Polaris Rising and Aurora Blazing are the first two books in Jessie Mihalik’s three book series, The Consortium Rebellion. The Consortium Rebellion focuses on the sisters of the powerful House von Hasenberg and is half science fiction and half romance.
In Polaris Rising, Ada von Hasenberg, the 5th of the 6 von Hasenberg children, has been on the run from an unwanted arranged marriage. Captured by mercenaries, Ada finds herself in a holding cell with Marcus Loch. Loch is a notorious criminal and former soldier, accused of murdering his squadron and as many of his superior officers as he could reach. They end up on the run together and falling in love.
Aurora Blazing features Ada’s older sister, Bianca. When the heir of House von Hasenberg is kidnapped and someone is trying to make Bianca look guilty, she goes off planet to follow a lead and find her brother. Her love interest and reluctant partner in adventure is Ian Bishop, the director of Security for her House.
These books are fun and not at all deep. I’ve seen several comparisons to Ilona Andrews’ books and I think that’s a good comparison. Don’t go in expecting sexy space adventures as written by Ilona Andrews, that will lead you to disappointment, but the vibe is very similar and Jessie Mihalik likes an alpha male. Ada and Bianca are space princesses in the vein of Leia Organa and Flash Gordon – smart, sarcastic, burdened by family responsibility but not so burdened that they aren’t excellent escapist fun. Their role in the family is to make advantageous marriages and become intelligence agents in the houses of their husbands. Their childhood training has prepared them for gallivanting across space, dodging danger. They have skills, competence and money that makes their adventures believable enough that I could not worry about details and enjoy the ride.
Ada and Bianca are the most enjoyable characters of the series. Both were delightful though I found myself more engaged with Bianca. When I finished Aurora Rising I immediately started reading it again. My only complaints are with Loch and some of the secondary characters. I found Loch to be largely impenetrable. He was so closed off that accepting that Ada loved him was a bit of a leap of faith. There were a few moments when he let down his guard, and I wish Mihalik had included a little bit more of that. Jealousy is not my favorite sign that someone loves you and I could have done without all of that. Veronica’s motivations also felt flat to me. She made choices that made me do a head tilt. But, not enough that I didn’t enjoy Polaris Rising.