Audiobook review: Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik
Octavia Zarola is human war hero, but after seeing the ugly side of the human military, she left service and is the captain of a her own ship and bounty hunting team. Tavi will do anything to protect her found family, including working for Torran Fletcher, a former general of the human’s enemy the Voloffs, who wants to hire her crew for a large amount of money. Venturing deep into Voloff territory, the crew discovers that their enemies are vast and Torran may be their only hope for survival.
Hunt the Stars is the first book in a sci-fi romance series that takes place about three years after a war over territory between humans and Voloffs. The author tosses the reader into the world, but gives first person narrator, Tavi, ways to inform the reader via her inner dialogue, which is extremely effective, never feeling like an info dump or leaving me confused. I like that the two races are on par for technological advancements. It allows for an even playing field, neither race able to dominate over the other. Additionally, the humans have developed some technology and practices to help combat the Volovian mental powers. Tavi is better than most humans, which gives her an advantage when dealing with Torran.
The story is a thrilling adventure, filled with close calls and a couple of exciting twists. The close proximity and fighting for the same cause allows Tavi and Torran time to get to know one another, realizing each isn’t the dreaded enemy the other thought. The romance between the pair is on the light side, but the author creates sexual tension and desire effectively. The relationship is solid, and I like that they wait and get to know each other and their secrets before moving forward. However, I was more vested in the overall plot, which continues to the next story. The story is exciting, and there is so much left to tell.
Narration: The story is shared via the first person POV of Tavi. The narrator uses a solid, strong feminine voice which suits Tavi, who has seen many things and is a straight shooter. The narrator utilizes various inflections and tone changes for emotions while keeping the overall tone very steady. Dialogue is slightly adjusted for gender, race, and age, making each character unique. She gives the Valloffs a slight accent to differentiate their race. Her base voice is a deeper female, with males even deeper and masculine. I love Kee who has a higher, lighter, bubbly voice which is very fitting for her personality. Overall, it is a solid performance and enjoyable to listen to.
In the end, Hunt the Stars is an entertaining story and exciting start to a new series. There is good character development overall, creating a cast of characters for future titles. I look forward to finding out more soon!
About the Book:
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.
Author: Jessie Mihalik
Narrator: Frankie Corzo
Series: Starlight’s Shadow #1
Genre: Sci-fi Romance
Audiobook Release Date: February 1, 2022
Length: 12 hours 2 mins
Audio Speed: 1.3x
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)