Friday, February 25, 2022

Review: Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik

Hunt the Stars
(Starlight's Shadow #1)
Jessie Mihalik
Release: February 1, 2022
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The critically acclaimed author of Polaris Rising takes readers on an exciting journey with the start of her brand-new series about a female bounty hunter and the man who is her sworn enemy.

Octavia Zarola would do anything to keep her tiny, close-knit bounty hunting crew together—even if it means accepting a job from Torran Fletcher, a ruthless former general and her sworn enemy. When Torran offers her enough credits to not only keep her crew afloat but also hire someone to fix her ship, Tavi knows that she can’t refuse—no matter how much she’d like to.

With so much money on the line, Torran and his crew insist on joining the hunt. Tavi reluctantly agrees because while the handsome, stoic leader pushes all of her buttons—for both anger and desire—she’s endured worse, and the massive bonus payment he’s promised for a completed job is reason enough to shut up and deal.

But when they uncover a deeper plot that threatens the delicate peace between humans and Valoffs, Tavi suspects that Torran has been using her as the impetus for a new war. With the fate of her crew balanced on a knife’s edge, Tavi must decide where her loyalties lie—with the quiet Valoff who’s been lying to her, or with the human leaders who left her squad to die on the battlefield. And this time, she’s put her heart on the line.



I have been looking forward to picking up Jessie Mihalik's next series since I finished the Consortium Rebellion back in 2020. I loved that series so you can imagine how excited I was when her new series features a female bounty hunter captain and an enemies-to-lovers romance! And y'all! I love this series even more than the Consortium Rebellion and it has definitely earned a spot for Jessie Mihalik on my list of auto-buy sci-fi authors! 
I loved so much about this book that I could rave about it for days! I was totally on board for the slice-of-life, twisty mystery, enemies-to-friends-to-lovers romance vibe this book had going on and I need more! The characters! The world building! The politics! The back story! The found family! The romance! The psychic alien race! I seriously loved everything about this book!
It's fun to read an author's work from their debut because you can see how their writing is growing and changing. Jessie Mihalik is definitely getting better at writing those plot twists that you can only partially see coming. She totally surprised me several times while reading this book because I thought I had things figured out and than wham! plot twist! It made this such a fun story to read!

I quickly fell in love with Tavi and her crew! Kee and Eli are polar opposites with Kee being the sunshine and Eli being the grump but they are highly protective of each other and Tavi. I especially loved Luna! It was intriguing to see the crew interact with Torran and his team, their once sworn enemies! I loved how Tavi's plan to keep her enemies close turned into both teams finding some common ground. 
The one thing I will say I wish this book had (and it's something I wanted in Mihalik's other series) was multiple POVs or just a dual POV with the love interests. While I came to like Torran's team, I didn't come to love them as much as the Tavi's crew because Tavi's POV was the only one we had. I get why the author didn't because some of the plot twists wouldn't have worked with a dual POV but it is something that I find myself wanting every time I've read one of her books.
I cannot wait to read more in this series as Tavi, Torran, and their teams start to hunt down who is trying to restart the war between humans and the Valoffs! I will admit that I am shipping some of Tavi's and Torran's crews together. I have my fingers crossed for a certain doctor and first officer pairing but we'll see if that happens. The seeds are there for that romance though! The next book is Kee's and I can't wait because the love interest looks to be a specific Valovian weapons expert and I ship it!

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley


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