Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik

To save her brother and protect her family’s future, a powerful princess must join forces with a dashing man from her past in this thrilling space adventure, the second novel in the Consortium Rebellion trilogy.

As the dutiful daughter of High House von Hasenberg, Bianca set aside her personal feelings and agreed to a political match arranged by her family, only to end up trapped in a loveless, miserable marriage. When her husband unexpectedly dies, Bianca vows never to wed again. Newly independent, she secretly uses her wealth and influence to save other women stuck in dire circumstances. Information is power and Bianca has a network of allies and spies that would be the envy of the ’verse—if anyone knew about it.

When her family’s House is mysteriously attacked, Bianca’s oldest brother, the heir to House von Hasenberg, disappears. Fearful for her brother’s life, the headstrong Bianca defies her father and leaves Earth to save him. Ian Bishop, the director of House von Hasenberg security—and Bianca’s first love—is ordered to find and retrieve the rebellious woman.

Ian is the last man Bianca wants to see. To evade capture, she leads him on a merry chase across the universe. But when their paths finally collide, she knows she must persuade him to help her. Bianca will do anything to save her sibling, even if it means spending time alone on a small ship with the handsome, infuriating man who once broke her heart.

As the search takes them deep into rival House Rockhurst territory, Bianca must decide if she can trust Ian with the one piece of information that could destroy her completely...

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Harper Voyager Books

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

I would definitely read book one before reading this book, but it's not necessary.

Bianca kicks butt, takes names, and is brilliant. I loved her in this book. She's steady, calm, knows what she wants and how to go about getting it. In this book, she's also more able to rely on her siblings, which I found really amazing. She has had to deal with some hardships in her life and her father being one and her husband being another, I expected Bianca to be much more wary than she was. She is a tough lady.

Ian is steady, but a hard character to read. He is good at his job but keeping tabs on Bianca is a full-time job in itself. I did wish that Ian had a point of view in the book, because we mostly had Bianca and it felt that there was something missing. We get to see his interactions with Bianca during the beginning of the story, but really only glimpse his frustration.

The story really picks up about halfway through. I enjoyed this story a lot. While this book had less action than the first one, it was no less entertaining. You have blackmail, mercenaries, kidnappings, slavery, and love. These two characters have great chemistry and it's fun to watch them try to figure out their relationship.

I can't wait for more books in this series. It was fun to get to see the characters from the previous book too.

This second book in the Consortium Rebellion series continues the epic Von Hasenberg space opera with more action, more politics, and more close escapes. It’s another thrilling ride and Bianca is just as fabulous as her kick-ass sister was in the first book.

I’m not a huge sci-fi fan but this series is full of the joy, the fun, and the excitement that made the original Star Wars trilogy and films like Starship Troopers and Guardians of the Galaxy firm favourites. The worldbuilding here is wonderful, the plot is tight, and the pacing just about perfect.

I love the women in these books and I especially love Bianca’s hacker skills. Unlike her sister, she’s physically weak but her mental skills are essential to her brother’s rescue. I love that all the characters in these books are complicated and their morality is more shades of grey than black or white.

This story is marketed as a romance but while there is some great friction and chemistry between Bianca and Ian, the focus of the story is more on Bianca and her mission to save her brother than it is on the relationship between Bianca and Ian. I love the female driven narrative and the fact that Bianca, like her sister, doesn’t need rescuing. She can save the world on her own terms.

I will say that this story was much more low key than the Polaris Rising, it was a slower moving story, but no less interesting. I do like how the two stories have a completely different feel from each other.

Aurora Blazing is the story of Bianca von Hasenberg, who we met in book one. We learned a little about her then, but she's a much more complicated character than I envisioned. Being that we mostly follow Bianca for the first half of the book, I feel connected to her. I can confidently say that the ladies of House von Hasenberg are strong, brave, and relentless!

Bianca is in the midst of trying to figure out what happened to her oldest brother and is using all her skill to achieve this. What she doesn't plan for is being joined in her quest by Ian, the head of her house's security force. Ian is more difficult to understand, he's quiet and closed off, he seems to antagonize more than console. The worst part is that Bianca's had a crush on him for YEARS.

The romance definitely took a back seat to the story development. We learned all about the virtual reality realm that Bianca inhabits regularly, we see her skill with data, and her special abilities. We see what she's gone through and the hell she's lived before reaching for her freedom. What we don't see is Ian's background, we don't know what he's lived through – and this bothers me. I want to know him. We follow them to different worlds and situations, but it seemed more low-key than I was expecting.

I enjoy this world that Jessie Mihalik has created: I love the politics involved in the Consortium, I love the different worlds, I like the characters. I just didn't love this story, it seemed to move slow, the romance took forever, the action was present but not thrilling. I will continue the series – I need to see who wins this war!

Spoiler-Free Review.

Aurora Blazing is the second installment in the Consortium Rebellion trilogy. To be honest, and I fear my rating was influenced by this... after an amazing debut, I'm always apprehensive over reading the next installment, as it's next to impossible to outshine the first. This goes with books, movies, and TV shows. Generally, if the first was just okay, the second blows it out of the water. As I said, I fear this influenced my rating, because I was too busy comparing Aurora Blazing with Polaris Rising.

I actually reread Polaris Rising immediately before Aurora Blazing, simply because it had been many months since I read it, with a couple hundred books in between, and I needed a refresher. There was an obvious difference between the two novels, the vibe given off, the flow and pacing, the excitement delivered, to the point it didn't feel like the same writer or the same characters, but perhaps this had to do with the different setting.

Ada was our previous narrator, so we were introduced to her sister, seeing Bianca through Ada's eyes. Bianca's character felt different than the way her sister perceived her. Strong, highly intelligent, perceptive, and proficient, which made her the ultimate of heroines.

Widowed young, her husband treating Bianca in the most egregious of ways, by performing experiments on her. Bianca evolves throughout the novel, finding herself. Bianca resonated deeply with me, finding her a strong character with an even stronger backstory. My issue with the novel was simply the pacing, flow of information, and the overall vibe given off.

The romance took a backseat to the spying. While I'm not a reader who needs romance, enjoying the plot to shine, I needed more Ian. I needed to know his side of things, what influenced his actions. Ian was an intriguing character, still intriguing at the end, simply because I never felt as if I got to know him. Incomplete, without more interactions to build a strong foundation. I needed more on this front.

What I adored were the cameos of Ada & Loch, and Rhys & Veronica, filling in the gaps of what was missing from Polaris Rising.

On the pacing front, Aurora Blazing was much slower than Polaris Rising, especially the first half of the novel, but it did pick up considerably in the last half, amping up a couple notches to bring the excitement.

Middle of the road sequel for me, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the characters, nor that I'm not chomping at the bit to see what happens next.

Also Available in the Consortium Rebellion Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Harper Voyager

For reviews & more info, check out our Polaris Rising post.

Jessie Mihalik has a degree in Computer Science and a love of all things geeky. A software engineer by trade, Jessie now writes full-time from her home in Texas. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing co-op video games with her husband, trying out new board games, or reading books pulled from her overflowing bookshelves. Polaris Rising is her debut novel.

Connect with Jessie

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Aurora Blazing (Consortium Rebellion #2) by Jessie Mihalik to read and review.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are reviewed by a blog admin before being published. We thank you for visiting our blog & leaving a comment.