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!

BOOK REVIEW: Goddess in the Machine – Lora Beth Johnson ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Title: Goddess in the Machine (Goddess in the Machine #1)
Author: Lora Beth Johnson
Rating: ★★★★

As soon as I read an excerpt of this on BookishFirst, I knew Goddess in the Machine was going to a book that thrilled me. The synopsis revolves around a girl who wakes from her cyrosleep 1000 years too late to a vastly different world, which ironically is a senario I had pondered a few months before hearing about this book. What were the odds?

Goddess in the Machine is about Andra, who was put into cyrosleep to wake in another planet with other colonists from Earth in 100 years, but ends up waking 1000 years later instead. Everyone she knows as long since been dead and now the descendants of those original colonists believe her to be an actual goddess, awakened to help save their failing city.

The worldbuilding was intriguing and fantastically written. It honestly was what drew me into the story from the first chapter. The story has a very apocalyptic feel; it reminded me a bit of The 100 which is a show I love. I also thought the “language” that was created was excellently construed. It was never over the top or confusing to figure out, but you were forced to think a bit harder about what was being said. It was totally believable how English could have changed and mutated over hundreds of years in that fashion. It was actually fun piecing together how certain words/phrases could have evolved into what was being said.

I absolutely loved the protagonist, Andra. It was very easy to sympathize with her and understand the loneliness and despair she must be feeling at her situation. At the same time, she remains determined to solve her problems as best she can while remaining true to herself. I also loved the representation she brings to the book: Andra is part-Asian and frequently describes herself as “chubby” or “fat”. I loved that she accepts her body for what it is and her weight is never the focal point or made out to be a negative attribute.

My favorite part of the book? The plot twists. It’s not often a book can take me completely by surprise but Goddess in the Machine succeeded three times. The first major plot twist was amazing. I honestly never saw it coming and nearly squealed in excitement. I love that feeling when reading! The second plot twist had a small hint earlier which I caught, but it seemed to far-fetched for me to consider so I was pleasantly surprised (and shocked) when I turned out to be right. The third plot twist happens just before the book ends and I will admit I was again caught in complete surprise by that turn of events. As I said, I’m usually pretty good about catching the hints or guessing at the twists, but Lora Beth Johnson did a tremendous job keeping the twists well-hidden until they needed to be revealed, yet at the same time they are totally believable and added so much to the story.

Goddess in the Machine is one of the most impressive debuts I’ve read this year. The apocalyptic sci-fi setting is the perfect backdrop for this amazing story. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book.

ARC REVIEW: TRUEL1F3 – Jay Kristoff ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Title: TRUEL1F3 (Lifelike #3)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Rating: ★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

TRUEL1F3 is packed full of the same non-stop action and thrills as the two previous installments and concludes the trilogy in a way that leaves the reader feeling satisfied. The Lifelike series was one hell of a ride and I would highly recommend it to any fan of YA Science Fiction.

The book picks up exactly where DEV1AT3 left off so it’s easy to fall right back into the story. Not to mention that once again Jay Kristoff blesses his readers by giving a short run-down of the plot/characters before the first chapter. Seriously, can we please make this a thing with all sequels? Instead of struggling to remember everything and everyone through the first few chapters, I can jump right in like no time at all has passed since the previous book.

My one issue with DEV1AT3 was that Eve’s POV wasn’t as prominent and she didn’t have as big of a voice in that book. I was super stoked to find that her and Lemon Fresh both had equal amounts of the proverbial limelight in TRUEL1F3. I was really glad to be back in Eve’s head, especially with all the emotional turmoil she was experiencing regarding her identity.

In all honesty, however, TRUEL1F3 didn’t stand up to the I had for LIFEL1K3 or the enjoyment of reading DEV1AT3. The book was non-stop action from the first page until the last, which I generally enjoyed, however it was almost too fast-paced at times where it felt like I was getting whiplash from being bounced back and forth every chapter. I also felt like there were some aspects where I needed more convincing, especially regarding Ezekiel’s true feelings. It seemed to get brushed over and we never really get inside his thoughts or emotions enough for it to convince the readers.

That being said, TRUEL1F3 wrapped up the trilogy nicely. If you enjoyed reading the other two books in this series, TRUEL1F3 will sure to please you as well!

REVIEW: This Vicious Cure – Emily Suvada

46404266Title: This Vicious Cure (This Mortal Coil #3)
Author: Emily Suvada
Rating: ★★½

This Vicious Cure was one of my most anticipated releases for the year and therefore it pains me to admit how unsatisfied and disappointed I was with the conclusion to this trilogy. I was so excited for this release that I reread the first and seconds books–something I almost never do–because I loved them so much and wanted to fully enjoy the series all over again before starting this. Now I’m think that might have been a bad idea and perhaps that’s why This Vicious Cure feels so underwhelming.

What is this book about? This Vicious Cure picks up a little bit after the end of This Cruel Design. Jun Bei is back in control of her body, after wiping the memory of everyone from the past few months, and Catarina is trapped in their mind.

What did I like? Like the previous two books, the pacing was absolutely perfect. It starts out steady from the beginning, with just the right amount of action and forward-moving plot elements that easily kept me entertained throughout the story. There were also a few clever twists. I really loved finding out the truth about Catarina and her DNA!

What didn’t I like? This Vicious Cure is set through alternating chapters told through the points of views of Jun Bei and Catarina, and I’d be lying if I said I liked the change. I was not of fan of having to read half the book from her character mostly because we spent the first two books not having any kind of emotional connection towards her, and that didn’t change just because she now has her own chapters. I wouldn’t have minded a few chapters from her POV thrown in between Catarina’s, but more often than not I skimmed parts of her chapters because I just didn’t care enough.

I also felt really disconnected from the other characters as well. The interactions between Catarina and Cole, Leoben, and Anna were some of my favorite aspects from the previous books, and that was a something sorely missing from This Vicious Cure. And when they were together, it didn’t feel like a lot because the chapters would end abruptly and then jump back to Jun Bei.

And speaking of limited character interactions, the thing that was most disappointing was the complete lack of interaction between Catarina and Cole. After everything those two have been through together in the past two books, we are given one–O N E– scene with the two of them alone and having a conversation. Their feelings for each other are barely brought up, they hardly talk to each other, and their past is never touched upon. After the ending in This Cruel Design with Cole losing his memory and all their declarations of love, I was expecting……more? Instead, they exchanged probably less than fifty words throughout the book and we are given absolutely no closure for them. It honestly made me so sad and disappointed, especially since their relationship was one of my favorite parts from the series.

Overall thoughts: I would still absolute recommend this trilogy. It’s clever and unique and extremely well-written. But I wanted so much more from this conclusion than I was given, especially when everything regarding Catarina and Cole was basically swept under the rug and forgotten about.

WWW Wednesday #23

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words in which the three W’s stand for:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?


Starsight (Starward #2) by Brandon Sanderson




The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard




The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson