Monday, July 25, 2022

Review: Eclipse the Moon by Jessie Mihalik

Eclipse the Moon
(Starlight's Shadow)
Jessie Mihalik
Release: July 12, 2022
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Kee Ildez has been many things: hacker, soldier, bounty hunter. She never expected to be a hero, but when a shadowy group of traitors starts trying to goad the galaxy’s two superpowers into instigating an interstellar war, Kee throws herself into the search to find out who is responsible—and stop them.

Digging up hidden information is her job, so hunting traitors should be a piece of cake, but the primary suspect spent years in the military, and someone powerful is still covering his tracks. Disrupting their plans will require the help of her entire team, including Varro Runkow, a Valovian weapons expert who makes her pulse race.

Quiet, grumpy, and incredibly handsome, Varro watches her with hot eyes but ignores all of her flirting, so Kee silently vows to keep her feelings strictly platonic. But that vow will be put to the test when she and Varro are forced to leave the safety of their ship and venture into enemy territory alone.

Cut off from the rest of their team, they must figure out how to work together—and fast—because a single misstep will cost thousands of lives.

One of my favorite books of the year so far has been Hunt the Stars so you can say that I was more than a tad bit excited to get my hands on its sequel, Eclipse the Moon. And when I found it was going to be Kee's book I was even more exited! I may have squealed when I finally let myself read the synopsis and discovered who the likely love interest was going to be.

I was a little nervous going into this one based on a few of the ratings I saw on some of the early reviews but I loved this book so much! It was the grumpy/sunshine trope mixed with Jessie Mihalik's signature action-packed scenes and twisty mystery. This book picks up right where the first one left off with the Starlight's Shadow heading to Bastion station as the crew tries to dig up all the information they can to stop the powers that be from starting another war.

Y'all know how much I adore the found family trope and this book had it in spades. The tight-knit human crew and the Valoffs are becoming more and more of a family and it was everything! The standoffish Valovians from the first book have been settled in and taken their positions as part of the crew to heart. I loved seeing the crew interact with each other and to see how happy Tavi and Torran are. What really shined in this book was the romance though!

I wanted Kee and Varro to be paired with each other from the very start of their tumultuous relationship and Eli and Varro's subsequent sparring match. Kee is the heart of this small found family and is part of the glue that binds them together. She is sunshine incarnate and a genius hacker and gets to be a badass in a different way than Tavi. I too would rather eat cookies than train. She is convinced that Varro doesn't have feelings for her beyond being friends so she decides that she needs a vacation on the space station to get over him and do some sleuthing with a better connection. 

Things on the station don't go as planned and Varro reveals himself at the first hint of Kee being in trouble and things just escalate from there in both the romance and the action. I'm not a big fan of the miscommunication trope but I enjoyed how Mihalik used it in this story. It made the romance even sweeter. I loved Varro and his grumpiness! Getting to know more about the different psychic abilities the Valoffs have was fascinating! And I loved getting to know more about his ability! One thing I do wish is that we got a bit more of both Kee and Varro's backstories beyond the vague hints we got in this book.

I adored so many things about this book! The action! The romance! The crew! The mystery and its twists! The tech! The fashion! This book grabbed my attention and kept me on the edge of my seat until I ran out of pages to read. Was this book perfect? No. Some of the miscommunication got a bit repetitive in my opinion but my enjoyment of the story as a whole made up for it. 

I cannot wait for the next book! One, I need to know what happens next because HOLY COW! And two, THE NEXT BOOK IS LEXI'S ROMANCE! My body is ready! I have no idea how many books will be in this series but I am hoping this is going to more than a trilogy because I want to see some other crew mates ( *cough* Eli *cough*) get their happily ever afters as well! I'm totally on board with the polyamorous vibe that is going on. One thing is for sure, Jessie Mihalik is turning into my go to for sci-fi romance and has cemented her place on my auto-buy list.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

  5 / 5 Stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik

Recommended for fans of:
Ilona Andrews's Kinsmen Series
Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling Series
Jessie Mihalik's Consortium Rebellion series

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