Ada's journey. Many are commenting on his alpha-ness, it's definitely there, but to me it was just the right amount to the point where he wasn't overbearing. He knew and recognized Ada's strength, and didn't want to hold her back, even though I'm sure he would have just loved if she stayed put indefinitely.These two had to learn to trust each other quickly, Ada has her obvious barriers holding her back from doing so. But with being together on this insane venture, they're forced into working together, which eventually brings them closer and has them questioning their feelings for one another. But that's just the least of their worries since they have so much to face going forward.I truly loved everything about the both of them, the story and the world-building. Jessie did a phenomenal job with writing enough of details about this world, it's like you're walking alongside them shadowing everything. And I'm dying to know what's to come of the Consortium, a storm is definitely on the horizon.Polaris Rising is such a solid foundation to this new series and I'm excited for Book 2, I'll definitely be counting down the days until I can get my hands on that book! Major thank you to Harper Voyager for the reader's copy! BLOG | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON PROFILE | BOOKBUB | TWITTER FIRST THOUGHTSOh wow, I am soooooo invested in this series, I could read about Ada and Loch forever! Loved the bit of suspense and adventure, plus you can't forget about the sexy relationship that these two have.Full review to come!🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 ½ / 5 #RSFAVE
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  • Stacey Kade
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED THIS BOOK! Seriously, so good!
  • Aila
    January 1, 1970
    While I haven’t read any other works by Jessie Mihalik, I can say now that I’m a fan of her! POLARIS RISING is a wild adventure from start to finish, and its fast-paced action ensures that readers are attentive the whole ride. Fans of science fiction and romance will find themselves satisfied at all fronts. There’s an intergalactic war brewing, a fierce princess ready to defend her freedom, and chemistry fueled from both the ship Ada captures and the gazes between her and Marcus Loch, one of the While I haven’t read any other works by Jessie Mihalik, I can say now that I’m a fan of her! POLARIS RISING is a wild adventure from start to finish, and its fast-paced action ensures that readers are attentive the whole ride. Fans of science fiction and romance will find themselves satisfied at all fronts. There’s an intergalactic war brewing, a fierce princess ready to defend her freedom, and chemistry fueled from both the ship Ada captures and the gazes between her and Marcus Loch, one of the most wanted criminals in the galaxy. With such a premise, how can one NOT be drawn to POLARIS RISING? Mihalik weaves exciting technology into a futuristic world where decisions hold the weight of the entire galaxy. Although Ada is a princess, she’s also a survivor and fighter. Readers will enjoy reading this space opera from her point of view as she navigates both her life, and the lives of her people. With exceptional battle scenes and an ever-engaging plot, POLARIS RISING will appeal to science fiction readers who like a touch of spice with their characters.Rating: 4 out of 5Content/Trigger Warnings: brutal violence/gore, grief/loss, sexy times
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  • Joe Crowe
    January 1, 1970
    This one surprises me. Usually when the back cover says it's a sci-fi romance, that means the sci-fi romance is of the brown-chicken-brown-cow hard-R-rated variety. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But author Jessie Mihalik took the path less traveled, and the result is refreshingly fun. The romance in question isn't the main driver of the story -- it owes a lot to Han and Leia in "Star Wars" and Indy and Marion in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and ... well, I'm sure there's a movie that d This one surprises me. Usually when the back cover says it's a sci-fi romance, that means the sci-fi romance is of the brown-chicken-brown-cow hard-R-rated variety. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But author Jessie Mihalik took the path less traveled, and the result is refreshingly fun. The romance in question isn't the main driver of the story -- it owes a lot to Han and Leia in "Star Wars" and Indy and Marion in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and ... well, I'm sure there's a movie that doesn't have Harrison Ford in it that I could think of. The difference is that here, a terrific female hero plays the Indy and Han parts. This book is a sci-fi action flick in book form. It's got fighting, shooting, stuff blowing up, all the good stuff. Give it a shot. (Review from an advance copy).
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    What an amazing space opera with sexual chemistry gone super nova! I truly didn't want this novel to end will be anxious anticipating book 2's release this fall!I received this ARC copy of Polaris Rising from Harper Voyager - HarperCollins. This is my honest and voluntary review. Polaris Rising is set for publication Feb. 5, 2019.
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  • Under the Covers Book Blog
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Once in a while I come across a book and I decide to pick it up on a total whim.  POLARIS RISING was that book.  I'm going to be a total cover whore and admit my first impulse to read it was the beautiful cover.  And on closer inspection, the fact that it's blurbed by Ilona Andrews.  Yes, I look at stuff like that.  I have actually found some of I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Once in a while I come across a book and I decide to pick it up on a total whim.  POLARIS RISING was that book.  I'm going to be a total cover whore and admit my first impulse to read it was the beautiful cover.  And on closer inspection, the fact that it's blurbed by Ilona Andrews.  Yes, I look at stuff like that.  I have actually found some of my favorite authors because I've seen another favorite author blurbed on the cover of a book.  So even though I'm not the biggest sci fi reader, I couldn't pass this up.  I should also preface this by saying I generally do much better with this type of sci fi than ones involving aliens.  So another point in the favor of this book.From the moment I started POLARIS RISING I knew this would be a winner for me.  There is something about the main protagonist, Ada, that I was immediately drawn to.  Strength.  She comes from a "royal" family in this world and she's not even the eldest set to rule it.  But we first meet her while she's on the run from her family because she didn't want to be forced into a political arranged marriage.  She's not cowering in the corner, she's taking charge of her future and she's fighting tooth and nail for what she wants for herself.  If that involves being a bit conniving to get what she wants, then she'll use whoever or whatever she needs to.  Basically, by the end of this book, I really loved Ada and she's one of my favorite heroines I've read so far this year.  Kickass with a heart of gold.The story is basically her trying to escape from the clutches of said arranged marriage as her family and her fiance chase her around the Universe and while she's doing that she discovers there's more to what the Consortium is doing and she needs to be the one to bring those issues to light.  Along the way she picks up a few allies, among them is one of the Universe's most wanted, Loch.  Believed to have killed his men during a military mission, he's now got one of the biggest bounties on his head.  These two together are explosive.  Talk about an action packed ride!  I think the author has done a really nice job at blending romance and a solid plot.  At the same time, this book needed a lot of world building and she's also done this extremely well without dumping a bunch of information and making this book suffer from First Book Syndrome.  It had everything I needed to feel as if I was immersed into this world, I could see it come alive just as well as if I was watching this on a screen.  Which by the way, this could totally be made into a movie and I would be there for it!If you're looking for something fun that will have you turning the pages faster as you go on, then look no further.  Even if you're not a sci fi reader you should check this book out.  With pulse pounding action and sizzling chemistry, POLARIS RISING has me hooked and wanting for more.  Bring on AURORA BLAZING because I am ready for Bianca's story!*ARC provided by publisherReviewed by Francesca❤ ♡ Don't want to miss any of our posts? Subscribe to our blog by email! ♡ ❤
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I've been sitting on this review for a couple of days, because I've been trying to figure out what exactly I didn't like. So, let's start with what I did like: Ada is a great character. Slightly too Mary Sue for my liking, a little too author's self-fulfilment but she is resourceful and uses her head and knows her limitations, even if her resources sometimes is a fence in the ass off the universe that is able to get her all the tech she might possibly need to take over a heavily guarded facility I've been sitting on this review for a couple of days, because I've been trying to figure out what exactly I didn't like. So, let's start with what I did like: Ada is a great character. Slightly too Mary Sue for my liking, a little too author's self-fulfilment but she is resourceful and uses her head and knows her limitations, even if her resources sometimes is a fence in the ass off the universe that is able to get her all the tech she might possibly need to take over a heavily guarded facility by herself. But still, I liked Ada.And I liked Marcus a lot for 50% of the book. Then he manages to fall into this terribly boring category of male heroes in which the moment they are in luuuurve they become this possessive, jealous, sulky teenagers. It's exhausting. The final time he storms off in a hissy fit and Ada comes to his rescue I was like "THEY CAN KEEP HIM".And this brings me to my other point, because of the resolution of this last mission to save Marcus. The world building is very thin. 3 Houses rule THE UNIVERSE. Each has 1 leader. These 3 people are the most powerful, again, in the UNIVERSE and they are basically CEOs with levels of access that would make the security detail of Beyonce brake into a cold sweat. We have been building space ships for apparently thousands of years, and nothing seems to have changed, other than we are now in space. A woman is hidden away when she gets pregnant with the heir of house Yamada's baby and is this world where they are all trying to kill each-other all the time, he ships her to a backwards planet instead of having her killed? With no guards? Just hides her away? This guy is about to run a third of the UNIVERSE and he's going to leave a bastard running around? That shit didn't work for Albert II, and he's basically eurotrash.All this makes the book campy to the nth degree.Also in this universe, humans escaped and uninhabitable Earth, which they then colonised back, and for what I can see humans have not ran into other species, which fine, there's more than enough theories about us being the only sentient spices in the universe, depressing as they might be, but my problem is that this book doesn't ran into a single black person (Veronica is described as warm brown skin, that's it). The houses are called, Yamada, von Hasenberg and Ruckhurst, this will become relevant in a minute. Of the descriptions of people in the book, a total of maybe a dozen, both Ada and Marcus are described as dark haired and bronzed skinned, this are some of the other, unique, descriptions: - The door swung inward to reveal a young man with a shaggy mop of blond hair that looked like it had never seen a brush.- John, the blond merc who’d wrestled me into the ship, stood in the doorway.- The fourth of five Rockhurst children, he was a handsome man with the trademark Rockhurst blond hair and blue eyes.- His hair was blond and cut close to his skull. - He was a handsome man, with blond hair and blue eyes and just enough rough edges to be interesting.- He and Bianca shared the same long face, sharp nose, and light brown hair that they’d inherited from Father.- Lady Rockhurst herself. She was coldly beautiful, with the signature blond hair and blue eyes the House was known for. Stop me when you spot the problem. Are we in an alternative universe where the Third Reich won WWII? If so, fine. But tell me why. Specially with a recessive gene like blue eyes. That shit is going out the window before the 3rd millennium. Because if you don't, then I can only assume you didn't realise as as you were writing it, and that is horrifying.All in all, it really is not a bad book, I feel that I am being unfair because I am disappointed with it, but I cannot find a way around these concerns.
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  • Geri Reads
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars! He looked like the kind of man who would shoot first and ask questions never. So this was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There are plenty of things to like in this book but there are some things that I just wasn't feeling at all. Despite my mixed feelings, I'm excited for the second book and see what else can this author do.The book starts off with Ada getting captured by mercenaries after being on a run for several years to avoid a political marriage to her family's rival arranged by 3.5 stars! He looked like the kind of man who would shoot first and ask questions never. So this was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There are plenty of things to like in this book but there are some things that I just wasn't feeling at all. Despite my mixed feelings, I'm excited for the second book and see what else can this author do.The book starts off with Ada getting captured by mercenaries after being on a run for several years to avoid a political marriage to her family's rival arranged by her father. She was locked in cell with Marcus Loch, the galaxy's most notorious criminal. Ada had no plans of returning to her father and she knows just who to talk into helping her escape.There are a lot of aspects that I really like in this book, Ada Von Hasenberg being number one on that list. She might be a pawn in her father's political plans but damn if she'll roll over for him. I really liked Ada. I'm glad the author gave her agency despite not having any power. She's sensible too. There were instances in the book where she could have acted out or lash out when things didn't go her way but she never did. That's not to say she's perfect because she's not. She's suspicious and doesn't trust anyone easily. But I like how she allows herself to be emotionally vulnerable. She's definitely the main highlight in the book for me.Another thing I really liked is the world building. Yeah, there are some info-dumpy parts but it doesn't feel awkward or unnecessary. However, I'm kind of disappointed because everyone in the galaxy are all human. If you're expecting a talking raccoon or a humanoid tree, you won't get it here. In this world, the human race stands alone. Despite that, I did enjoy the secondary characters in this book. I'm intrigued by a few of them and want to know more about them in future books.But like I said, this was a mixed bag for me. The romance was okay but it felt underdeveloped in parts. Despite being on the the run together, they didn't spend that much time with each other. They're always separated and when they do interact, it felt stilted and forced. Their chemistry however, got better towards the end. It's especially evident during some of the action sequences especially towards the end. I also have a bit of an issue with the pacing especially towards the end. The ending felt abrupt. I didn't worry much about it at first until I noticed that the next book follows a new couple instead of sticking with Ada and Loch as I had first thought. As much as I wanted the next couple's story, I wasn't ready to leave Ada and Loch yet. Their relationship felt so unfinished. I hope we get more of them in the next installment though. Despite these issues, I enjoyed Polaris Rising and would recommend it to anyone who's looking to try sci-fi romance.
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  • Alex (HEABookNerd)
    January 1, 1970
    Series: Consortium Rebellion #1Lady Ada von Hasenberg has been running from planet to spacestation for two years after fleeing an engagement she had no interest in. As the daughter of a Consortium High House her only purpose is a political marriage but Ada wants more for her life. But getting thrown in a cell with a notorious criminal was not in the plan and now she's forced to team up with Marcus Loch in order to escape.As a long time fan of science fiction romance I was excited to read Polaris Series: Consortium Rebellion #1Lady Ada von Hasenberg has been running from planet to spacestation for two years after fleeing an engagement she had no interest in. As the daughter of a Consortium High House her only purpose is a political marriage but Ada wants more for her life. But getting thrown in a cell with a notorious criminal was not in the plan and now she's forced to team up with Marcus Loch in order to escape.As a long time fan of science fiction romance I was excited to read Polaris Rising from the moment I saw the description. I was not disappointed and from the very beginning I was pulled into Jessie Mihalik's world building and storytelling. I loved this futuristic world ruled by the three High Houses of the Consortium which engage in power plays, espionage, and all forms of manipulation. While Ada may be the fifth of her father's six children and destined for a political marriage she's also trained to be a spy -- this is no simpering princess. Ada is smart and sneaky, but she's also incredibly loyal and compassionate which makes her different than many Consortium ladies.While Ada works to gain her freedom she teams up with Loch who has been running ever since he was dubbed the Devil of Fornax Zero for killing his commanding officers and squad. But Loch has secrets and Ada doesn't know if she can really trust him. I loved Loch as our hero and Mihalik does a great job balancing the romance with the rest of the story. Loch is muscular, dangerous, and mysterious but his innate protective nature means he'll do whatever it takes to protect Ada after he agrees to help her. I only wish we could have gotten Loch's point of view as well because while I loved Ada's voice I also wanted to know what was going on in Loch's head.Ada and Loch have this slow burning, flirtatious, chemistry that just jumps off the page. Watching these two people learn to trust in someone else while also engaging in some serious political machinations kept the tension high throughout the book. I'll be anxiously awaiting the next book about Bianca and Ian who I'm already intrigued by!5 out of 5 stars~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Happily Ever After Book NerdBlog | Twitter | Goodreads
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  • FV Angela
    January 1, 1970
    Review originally posted at https://smexybooks.com/2019/02/joint-...Angela– As soon as ARCs went out I began to hear praise for this book across Romancelandia. Sci-fi/fantasy romance is one of my favorite genres so I immediately went and requested a review copy. Because when Romancelandia shouts out loud that something is pure awesomeness, you absolutely listen. I really had no preconceived notions going into this book, other than reading the blurb and listening to gushing praise. One of my very Review originally posted at https://smexybooks.com/2019/02/joint-...Angela– As soon as ARCs went out I began to hear praise for this book across Romancelandia. Sci-fi/fantasy romance is one of my favorite genres so I immediately went and requested a review copy. Because when Romancelandia shouts out loud that something is pure awesomeness, you absolutely listen. I really had no preconceived notions going into this book, other than reading the blurb and listening to gushing praise. One of my very favorite things though, is finding new authors to fall in love with and Polaris Rising is only this author’s second published book. I mean I wish she had more of a backlist, but I’m pretty excited to find her so early into her career. Kini- I had seen some folks talking about Polaris Rising on social media but my laziness on not reading outside of contemporary and seeing the ARC was only available on Edelweiss seemed to seal the deal that I wasn’t going to be reading Polaris Rising. But then it showed up in my mailbox, it was like the universe was telling me that this book was for me. The universe spoke, I listened and it was not wrong. The back cover refers to this as a sexy space opera. Typically space is not a setting I seek out for my romances. I define myself as a lazy reader, but the real reason I don’t read outside of contemporary very often is because I need to have a good visual in my head. Books outside of this are often hard for me to visualize because of either not enough or even too many details. The world building worked really well for me. She did a good job of giving me enough information without bogging down in to too many details. Angela- As soon as the book opens with Ada surrounded by bounty hunters and pitched into a darkened cell with a known murder I knew that this would be 100% my cup of tea. Ada is exactly the kind of heroine I love. Resourceful, resilient, and ten steps ahead of everyone else. The moment she finds herself taken and en route to a man who she is determined never to marry, she begins to develop an escape plan. And it’s not just some hum-dum idea, Ada’s plan involves basically reprogramming a ship and finding her way IN THE DARK to an escape shuttle. It’s brilliant. Oh, and then there is Loch.I headed to the holding cells, counting doors and following the schematic in my head. Once I reached what I hoped was the right door, I fumbled until I found the manual release. “Loch?”“Been having fun, darling? his voice rumbled from the dark.*Shivers from deliciousness. *Kini: When the story opens up, Ada has been captured by a rival and she is basically like, “nah, this isn’t going to work for me.” She’s thrown in a cell but she isn’t alone! Marcus Loch is in there and he looks dangerous. **Cue the dramatic music** We don’t learn much about Marcus but Ada isn’t bothered by him and they quickly form a allyship. They want off the ship they are on. Ada offers to pay Loch to help her. The way that Ada and Loch work together was wonderful and refreshing. Loch never once, that I can remember, tries to take over for her. He doesn’t doubt her abilities. He never once says anything about her not being capable because she is a woman. Kick-ass heroines who are seen as capable by the men they love is 100% my jam.Angela: I’m with Kini, kickass heroines and partners who never doubt their competence are what I read romance for. Loch and Ada have this chemistry from the moment they get meet and it just gets hotter and more exciting as their alliance grows and they get to know each other. She is daughter of one of the three ruling houses, who, from what I gather, control the technology and therefore control pretty much everything else. He is a former soldier who is dubbed the Devil of Fornax Zero, and is accused of killing his commanding officers during the Fornax Rebellion. They should be natural enemies, but instead they make a pretty awesome team. Kini: There is a scene where Ada is suffering from hypothermia and Lock makes her take off her clothes and get warm with him via skin to skin. It is very early on and there to help build the trust and I texted Angela and said I was swooning.There is another scene where they intentionally grapple to kill time. It was tense and sexy and competence porn all rolled into one. Ada sets her boundaries and Loch stays within them. It really worked well for me. Angela: Loch is what I would describe as maximum alpha. He could have easily stepped into asshole alpha, but he never does. I’m a huge, huge believer in boundaries in my romance and his respect for Ada is what had me all in on this couple. Kini: The conflict centers around Ada not wanting to be forced into marriage. Ada is the 5th heir to her family’s house. In this world there are three houses. They rule the universe together, sort of. Some of that stuff I skimmed, but it didn’t take away from the rest of the story. Richard, the heir of the House of Rockhurst, is determined to marry Ada or there will be a war. He is the one that captures her at the beginning of the book. So the bulk of the book is spent her trying to escape that. There were some twists and turns and I was here for them.Angela: The worldbuilding is marvelous. Interesting, expansive, detailed, and absolutely believable. It felt real. I felt like I could have stepped right onto the ship with Ada as she was running for her life. I loved the new take on who are the powers of the universe. I mean three super rich, power hungry dynasties fighting for control of technology and dominance isn’t that hard to believe amirite? I feel like even readers who aren’t huge fans of this genre would enjoy this world. It was detailed without being too much and interesting without feeling too heavy. Also, the romance was so delicious that it would make any romance lover squee in joy. There are several intriguing secondary characters introduced that I’m hoping get their own stories. And can I just say that I adore the relationship Ada has with her siblings? I’m so excited to get to know them better.Kini: I agree with Angela! If this book, which I read in paperback, can capture me, a 98% contemporary reader, it can capture and retain the attention of pretty much any reader. It was well paced and action packed with fantastic moments of intimacy between Ada and Loch in between. The contemporary romance reader in me would have liked a smidge more focus on the romance. Mihalik sprinkled in secondary characters that piqued my interest and I definitely look forward to reading more about them. Final Grade: AAngela: I ADORED this book. The next installment releases in October and features Ada’s sister, Bianca, and the von Hasenburg security director, Ian Bishop, and I. Can’t. Wait. Final Grade- A
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  • Jo (Mixed Book Bag)
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Polaris Rising. This is the second book I have read by Jessie Mihalik and I loved both. Again this has everything I want in a Science Fiction Romance. There is a plot that can stand with or without the romance. The characters are well developed and each has something of an implied secret in their background. The world building and back story are part of the plot development and add to the tension. Ada von Hasenberg and Marcus Loch have a love/hate relationship. Their background should ma I loved Polaris Rising. This is the second book I have read by Jessie Mihalik and I loved both. Again this has everything I want in a Science Fiction Romance. There is a plot that can stand with or without the romance. The characters are well developed and each has something of an implied secret in their background. The world building and back story are part of the plot development and add to the tension. Ada von Hasenberg and Marcus Loch have a love/hate relationship. Their background should make them sworn enemies but they keep facing a common enemy. I loved how Ada's family is structured. All the children look out and protect each other. There are gains and losses as the story ends. Some problems are solved but the much bigger one is still out there full of danger just waiting for the next book.I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.
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  • ♠️ Tabi ♠️
    January 1, 1970
    Goodreads says I should read this book if I like: Science fiction, space princesses and outlaw soldiers, the far distant future, romance, trying to stop an intergalactic war . . .and gosh dang it I like all of that stuff so yeah I'll bite
  • jesse
    January 1, 1970
    2.5/5Some of the dialogue (especially the 'sexy times') felt clunky and left me deeply underwhelmed. I think the premise held a lot of promise, but it ultimately fell short of my expectations. I liked that the heroine wasn't good at everything and seeing the family dynamics play into the story was a bonus too. I just think those scenes, in particular, were more interesting than the 'romance' Mihalik interwove with the love interest. That's not to say I don't look forward to seeing the author hon 2.5/5Some of the dialogue (especially the 'sexy times') felt clunky and left me deeply underwhelmed. I think the premise held a lot of promise, but it ultimately fell short of my expectations. I liked that the heroine wasn't good at everything and seeing the family dynamics play into the story was a bonus too. I just think those scenes, in particular, were more interesting than the 'romance' Mihalik interwove with the love interest. That's not to say I don't look forward to seeing the author hone her writing skills and where she takes us next!
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    This was the closest I’ve ever read to an Ilona Andrews novel. I loved the heroine, and like Kate Daniels, she tends to pick up strays. I can’t wait to read book two, and I’m so happy it is supposed to be out in Fall 2019!
  • Meg Watts
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it! So excited for more from this author!I got this book (galley) free from one of the signings at RWA2018 national conference because the line was short and it was sci-fi romance, notoriously difficult to find. I had never heard of the author or the book before that. But hey, free, right?When I got back to my room and read the back cover copy (bits of Jupiter Rising and Riddick with lots of new/original stuff), I was excited about it, and it was the first book I read of the 26 I brought h Loved it! So excited for more from this author!I got this book (galley) free from one of the signings at RWA2018 national conference because the line was short and it was sci-fi romance, notoriously difficult to find. I had never heard of the author or the book before that. But hey, free, right?When I got back to my room and read the back cover copy (bits of Jupiter Rising and Riddick with lots of new/original stuff), I was excited about it, and it was the first book I read of the 26 I brought home from the conference. Well done! Love the core story, love the tropes, love the worldbuilding, love the character development. There were a couple of "mistakes" because, hey, galley, and a couple of tiny nits I found about info sharing, but they didn't detract from the story at all.When I say I loved it, I mean that. I will keep it. I will read it again. I will look for it in its finished form. I will look for more from this author. So glad to have found this book!
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  • Jaime Arkin
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars! Fun, sexy and suspenseful! I loved everything about this! Full review to come soon!
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This review was first posted on my blog In Between Book Pages.Rating: 4.5/5As much as I love the genre, I admit that I haven't read a lot of adult sci-fi. Maybe because I've always found it intimidating with those thick-spined volumes. Or maybe it's because I've always felt like it's a man's world having grown up to names like Ray Brabury and George Orwell , whose books as good as they were, felt distant to me beca ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This review was first posted on my blog In Between Book Pages.Rating: 4.5/5As much as I love the genre, I admit that I haven't read a lot of adult sci-fi. Maybe because I've always found it intimidating with those thick-spined volumes. Or maybe it's because I've always felt like it's a man's world having grown up to names like Ray Brabury and George Orwell , whose books as good as they were, felt distant to me because I couldn't identify with and cheer for their characters. So, picking up Polaris Rising I was both excited and wary, not really knowing what to expect or what I'm even getting myself into.I shouldn't have worried.Polaris Rising had me from the very first blaster fire. It was fast-paced, filled with all the daring action my heart desired and, as an added kick, it has real steamy, swoon-worthy romance. Needless to say, I loved it!The story centers on Ada von Hasenberg, the fifth of six children of House von Hasenberg, one of the three most powerful families of the Royal Consortium. Groomed from childhood to wade the intricate and precarious relationships between three High Houses, Ada knows that her destiny is to be married off to a rival house so she could spy on her husband and his family. But it's not the life she wants for herself, fate or not, so she escapes before her engagement with Richard Rockhurst could be formally made. For two years Ada eludes capture but, eventually, her luck runs out and she gets taken by a group of mercenaries eager to get their hands on the bounty her father put up for her supposed safe return. This is where Polaris Rising officially starts.I had tons of fun reading this book. The first page immediately hooked me with its fast-paced action. The plot was also easy to get with, and none of my fears about not understanding the whole tech that runs the world of the story were realized. No info dumps here! Instead, Mihalik breaks it down bit by bit, inserting technical stuff about the world she created into the story and her characters' dialogues, which was effective and efficient.But what I really loved about this book was its characters.Ada and Loch both drive this story - it moves when they do, follows the path they've chosen to traverse. It was a treat to trail after their adventures (and misadventures!) I immediately liked Ada, while Loch grew on me as I continued reading. The two of them are similar in a lot of ways - they're both resourceful, smart and can kick some serious ass. They don't trust as easily as other people would, which kind of work against them at the beginning since they needed to trust each other enough to form an alliance no matter how tenuous or temporary it was.Ada and Loch's romance was also another I unabashedly loved about Polaris Rising. These two got me all heart eyes and swoony for most of the book. The attraction between them were palpable right from the very beginning. Their reluctance to pursue one another only added to the thrill of the chase. And when they finally got together, it lighted up fireworks. It was perfect - the whole hook, line and sinker deal!I also loved how Mihalik drew her secondary characters. They are all colorful on their own account: there is Rhys, the successful black market dealer who shares Loch's past, and Veronica, the fence with a secret of her own that could get her in trouble with one of the high houses; then there's Bianca, Ada's older sister who's kind of a master in gathering information and Ian Bishop, House von Hasenberg's director of security who may or may not (this is just a hunch) know Loch more than he lets on. All these help Ada and Loch providing them with something only they could give and helping the two main character reach their end goal.While some parts of the story were outlandish, I didn't much mind because I was having loads of fun reading the book. It was so easy to turn off the skeptical part of my brain. Overall, Polaris Rising was an excellent, entertaining space opera. I'm sure many readers will enjoying this book. I know I did! I'm already so excited for the series' next book, releasing this October, Aurora Blazing which will be focusing on Bianca and Ian's story.
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  • Vanessa theJeepDiva
    January 1, 1970
    I love it when I find a book that is vastly different from everything that I've picked up in a while. I haven't been reading as much as I used to. It seems that here lately everything I pick up is so similar to the last thing I've read. I've grown bored with reading. Thank you Jessie Mihalik for shaking things up a bit. I should thank Ada and Marcus for that as well. Ada is trying to out run an arranged marriage when she is captured and then handed over to her would be fiance. Just by the propos I love it when I find a book that is vastly different from everything that I've picked up in a while. I haven't been reading as much as I used to. It seems that here lately everything I pick up is so similar to the last thing I've read. I've grown bored with reading. Thank you Jessie Mihalik for shaking things up a bit. I should thank Ada and Marcus for that as well. Ada is trying to out run an arranged marriage when she is captured and then handed over to her would be fiance. Just by the proposed marriage contract alone she knows she is not wanted for anything more than her dowry. As the fifth child of six children to Royal Consortium's High House von Hasenberg she knows that the dowry shouldn't be anything so special for the chase she has caused. Ada knows she must escape. The dangerous prisoner that she has been forced to share a cell with is looking like he might just be the assistance for escape that she desperately needs. The Devil of Fornax Zero knows trouble. Marcus Loch has been on the run for longer than he'd like to remember. He also knows he must escape his current captors or face death for a crime he didn't commit. The offer Ada presents him with is too good to pass up and just impossible enough to have him accepting it. Polaris Rising is packed with action. It's fast paced. The romance is sexy. The secondary characters are ones that you look forward to reading more about in the next two books in this trilogy. The plot twists, political schemes, and Consortium secrets keep the pages turning. I'm definitely looking forward to Aurora Blazing.
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  • Sandy Williams
    January 1, 1970
    I heard about Polaris Rising when Ilona Andrews mentioned it on her blog. She recommends it, so of course it has to be good, right? I read the first chapter a while back and was definitely interested.Ada is one of the daughters of one of the three most powerful families in the universe. In order to avoid a forced marriage, she takes off and goes into hiding. It’s been two years, and mercenaries finally catch up with her. The imprison her with Loch, supersoldier extraordinaire! He is everything I I heard about Polaris Rising when Ilona Andrews mentioned it on her blog. She recommends it, so of course it has to be good, right? I read the first chapter a while back and was definitely interested.Ada is one of the daughters of one of the three most powerful families in the universe. In order to avoid a forced marriage, she takes off and goes into hiding. It’s been two years, and mercenaries finally catch up with her. The imprison her with Loch, supersoldier extraordinaire! He is everything I love in a hero.Ada is everything I love in a heroine. Resourceful, brave, and real. She knows her limitations. She’s afraid when she should be afraid but that doesn’t stop her. She’s cautious when she should be cautious but does dangerous things when it’s required.Loch and Ada escape together, shenanigans happen, we meet other fantastic characters and have a Happily Ever After. It was perrrrrfect!One of the things I really enjoyed was the mash-up of Regency Romance with Science Fiction. I don’t know if that was intentional, but I totally got the vibe of the Regency social scene complete with seasons and formalities and such. Loved that!Devoured this book in twenty-four hours. And, why yes, I did notice that the author has another book out and, yes, I did one-click purchase it, although I probably shouldn’t because I need to get stuff done!
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