Genre: Science Fiction

Review: Eclipse the Moon by Jessie Mihalik

Posted November 28, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Eclipse the Moon by Jessie MihalikReviewer: Holly
Eclipse the Moon by Jessie Mihalik
Series: Starlight's Shadow #2
Also in this series: Hunt the Stars
Publisher: Harper Collins, Harper Voyager
Publication Date: July 12, 2022
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 440
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

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.

Eclipse the Moon (Starlight’s Shadow #2) by Jessie Mihalik picks up where book #1, Capture the Sun“>Hunt the Stars, left off. Kee is a systems specialist on board Starlight’s Shadow, a mercenary ship. They’re on the hunt for a traitor set on restarting the war between the Human Federation and the Valoffs. Neither Kee nor any of the rest of the crew is willing to go back to war, so she heads to, Bastian, a space station in human airspace just outside a Valoff wormhole to see if she can track down their enemy or figure out what plot is afoot. If that gets her away from Varro, the sexy Valoff she’s been crushing on, all the better. She’s been sending out hints for weeks and he’s clearly not interested, so she needs some space to get her head on straight and move on.

Only Varro follows her. When things escalate and they end up fighting for their lives she’s grateful, if mortified that he doesn’t return her feelings.

Kee isn’t my favorite crew member, but I liked her in the previous book and wanted to know more about her and Varro. I enjoyed them both, though I did think they danced around each other a bit too much. There’s a lot of action in this book, which kept the pace moving but left me frustrated at times since it interrupted communication between them. Still, I enjoyed how they worked together and how the overall storyarc progressed. I’m anxious for the next book.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Starlight’s Shadow

Capture the Sun

four-stars


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Review: Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik

Posted October 17, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Hunt the Stars by Jessie MihalikReviewer: Holly
Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik
Series: Starlight's Shadow #1
Also in this series: Eclipse the Moon
Publisher: Harper Collins, Harper Voyager
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 419
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

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.

Tavi was a soldier who saw terrible things in war. Now she and what remains of her team are mercenaries. When she’s approached by the general of the opposing army with a job, he makes it too lucrative to refuse. She’s suspicious of his motives and the job, but not enough to walk away from the fortune he’s offering her. She knows he’s hiding things, but she has no idea the depth of his secrets until it’s almost too late….

Mihalik is excellent at writing very immersive stories. I easily fell into this. I enjoyed Tavi and her team. They worked very well together and I appreciated the way they incorporated Tarran’s team into their plans. I’m very much looking forward to more from this series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Starlight’s Shadow

Capture the Sun

three-half-stars


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Review: The Segonian by Dianne Duvall

Posted August 1, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Segonian by Dianne DuvallReviewer: Holly
The Segonian by Dianne Duvall
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Series: Aldebarian Alliance #2
Also in this series: The Lasaran, The Segonian
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 435
Length: 12 hours and 31 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall brings readers the second stand-alone novel in a thrilling new sci-fi romance series full of action, humor, and happily-ever-afters.
Eliana's life has never been what one might term ordinary. At least, it hasn't been for a very long time. As a powerful Immortal Guardian, she spends her nights hunting and slaying psychotic vampires that most of humanity doesn't even realize exist. Then an opportunity arises that instantly makes her extraordinary existence seem downright boring. The leader of the Immortal Guardians asks her to guard a group of mortals who are embarking upon a voyage across the galaxy to the planet Lasara. How could she possibly say no?
In no time at all, Eliana is hurtling through space on board a Lasaran battleship and getting to know not one but two alien races. It's the most exciting adventure of her long life... until the ship is unexpectedly attacked. Amid the chaos and destruction that follow, she valiantly helps everyone she can before an explosion renders her unconscious. When Eliana awakens, she finds herself alone, floating in space, clad only in a spacesuit, with no ship in sight. Alone--that is--except for the warm, deep voice that carries over the comm in her helmet.
Commander Dagon and the crew of the Segonian battleship Ranasura respond to a distress call from their Lasaran allies and join a massive Alliance-wide search-and-rescue mission. He quickly achieves communication with a lone Earthling female and races toward her. Every time they speak, his fascination with her grows and he becomes more desperate to reach her before her oxygen supply runs out. Her strength, bravery, and humor entice him, even more so when she defies all odds and they meet in person.
As he and Eliana embark upon a quest to find her missing friends, a bond swiftly grows between them that deepens with every laugh and smile and tender touch they share. But they are not the only ones searching for Earthling survivors. When Eliana herself becomes the hunted and their enemies begin to close in, can the two of them fight their way to victory, or will their enemies take everything?

The Segonian by Dianne Duvall, the second book in the Aldebarian Alliance series, a spinoff of Duvall’s Immortal Guaridans series, features Eliana, a character we met in the previous series. She traveled in space to protect the Gifted Ones who chose to go to Lasara with Prince Taelon in the hopes of finding a quieter life. When their ship is attacked on the way there, Eliana ends up floating in space in a space suit. For weeks her only lifelines are Captain Dagan and the other Segonians on his ship. She’s never met them, but they become the most important beings in the world to her.

The early chapters where Eliana were floating in space were so gripping and heart-wrenching. Her strength and humor really came through, but I felt her loneliness and fear in a visceral way. I really love Eliana and Dagan. They had a great dynamic when all they could do was talk via comms. I also liked how they came to know one another once she was onboard his ship.

Their quest to find the others who were missing from the Lasaran ship was interesting, but I enjoyed their life on the ship more. Especially Eliana training with him and his men.

This is my favorite book in this spin-off series, and my second favorite of Duvall’s books to date.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Aldebarian Alliance

four-half-stars


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Review: The Segonian by Dianne Duvall

Posted July 20, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Segonian by Dianne DuvallReviewer: Casee
The Segonian by Dianne Duvall
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Series: Aldebarian Alliance #2
Also in this series: The Lasaran, The Segonian
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 435
Length: 12 hours and 31 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall brings readers the second stand-alone novel in a thrilling new sci-fi romance series full of action, humor, and happily-ever-afters.
Eliana's life has never been what one might term ordinary. At least, it hasn't been for a very long time. As a powerful Immortal Guardian, she spends her nights hunting and slaying psychotic vampires that most of humanity doesn't even realize exist. Then an opportunity arises that instantly makes her extraordinary existence seem downright boring. The leader of the Immortal Guardians asks her to guard a group of mortals who are embarking upon a voyage across the galaxy to the planet Lasara. How could she possibly say no?
In no time at all, Eliana is hurtling through space on board a Lasaran battleship and getting to know not one but two alien races. It's the most exciting adventure of her long life... until the ship is unexpectedly attacked. Amid the chaos and destruction that follow, she valiantly helps everyone she can before an explosion renders her unconscious. When Eliana awakens, she finds herself alone, floating in space, clad only in a spacesuit, with no ship in sight. Alone--that is--except for the warm, deep voice that carries over the comm in her helmet.
Commander Dagon and the crew of the Segonian battleship Ranasura respond to a distress call from their Lasaran allies and join a massive Alliance-wide search-and-rescue mission. He quickly achieves communication with a lone Earthling female and races toward her. Every time they speak, his fascination with her grows and he becomes more desperate to reach her before her oxygen supply runs out. Her strength, bravery, and humor entice him, even more so when she defies all odds and they meet in person.
As he and Eliana embark upon a quest to find her missing friends, a bond swiftly grows between them that deepens with every laugh and smile and tender touch they share. But they are not the only ones searching for Earthling survivors. When Eliana herself becomes the hunted and their enemies begin to close in, can the two of them fight their way to victory, or will their enemies take everything?

The Segonian is not only a SF romance masterpiece, it’s my favorite SF romance ever. I’m not always a huge fan of SF, but I used to read it back in the day. This book had me from the first sentence to the last. I found that I couldn’t put it down, I was so invested in the story. I think that is the hallmark of a good book. While Dianne Duvall isn’t the best author I’ve ever read, she sure tells a hell of a story.

When Seth, the leader of the Immortal Guardians, comes to Eliana with a choice to travel to another planet, she jumps on it. Watching all her friends fall in love has left Eliana feeling like the odd man out. She’s more than excited to be going on such an amazing adventure. Her only job is to protect the gifted ones that are onboard the ship.

Quite unexpectedly, the ship is attacked and Eliana ends up floating in space. Her saving grace is a man’s voice that tells her he’s coming for her.

Dagon and his crew are on a search & rescue mission. When he finds Eliana, he immediately knows that he will not find her in time. He doesn’t know what or who she is. As a powerful Immortal Guardian, Eliana has capabilities that humans don’t have. One of those capabilities keeps her alive long enough for Dagon to find her.

Now that Eliana is on board, they resume their search & rescue mission. As the days, then weeks go by, both Eliana & Dagon lose hope. Then they learn that one of the gifted ones is alive and in danger. They race to the closest habitable planet, hoping against hope that they find who they are looking for.

Eliana was such a joy to read about. She has been alive for centuries, but she still appreciated the little things in life. I loved how she interacted with the crew & with Dagon. I loved when she finally convinced the men to fight her. I loved her love of spicy foods and her genuine love for the sun. I loved Dagon too, but Eliana stole the show with this one.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Aldebarian Alliance

four-half-stars


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Review: The Lasaran by Dianne Duvall

Posted July 18, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Lasaran by Dianne DuvallReviewer: Casee
The Lasaran by Dianne Duvall
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Series: Aldebarian Alliance #1
Also in this series: The Segonian, The Segonian
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 460
Length: 11 hours and 23 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall brings readers the first novel in a thrilling new sci-fi series full of action, intrigue, humor, and romance.
Taelon searches the galaxy for his younger sister, who mysteriously disappeared while on a diplomatic mission. When an ally reveals that she was seized and is being held prisoner on Earth, Taelon descends upon the blue planet, intent on freeing her and exacting vengeance. However, all does not go as planned. Before he can find her, Taelon is captured and becomes the subject of torturous experiments. For what feels like an eternity, all he knows is pain and fury… until a mind tentatively touches his own and a woman’s voice forever changes his world.
After suffering tragic losses, Lisa is finally beginning to carve out a future for herself when chance sends her to the Anomalous Cognition Research Institute. What at first appears to be a benign organization seeking participants for a psychic study instead turns out to be a government facility harboring a much darker intent. Lisa discovers this too late and soon becomes the unwilling subject of a terrifying experiment. Just as fear and desperation threaten to consume her, a deep, compelling voice penetrates the looming insanity and lends her hope.
Having seen only the worst of humanity, Taelon is shocked when Lisa risks everything to free him. Together the two make their escape, and Taelon finds himself fascinated by the small human woman who—despite all she’s suffered—can still laugh and tease and lure smiles from him. Friendship swiftly grows between them as they work together to evade soldiers intent on capturing them and find themselves hunted by mystifying preternatural beings. Through it all, Lisa steadfastly remains by his side, stealing more of his heart each day while she helps him unravel the mystery of his sister’s fate. Can they find his sister before the hunters find them? If they survive their quest, will Taelon have to bid Lisa farewell… or can he coax her into leaving her planet and joining him for the adventure of a lifetime?

The Lasaran is the first SF romance that I have read in a long while. I have somewhat of a mental block for this genre, though I don’t know why. After reading the Immortal Guardians series, I decided to give The Lasaran a try. I am so glad that I did.

Taelon is headed to Earth from Lasara to find his sister. After leaving on a peacekeeping mission, Amiriska goes missing. Taelon is determined to find her. When he arrives on Earth, he is taken captive and experimented on for months. During one of his torture sessions, he hears a woman telepathically screaming. He has no idea who she is or even if she’s part of the group that took him.

Lisa only volunteered for the psychic study to make a little extra money. She had no idea that there was a nefarious plan afoot. While at the research center, Lisa is abducted. She wakes up seven months later to find that she is pregnant and has no memory. Her savior ends up being the man that ran psychic tests on her. When he comes in to help her, Brad tells her that she has been impregnated against her will. Not only that, but she is carrying an alien baby.

After their escape, Lisa & Taelon go on the run. They don’t know who to trust, nor do they know how they will find Amiriska. It’s only when Roland (Darkness Dawns) shows up at a motel that they’re hiding out in that they realize they might have options after all. I thought the pacing was great in this book & I really loved how excited Taelon was for the baby. Women on Lasara haven’t been able to have children so Taelon is especially please though he is incensed that it was done again Lisa’s will.

When Amiriska and Taelon eventually reunite? OHMYHEART. It was so sweet. I loved seeing their relationship, specifically how excited Ami was to see Taelon.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Aldebarian Alliance

four-stars


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