MINI BOOK REVIEWS: Consortium Rebellion Series – Jessie Mihalik

I’m trying to make more time this year to read full series and backlist books that I’ve had on my TBR and I’m loving the progress I’ve been making! I just recently discovered the Consortium Rebellion series a few months ago. I can’t believe this sci-fi/space opera series exists and no one thought to @ me. For those who don’t know, I’m obsessed with space opera books (I’ve also heard them called space romance? Is this a thing?) and it’s always a struggle to find books that fit what I’m looking for!

35662096Title: Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion #1)
Author: Jessie Mihalik
Rating: ★★★★

Polaris Rising starts out right in the middle of the action, and honestly, that’s the way to do it in order for sci-fi books to catch my attention. This book was such an adventure from the first chapter, al the way up until the final pages. 

I absolutely loved the dynamic between Ada and Loch. Ada von Hasenberg is a daughter from one of the Royal Consortium High Houses, and Marcus Loch is an ex-military man wanted for murder. At first, the two seem to be  opposites, but they work really well together and find more in common than they first believed. Their chemistry was amazing from their first few scenes together and it made the transition into something more feel so natural and believable. 

Polaris Rising had everything I wanted in a sci-fi/space opera story: adventure, fast-paced story, romance, and high stakes. It made me really excited for the next two books in the series!

41951623Title: Aurora Blazing (Consortium Rebellion #2)
Author: Jessie Mihalik
Rating: ★★★½

Aurora Blazing is centered around Ada’s older sister, Bianca, whom we briefly meet at the end of Polaris Rising. She was throwing off some serious vibes with the House von Hasenberg Director of Security, Ian, so I was really looking forward to reading this!

This book was more plot-centric than the first, and less focused on the romance. One the one hand, I was really thrilled about the plot here: we follow Bianca around the universe as she attempts to find/rescue her missing older brother, the heir to their House. However, I did feel like I was missing out on the romance while reading. Ian and Bianca had some serious chemistry and unresolved angst going on, so I really wish the author would have explored that more. 

Overall, Aurora Blazing was the perfect follow up to Polaris Rising. I was disappointed by the lack of romance, but delight by the thrilling adventures, plot twists, and betrayals this one gave readers.

Title: Chaos Reigning (Consortium Rebellion #3)
Author: Jessie Mihalik
Rating: ★★★½

In Chaos Reigning, we follow the youngest von Hasenberg sibling, Catarina, as she attempts to sleuth information regarding a potential betrayal by other Houses. Cat was an interesting character as we don’t really see much of her before this book. She has a reputation throughout of the Consortium of being a ditzy, self-absorbed daughter of a High House, but she presents that front to conceal that fact that she’s very clever and has her own spying ring. 

As with Aurora Blazing, there is a lot more going on plot-wise. However, I also felt like the author kicked up the romance a notch so I really appreciated that. Alex and Cat made a really good team, despite Cat’s reluctance to work with him at first, and it was hard not to root for these two. 

Chaos Reigning was the perfect blend of romance and exciting sci-fi action. I really wish we could have gotten books for the other three von Hasenberg siblings (especially Benedict!), but regardless I’m really looking forward to reading Jessie Mihalik’s next series!

MINI BOOK REVIEWS: Dance of Thieves Series – Mary E. Pearson

I was pleasantly surprised to find myself with extra reading time after finishing the insane amount of arcs I had to read in May (I may have overdid it with the requesting). I decided what better time to read a completed series that had been on my TBR! I really enjoyed Mary E. Pearson’s The Remnant Chronicles and the Dance of Thieves duology was something that had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to read, and here it was! Also, it wasn’t until I started reading Dance of Thieves and looked up a map online that I found out that The Remnant Chronicles world is set in a future North America. Am I the only dolt that didn’t know this?!

Dance of Thieves_FINAL 9.18Title: Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #1)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Rating: ★★★★½

I enjoyed The Remnant Chronicles but I put off reading Dance of Thieves because of it’s size and I was unsure how I felt about reading a companion series of sorts. Not only was I completely blown away by this book, but I ended up loving it even more than its predecessors.  

Dance of Thieves begins with action straight off the back, which easily captured my attention. The chapters were a breeze to get through and I loved every minute I spent immersed in the world. Going into this book, for some reason I was under the impression that there would be multiple character POVs, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found out the only POVs were the two main characters, Jase and Kazi. The dynamic between Kazi and Jase was amazing. It was believable and excellently written. I think one of my favorite aspects was that in many YA fantasy books, the heroine spends a majority of the time denying or ignoring her feelings for the love interest when in situations similar to Kazi’s. However, Kazi never once does that; she admits them–begrudgingly–and acknowledges their inconvenience, but she never once acts like they aren’t there. It made her character feel so much more mature and nuanced. 

I loved the little nods to The Remnant Chronicles and the appearance of Lia and Rafe near the and made the book even sweeter. I felt much more engrossed in the worldbuilding in Dance of Thieves and found the idea of Tor’s Watch and the Ballenger family totally intriguing. The book ended with a slight cliff-hanger and I was curious to see if my nagging suspicion I’ve had all book was correct!

Title: Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #2)34196663
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Rating: ★★★★½

Very rarely is the sequel as good as the first book, but Vow of Thieves was just as amazing as its predecessor. I typically hate the second-book trope in which the main characters spend the majority of the time separated from each other, but there was so much going on with the plot and plenty of action that it didn’t bother me once! 

I had made a few guesses in Dance of Thieves as to who was behind the cliffhanger, but I was completely taken by surprise! The machinations going are were very complex and intricate; way more than I had been expecting. At times it made my head spin, but for the most part it was easy to follow along with. And looking back there were definitely a few hints along the way.

Kaz and Jase’s relationship only grew stronger in this book, even being apart for a good chunk of the story. I love when two strong, independent characters are soft with each other and are unafraid to admit their feelings. Vow of Thieves was an action-packed, entertaining, thrilling sequel to Dance of Thieves. Honestly, I’m a little mad at myself for sleeping on this series for so long. These books greatly surpass The Remnant Chronicles and I absolutely loved them.

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MINI BOOK REVIEWS: Rebel of the Sands Series – Alwyn Hamilton

Thank you to everyone who voted in my polls, either in my October Wrap-Up post or on Twitter, and helped me pick which long-overdue trilogy I should read while I was on vacation. The winner ended up being the Rebel of the Sands series by Alwyn Hamilton! Since I read all three books back-to-back, I decided to do something a little different and review all three at the same time with mini reviews. 

9780451477538_RebelOfTheSands_JK.inddTitle: Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Rating: ★★★★

I actually read Rebel of the Sands back when it was first released, but just never kept up with the rest of the series. It was almost like I was reading the book again for the first tine, because I hardly remembered anything that happened. I’m also glad I reread it because I ended up enjoying it tremendously more than I did the first time around.

We meet our main character, Amani, a gifted gunslinger in a small town in the Last Country. I loved the world-building done in this book: Miraji is a Middle-Eastern inspired setting with Old-West aspects + magic. And if you’re wondering if it’s as awesome as it sounds, the short answer is yesThere is so much action and fun stuff happening here. We have amazing characters, a slow-burn romance, treks across the desserts, an abundance of princes, and a kick-butt heroine that I adore. This fast-paced book is full of plot twists and plenty of action. I flew through it in one day and then immediately picked up the sequel.

Title: Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2)31574408
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Rating: ★★★★

Traitor to the Throne picks up after a bit of a time jump, but it’s very easy to fall back into the story and figure out what is going on. I’m thankful I was able to read this right after finishing Rebel of the Sands, because otherwise I think my experience would have been a lot different. This book focuses more on Amani and is a lot slower paced than the previous book. Instead of a plot filled with action and adventure, we get introduced to political intrigue and court machinations. Beloved characters from the first book – including Jin and their romance – are sadly missing for a good portion of this book, but there was so much happening that it never bothered me. A few new key characters are introduced and there were two that I absolutely loved getting to know: Rahim and Sam! As with Rebel of the Sands, there was plenty of magic and plot twists to keep things interesting. The action starts to really build towards the last few chapters, and by the end we’re left with a big cliffhanger! 

35406534Title: Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Rating: ★★★★

This was such a thrilling and wonderful conclusion to the series! In Hero at the Fall the fast-paced and action-filled plot returned, and now the stakes are raised. I was happy that Jin and Amani were together again in this one, because I love the way their relationship changed and grew over the course of these books. I also loved the relationships Amani had with all of the other characters, but especially her friendships with with Shazad, Amed and Sam. More of the book’s mythology was included, and I really enjoyed reading those bits of stories and their creativity. As much as I loved everything that went on, we also said goodbye to some characters, including one of my favorites. And while I liked the ending/epilogue, I do wish that a couple of the characters were given more a more satisfying conclusion to their stories. Hero at the Fall was the perfect wrap-up to the series and I had such a fun time reading these books! 

Have you read this series? Did you like it? This is the first time I’ve done a mini series review so let me know what you think!