Thursday, June 4, 2020

Review: Chaos Reigning by Jessie Mihalik

Chaos Reigning
(Consortium Rebellion #3)
Jessie Mihalik
Release: May 19, 2020
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Interplanetary intrigue and romance combine in this electrifying finale to the Consortium Rebellion series.

As the youngest member of her High House, Catarina von Hasenberg is used to being underestimated, but her youth and flighty, bubbly personality mask a clever mind and stubborn determination. Her enemies, blind to her true strength, do not suspect that Cat is a spy—which makes her the perfect candidate to go undercover at a rival House’s summer retreat to gather intelligence on their recent treachery.

Cat’s overprotective older sister reluctantly agrees, but on one condition: Cat cannot go alone. Alexander Sterling, a quiet, gorgeous bodyguard, will accompany her, posing as her lover. After Cat tries, and fails, to ditch Alex, she grudgingly agrees, confident in her ability to manage him. After all, she’s never found a person she can’t manipulate.

But Alex proves more difficult—and more desirable—than Cat anticipated. When she’s attacked and nearly killed, she and Alex are forced to work together to figure out how deep the treason goes. With rumors of widespread assaults on Serenity raging, communications down, and the rest of her family trapped off-planet, Catarina must persuade Alex to return to Earth to expose the truth and finish this deadly battle once and for all.

But Cat can’t explain why she’s the perfect person to infiltrate hostile territory without revealing secrets she’d rather keep buried. . . .

I have enjoyed the world and politics of the Consortium Rebellion series. I enjoyed the first book and adored the second book and because of that I had a lot of expectations going into this final book. I came for the badass space princesses and stayed for the crazy space shenanigans. There was a lot of loose ends with the overarching conspiracy plot that needed wrapped up and I'm happy to say that the finale of this trilogy was very well done!

One of my favorite things about this series it that each book is about a highly intelligent and trained lady who can save herself. I've loved the space opera aspect of each book! They're action packed, full of political intrigue, and awesome family dynamics. In Aurora Blazing, I was intrigued by the youngest von Hasenberg who was investigating Ferdinand's disappearance on Earth as Bianca was rescuing him. So I was excited when I learned Chaos Reigning was going to be Catarina's book!

Cat is different than her siblings and has cultivated a public persona where she's viewed as bubbly and charming but a bit dim. She's presents herself as a stereotypical House socialite with a shopping addiction and her siblings are super protective of her. She's so much more than a socialite and constantly underestimated. I loved seeing her become more comfortable and confident with her badass side! Like all of the von Hasenberg siblings, Cat is extremely intelligent and has a huge secret she's keeping from everybody.
Cat charms her way into a house party of a rival house as a way to gather more information about her brother's abduction. Bianca finds out and makes her take Alex and Aoife as bodyguards. Things are more dangerous than Cat anticipated and what follows is an action-packed race against time and a plot-twist that had me finishing this book in one sitting.

I'm a sucker for a good bodyguard romance. Add in the fake relationship trope and I'm sold. Sadly, there wasn't much romance in this book. Like the first book, the hero, Alex, felt like a flat character because we only get the story from Cat's point of view. I liked what we got to see of him through his interactions with Cat but the romance between the two felt like an afterthought to me. I get that a big part of Alex's character is that he fades into the background but it felt like his adopted sister, Aoife, had more of a presence and personality in the story than he did. I love this series for the crazy space opera it is but I can't help but feel like this series could have been an all-time favorite if we had just had the points-of-view of the heroes and not only those of the heroines.

Overall, I'm satisfied with how the series ended and how the conspiracy plot was wrapped up. I wish we had gotten a bit more of an epilogue but the author left things open enough that I hope she comes back to these characters and world with a spin-off series. I'm dying for a Rhys and Veronica book or a Benedict book. Or a book where all the super soldiers get together and interact and do a mission together with the von Hasenberg siblings. Honestly, I will take whatever books the author wants to write in this world. I just want more.

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.


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