ARC Review: Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik

About the Book:

Title: Hunt the Stars

Author: Jessie Mihalik

Series: Starlight’s Shadow #1

Page Length: 400

Publication Date: Feb. 1, 2022

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Synopsis: 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.

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.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   

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My Review:

Hunt the Stars is the first book in an exciting new series by Jesse Mahalik. The story is well-paced and immersive, there’s a ton of action, and the enemies-to-lovers romance is fantastic! I really admire Tavi as a leader. She is so strong and intelligent, and she always has the best interest of her crew at heart. Plus, she is sarcastic and funny! Tavi’s fiercely loyal and super determined, and her compassion knows no bounds. Torran is a great leader as well, and he and his crew, much like Tavi’s, seem more like a family than a team. I think it says a lot about Tavi and Torran’s characters that they have this core group that is so completely loyal to them.

The crews separately are well oiled machines, but I love them best when they are all together. Putting together two crews who fought on opposite sides of a devastating war has many challenges, yet this crew makes it work. Tavi can take a lot of credit for that, as she does specific things to encourage a sense of community and comradery. The two teams form such a unique and interesting connection together, and I think they learn so much through this deepening relationship. And speaking of the crew, I’m really curious to find out what happened between Lexi and Nilo. They have something simmering between them, and their chemistry is so palpable. Hopefully, they’ll be the focus of a future book in the series!

The love story in this book focused on Tavi and Torran, and they have a great enemies-to-lovers romance. They have an undeniable chemistry even though they begin as strangers from opposite sides of a war. Because Torran can actually invade others’ minds, there is a strong emphasis on consent, which I liked. This includes his romantic and professional relationship with Tavi. There is a definite sense of respect and knowing one’s boundaries.

The story has a lot of action and suspense, and the political and military intrigue adds to them. Lies, betrayals, manipulations, and more are unraveled, and the situation that Ravi, Torran, and the others find themselves in proves way more complicated and dangerous than they initially realized. It’s even more intriguing because Torran is revered in his military, and Tavi was formerly in the military but left for ethical reasons. Seeing both characters explore their feelings about the government, politics, the military, and everything that entails weigh heavily on both characters as the story progresses.

This is a great start to what promises to be an action-packed and suspenseful sci-fi romance series. The world-building is immersive, the dialogue is on point, the found family aspect is strong, and the romance is swoon-tastic! Oh, and there’s a super adorable pet too! I can’t wait to continue the series and am so grateful to Harper Voyager, Netgalley, and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The found family.
  • The pacing.

Favorite Lines:

I could admire and fume at the same time. I was good at multitasking.

Even if they’re not your family by blood, they’re still family.


This is a great book for readers who like sci-fi romance!

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