Hunt the Stars By Jessie Mihalik

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Hunt the Stars: A Novel (Starlight’s Shadow Book 1) By Jessie Mihalik

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Book/Novel Author: Jessie Mihalik

Book/Novel Title: Hunt the Stars

 

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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. “Jessie Mihalik is an author to watch.” — Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling authorOctavia 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 really enjoyed this book, as I have enjoyed everything Jessie has put out. The plots, the characters, the way she doesn’t overdo the drama are all extremely enjoyable for me. I look forward to reading every book Jessie puts out.
Hunt the Stars was a great addition to Mihalik’s sci-fi romance/adventure repertoire. Mihalik has a very distinct authorial voice and character beats she likes to hit and I think you can see the Ilona Andrews inspiration shine through in her books. In Hunt the Stars the Ilona Andrews inspiration I saw was Connor Rogan vibes in Torran Fletcher, the love interest, and believe me, that is not a complaint.So, what is Hunt the Stars about? It follows a team of bounty hunters, captained by Octavia (Tavia) Zarola, a retired war hero with a massive amount of war trauma and resentment at the decision makers in the FHP to go with that, who are hired by the “enemy” to locate a missing item. The enemy happens to be a group of Valoffs led by General Torran Fletcher. There are a lot of adventures and discoveries learned along the way and the book was full of delightful found family vibes and a simmering tension between Tavia and Torran. Plus, the most excellent animal companion.Even as I type this review, I’m finding myself wondering why this book is so clearly not a five star in my head because all of the things I’m talking about are things I enjoy and so I’m left with this: There is something about the pacing in this book, paired with the fact that I don’t think I should have read this book via audio due to not vibing with the narrator, that felt just slightly off to me. That said, I think it’s a great book and I’ll hopefully re-read it before the sequel drops in July (which, btw, I am SO excited for because this book has excellent sequel bait!) and then maybe can resolve my feelings on this book in a more coherent manner. But for now, I’ll just say, if you’ve liked Mihalik in the past OR if you want a solid space/romance adventure, this book is a safe bet for you to enjoy!
I loved this story, from beginning to end. It’s not only a white-knuckle exciting story, but a convincing romance. The sci-fi elements are well described and plausible with an enemies-to-lovers theme. I look forward to more from this author.
It kept my interest. I had to make myself stop so I could accomplish other tasks. There was only one sex scene which I easily skipped. I appreciated that. I think I’ll read the next one.
Hunt the Stars was such an entertaining novel! It’s part science fiction, mystery/thriller, and romance and it delivers on every one. It took a bit to get my bearings in the world Jessie Mihalik has created, but once things got going, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The enemies to friends to lovers vibe was perfect and the forced proximity tension was chef’s kiss. Tavi and Torran were so well matched and I loved how their animosity and distrust slowly gave way to respect and love. I was very pleasantly surprised by the steam level in this book!I both read and listened to Hunt the Stars and Frankie Corzo’s narration was fantastic! I loved the variety of voices and accents she used to distinguish the characters and she was able to balance all the different emotions so well. There are so many great secondary characters (Kee, Lexi, Eli, etc) and I’m hoping to see stories for all of them in the future. While the book doesn’t end on a romantic cliffhanger, it does leave a big plot point unresolved, setting up the next book (Kee and Varro’s) very well.Audiobook ReviewOverall 4 starsPerformance 5 starsStory 4 starsCW: PTSD, war, death, fighting, kidnapping, blood, knives
Brought to you by OBS reviewer OmarHunt the Stars is the first book in the Starlight’s Shadow series by author Jessie Mihalik. It tells the story of Captain Octavia Zarola, or Tavi to her friends, of the Starlight’s Shadow ship and a group of bounty hunters that are just trying to get by in the vast universe. The inhabitants of this universe have entered a recent time of peace, as the major war between the humans and the Valoffs has ended, and a treaty has been set. Valoffs are similar to humans but with eyes, hair, and skin a bit brighter, and with mental abilities to read minds and control objects. But some wounds are still fresh, and the peace is still fragile, one wrong incident and the war can start again.Tavi meets Torran Fletcher, a diplomate of the Valovian Empire in a space station on the outside of the FED – Federated Human Planets. Torran with his diplomatic immunity has been interviewing bounty hunter groups in the station for a job he has for them. Once they arrive at Tavi’s ship, they clash at first for being war enemies, but also both Torran and Tavi have high bounties over their heads by other nations.After a long negotiation and a high price set for the job, Tavi agrees to try to find a ring stolen from Torran’s house in Valovia by some humans. But there is a condition, Torran’s team will be traveling with them to Valovia to safeguard their passage, and Tavi is not yet comfortable with Valoffs that close to them. After some convincing by her team and the need to finance the repairs of the ship, they accept the conditions. Tavi’s crew is made up of Eli and Kee but knowing that they will be having four Valoffs in their ship for the two weeks of travel, Tavi hires Anja, a mechanic, and Lexi, another bounty hunter, and friend of the ship. As the teams travel through space, they get to know one other a bit. Tavi wants to learn more about the Valoffs and their abilities in case this is a trap and more about the mission. But as time flies by, some secrets are revealed. Among them is the truth about the robbery and the value of the ring.I liked Hunt the Stars, it was a good space opera story, and the characters were interesting to follow along on their travels. Tavi and Torran make a nice couple, both of them have baggage from their time in the military and the distrust they have on the other species. But still, they manage to get past those prejudices and learn more about one another. Apart from Tavi, her crew is made up of Eli Bruck the first officer, and Kee Ildez the system engineer and navigator, they are later joined by Lexi Bowen that was part of Tavi’s squad, and Anja Harbon a mechanical engineer that is trying to leave the space station on which Tavi accepts the Valoffs job offered.Compared to other space opera series from author Jessie Mihalik, this new series has added the element of mental powers to some of their characters. I liked that the Valoffs have abilities that humans feared and want to also learn. It was great how the reader and the human crew got to learn together that the Valoffs have more abilities that they hide during the war and will be great for the humans to know about.While the romance storyline is centered around Tavi and Torran, as the narrative progresses, we can see other relationships flourishing while the mission is happening, and I can’t wait to read how they end.This story was a fast-paced read, perfect for a weekend. A good recommendation if you are looking for a new read this spring.If you are a fan of author Jessie Mihalik, I recommend Hunt the Stars. It starts as a high-profile job for the crew of the Starlight’s Shadow but then becomes even more dangerous with the Valoffs on the ships because they can protect their minds but not their hearts.

 

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