Saturday, December 14, 2019

Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik

Rating: ★★★★ | 12 Hours 41 Minutes  | Harper Voyager | Sci-Fi | 02/25/2019 
Six years ago I watched Battlestar Galactica (the ending was awful. Come at me) and ever since then I've been trying to chase the high of a space opera with compelling female characters, fast pacing and a well put together plot...and  I think Polaris Rising managed to fill that void

Ada Von Hasenberg is a royal on the run with a bounty on her head. When one wrong move lands her in the hands of bounty hunters, she is imprisoned on a ship along with the notorious murderer and rebellion leader Marcus Loch. They discover they share a mutual enemy and plan a prison break that lands them at the center of an intergalactic trade war.

This is the kind of book that sort of hits the ground running and is non-stop action and adventure. Ada is everything you want in a strong female character; smart, cunning and knows how to fight her way out of tough situations. I will admit it rubbed me the wrong way that early on in the book male characters remind her she is constantly under threat of sexual assault because she is imprisoned in a small cell with  Loch.

Loch and Ada are constantly one-upping each other and make a good team as they planet hop, form alliances and fight for their freedom.  In addition to the romance, we are introduced to several side characters and their interwoven subplots really build out the series.

Mihalik brings everything to this debut and I can't wait for book two. I'm actually a little sad that this series follows other couples because I wanted more from Ada and Loch. It felt like their romance just started.

I hybrid read this on audio and print. I've always been on the fence about Emily Woo Zeller. I like her in non-fiction but the few YA's and romance she's done haven't really stuck with me because of her low, slightly raspy voice, but I think it really worked here. Her deep voice and sardonic tone easily mimics the confidence of Ada and the gruffness of Marcus. Her pacing was pretty moderate and I did have to bump it up to 1.5 speed

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