I received this book for free from Advance Reader Copy, NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Eclipse the Moon by Jessie Mihalik
Series: Starlight's Shadow #2
Published by Harper Voyager on July 12, 2022
Genres: Sci Fi Romance
Source: Advance Reader Copy, NetGalley
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Kee Ildez has been many things: hacker, soldier, bounty hunter. She never expected to be a hero, but when a shadowy group of traitors starts trying to goad the galaxy’s two superpowers into instigating an interstellar war, Kee throws herself into the search to find out who is responsible—and stop them.
Digging up hidden information is her job, so hunting traitors should be a piece of cake, but the primary suspect spent years in the military, and someone powerful is still covering his tracks. Disrupting their plans will require the help of her entire team, including Varro Runkow, a Valovian weapons expert who makes her pulse race.
Quiet, grumpy, and incredibly handsome, Varro watches her with hot eyes but ignores all of her flirting, so Kee silently vows to keep her feelings strictly platonic. But that vow will be put to the test when she and Varro are forced to leave the safety of their ship and venture into enemy territory alone.
Cut off from the rest of their team, they must figure out how to work together—and fast—because a single misstep will cost thousands of lives.
This is the second book in Jessie Mihalik’s Starlight’s Shadow series. In the first book, we learned that a long war has finally subsided and there is a tentative peace between the Valoffs and the humans. However there is a small faction of people who want to restart the war. The main villain is a general who has gone rogue and is not only after our main characters, but wants to kill some high ranking people on both sides making it look like the Valoffs have started the war again.
Kee is one of the humans on the ship Starlight’s Shadow. Her captain is in love with a Valoff general (this was book 1, Hunt the Stars). And while the two crews have learned to live together and have become friends and crewmates, Kee is desperately in love with Varro. He is faultlessly polite, and an excellent friend, if a bit quiet. But in her quest to hack into some super protected systems to help find the general they’re looking for, she’s constantly distracted by the fact that Varro doesn’t return her love, and she’s totally okay with that, but she needs a bit of time to heal and process. So in a two birds, one stone situation, Kee lets her captain know that she will be staying on the station where they’re resupplying. She can have a two week break from Varro, she can have better access to the systems being at a base rather than on a ship, and there’s one last thing. A certain fashion show using a very famous human designer, and a very famous Valoff designer will be held on this base. Nothing Kee has found has said anything will happen…however she has a feeling something big is going down. And the fact that she can’t find anything at all makes that feeling worse.
From the second Kee arrives on the station, she feels as if she’s being followed. She never sees anyone, but she can feel them. And her hunch is correct when she’s boxed in by some local thugs trying to rob her, she’s saved by Varro! He doesn’t want her left alone so his big plan was to stay in the hallways and ensure her safety, but Kee obviously isn’t on board with this and they share her tiny room. While they are in this forced proximity (one of my favorite tropes!), Kee is still constantly on her tablet searching and hacking and trying to figure out why the general has disappeared from everything. And then…her hunch is proved correct. Something big happened and she and Varro are caught up in the middle of it all.
I love this author, and I really love her characters and this series. I think Kee was a fun and light heroine, which sometimes our grumpy and strong silent type heroes need. She presents as if she has ADD, and he is so sweet and caring. He makes sure she eats, and pulls her from her tablet when she hyperfocuses through her alarms. These two are a good couple, and each spent a good portion of the book trying to save the other. I really think the best part of this whole book was Kee realizing she’s a whole lot stronger than she had ever given herself credit for.
I think the overarching plot driving the series has gotten a whole heck of a lot messier, and definitely more dangerous. I’m enjoying the characters, and the captain taking on strays, so to speak. I can’t wait for what comes next. This author has made me love Space Opera/Sci Fi Romance.
***ARC courtesy of Harper Voyager via Netgalley