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Hunt the Stars

by Jessie Mihalik

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Starlight's Shadow (1)

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1016229,462 (3.96)1
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 author Octavia 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.  … (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Entertaining fun, an enjoyable read, delightful characters.
  DianaTixierHerald | May 23, 2022 |
2.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

It was an impossible task, and one I didn't relish tackling while a Valovian general breathed down my neck.

Captain Octavia Zarola feels there's trouble on the horizon when top Valovian General Torran Fletcher approaches her with a job. It's been three years of peace between humans and Valovians but Tavi is known as the Hero of Rodeni for her efforts in the war and knows there's still a bounty on her in Valovian space. Why would a Valoff want to hire her as a bounty hunter? Told in all first person point-of-view from Tavi, Hunt the Stars, starts off the new science fiction series Starlight's Shadow about human and Valovian relations and politics. Torran claims that a very valuable family heirloom was stolen from his home and he needs bounty hunter Tavi and her team to search for it. Money has been extremely tight and while Tavi doesn't trust Torran is being completely honest with her, her ship needs repairs and updates and decides to take the contract.

Torran was a payday and nothing else. Anything more was far too dangerous.

Told all from Tavi's pov, the reader gets to know her and the humans very well but it left Torran and his crew more in the shadows. I never really felt like I knew Torran and therefore, the romance between Tavi and him didn't move past lust and I had a hard time connecting with him. The first half was slow for me as there wasn't much movement on plot, we do get some world setting and building but there were too many kitchen scenes and while I liked Luna, a pet of Tavi and her crew that is a cross between a fox, ferret, and cat, I was done reading how often Luna wanted to be feed, as it was brought up over and over. The first half has Tavi and her crew tentatively interacting with Torran and his crew as they travel to get to Torran's home in Valovian space. I felt this was stretched out for too long as I wanted more movement on story.

My body demanded satisfaction, but my head warned of danger and my heart wanted more.

The second half did deliver on story movement as some of the mystery behind what Torran hired Tavi to find and why gets slowly revealed. The story advances with more political intrigue and we get a deeper look at the world politics. The main plot is that there was a war between the Federated Human Planets (FHP) and the Valovians and even though there is peace right now, it's not completely settled between them. Having Tavi and Torran on different sides had me ready for some great tension but the one pov hurt this for me because I couldn't delve into Torran's character as much. The relationships ended up feeling lighter and surface. There seem to be many hints at future match-ups between Tavi and Torran's crew members that have me interested to see where they go (Kee the sunshine one on Tavi's crew and Varro the grumpy on Torran's is next in the series).

“My life is mine, but my heart is yours.”

I enjoyed the space setting and the author did a pretty good job filling it out with futuristic weapons, travel, space ships, and the Valoff's telekinetic “powers” to create a scifi mood. Very much at the heart though, is the politics and relationships between everyone. Tavi and her found family crew take most of the emotional spotlight but the last part of the second half have Tavi and Torran starting to act on their attraction (there is one bedroom scene but it is in the last few pages of the story). The last 20% had more of the pace I was looking for and we get action battle scenes, reveals, and more mysteries that will obviously lead into and connect future books in the series. This was a little too slow moving for me and Tavi and Torran's romance didn't quite reach the depth I wanted but with the world building done in this first book, I'm looking forward to the next in the series having the time to deepen the romance. This was an interesting world to visit and with a plot thread that still needs answers, I'll be looking forward to Kee and Varro's story.

“So, we're decided then?” I asked. Everyone nodded, and Torran squeezed my hand with a smile. I grinned. “Then let's go stop a war.” ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Mar 1, 2022 |
Mihalik, Jessie. Hunt the Stars. Starlight’s Shadow No. 1. Harper Voyager, 2022.
Hunt the Stars is a space opera romance. Our heroine, Tavi, is the disillusioned veteran of a recent war. She, her telepathic pet that resembles Honor Harrington’s Treecat, and her crew of veterans and misfits contract to transport the former enemy general and his troop of bodyguards back to his home planet and to retrieve a lost object for him. Her ship needs repairs, and the deal is good enough to overcome her distaste for the job. But she did not expect that all her passengers would be telepaths with TK abilities. Nor did she expect that she and the general would develop passionate crushes on one another. Steamy adventure ensues. The book meets but does not exceed genre expectations. 3.5 stars. ( )
  Tom-e | Feb 18, 2022 |
I had such a good time with this book! I have heard so many great things about Jessie Mihalik’s books so I jumped at the opportunity to read this book which is the start of a new series. This book grabbed my attention right away and never let go. I was completely entertained by this well-done story.

After some intense negotiations, Tavi and the rest of the Starlight crew agree to take a job from Torran Fletcher, a Valoff General. It hasn’t been all that long since humans were at war with the Valoffs so tensions are high from the start. Torran and his team join Tavi and hers aboard the Starlight as they make their way to the planet Valovia. I really enjoyed getting to watch these two groups of people learn to get along and eventually become part of a team. Once they land on Valovia, the book does shift gears as they work to fulfill their mission.

I really liked the characters in this book. Tavi and Torran were both very highly principled leaders. It wasn’t long before the spark between them flared to life. I liked that they didn’t act on anything right away but really got to know each other first. The rest of the team were equally well done and each added an important element to the story. Luna was a great addition to the story and I loved that she was such a big part of the story.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I found this to be a really exciting book filled with great characters and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment in this wonderful series.

I received a review copy of this book from Harper Voyager. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Feb 2, 2022 |
Octavia Zarola will do anything to ensure she and her small group of bounty hunters are able to stay afloat. After all, they have been looking out for each other since they served together in the war between the Valovians and Federated Human Planets (FHP).

Times have been tough, and now Tavi is offered a job by none other than Torran Fletcher, a former general and a Valovian. The job is being kept a bit of a mystery, and it means working with a potential enemy and putting her people in harm's way. The money offered is too good to pass up, and Tavi and her team are the considered the best for a reason.

But as the investigation begins, Tavi learns that the stakes are higher than previously thought, and as the weight of the galaxy hangs in the balance, she'll find an ally in the most unexpected place.

This is the beginning of a new series from Jessie Mihalik and I really think that she's becoming one of the current go-to's for the sci-fi romance genre.

Hunt the Stars works very well as a series opener. There's a lot of initial setup not only of the futuristic world but also of the characters. For me, while the story still held my interest, it takes a bit for it to pick up speed. It's not until over the halfway mark that the actual mystery of Tavi and her crew are hired to find is addressed with more focus. From there the plot takes of running and the consequences of where it leads will be felt across the rest of the series I think.

I love the initial setup between Tavi and Torran. Two people on different sides of a conflict come together years later with a common goal but still without much trust between them. It makes for a good amount of tension. I like seeing how that tension morphs into something more. The invariable twists and turns that come with working with someone you cannot fully trust will cause complications, but I loved seeing how Tavi and Torran moved through those.

While the focus is on Tavi and Torran, Jessie Mihalik sets up the rest of the crews rather nicely. I kind of like that we're already seeing how the others will pair off. I think it makes the build up all the more sweeter as we get into the other books.

Jessie Mihalik is comfortable in a sci-fi futuristic setting and makes readers comfortable too. Nothing is too difficult to grasp and technologies and new species are described with ease. I think her writing is perfect for those wanting to try the sci-fi genre, but are wary of picking up a more complicated tome.

I look forward to the next book and seeing the continuation of the story threads but seeing a different pair of characters pick up the mantle.

*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  AmyM3317 | Jan 13, 2022 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mihalik, JessieAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corzo, FrankieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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 author Octavia 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.  

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