About Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik
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 . . .
Review of Polaris Rising
As a big fan of scifi romance, I am always please to find a new talented writer in this genre. Jessie Mihalik has nailed it! The combination of scific culture and geography, plenty of otherworldly action and a they-should-not-be-together-but-they-are romance had me racing through the pages of Polaris Rising.
There is great chemistry between Ada and Marcus (the princess and the soldier), both romantically and as partners in the adventure. Like I said, they should not be together. They come from two very different backgrounds. But they have similar attitudes about what is right and what is wrong and also about the Rockhurst (the antagonist).
Secondary characters, friends Veronica and Rhys as well as sister Bianca add to the depth of the story and the back-story for both Ada and Marcus.
Ada is high-tech. Conveniently so. Maybe too conveniently so. I found it a little hard to believe that all her communications to her sister were never intercepted or deciphered. But that may be the paranoid former IT worker talking. Ada and her multiple identities, codes and encryptions never got caught. Also, I often felt that complications were written just to make it easy for Ada to get out of. Rather than creating complications and then making it hard for the heroine to get around. In other words, Ada was too darn lucky to suit me.
The escalation of the political crisis seems to be what this series will be about. That, and the people that are affected by it. The futuristic political consortium of three ruling families laying claim to a vast area of space was written fairly simplistically. I will continue to read this series hoping to see more depth in the socio-political environment.
I wanted to read this because a) I read Mihalik’s The Queen’s Gambit and loved it and b) a fellow-reviewer said the romance was downplayed to make room for the main story, which also reminded me of The Queen’s Gambit. Polaris Rising has far more romance than The Queen’s Gambit, and while the main story line never suffered for it, I would not described it as downplayed. Maybe it was that constant attraction without doing much about it that got in the way of other things. Ada did a lot of over-thinking about her hot partner, when I thought she should have been thinking about a) the bad guy(s), b) the current political situation, and c) the significance of tech on board her stolen ship, The Polaris.
Despite my slight criticisms, all-in-all Polaris Rising is a great scifi story with a smoldering romance, making this book a truly fun read!
Through Edelweiss, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I loved this and I’m excited about the next book! I thought the whole thing was such a good balance of story and romance.
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I am eagerly awaiting the next book also!