Bianca von Hasenberg did her duty for High House von Hasenberg and ended up trapped in a terrible marriage. When her husband dies unexpectedly and leaves her a happy widow, she vows never to marry again. Instead, she uses her connections to save other young women. Information is power and Bianca has a network that would be the envy of the ’verse—if anyone knew about it.
After an attack, Bianca’s oldest brother, the House von Hasenberg heir, disappears from Earth without a trace. Determined to find him, Bianca leaves against orders. When she refuses to return, her father sends Ian Bishop, the director of House von Hasenberg security, to haul her home like a recalcitrant child.
Bianca leads Ian on a merry chase across the universe, but when their paths finally collide, she persuades him that they would be far more successful at finding her brother if they worked together. She will do anything to save her sibling, even if it means spending time alone on a small ship with the handsome, infuriating man who once broke her heart.
As clues lead them deep into rival House Rockhurst territory, Bianca must decide if she can trust Ian with the one piece of information that could destroy her completely…
I first read this book immediately upon receiving it for review. I ADORED it. Utterly and completely. Just as much as I loved the first book, Polaris Rising. But life got in the way and I never ended up reviewing it. By the time life had settled down a bit, I wanted to do a re-read so I could do Bianca and Ian justice.
Then my wife started reading Aurora Blazing, randomly, because I’d loaded in on her Kindle. She didn’t know that it was book 2 in the series. She just loved it and it made me want to read the entire series all over again. So I did.
The last several days have been a true joy. This is my first re-read of this series, but I can guarantee that it won’t be my last. It kept me on the edge of my seat even the second time through, bringing me joy and frustration, love and happiness.
The Consortium Rebellion series is, easily, going to be one of my favorites series. It’s got everything I look for. Amazing characters, an intricately built world, and a tight, interesting plot.
Aurora Blazing picks up shortly after Polaris Rising. And though I’ll always advocate for reading series in order, and definitely for reading Ada’s story, you can easily read this as a stand-alone. You’ll get some spoilers for book 1, but it’s nothing horribly egregious.
Bianca intrigued the hell out of me when we met her. I knew she had a lot more going on underneath the surface, and I loved seeing what that was when we got to this book. I really, really, really appreciate how Jessie Mihalik makes the women in the series so utterly competent. They’re not over-confident, they’re not yelling about how strong they are. They are just there, getting the job done, time after time. Bianca’s utter honesty in assessing herself and her capabilities, her pride and confidence in them, and her actions showing them, consistently made my love for her multiply.
I hurt for Bianca after knowing what Ian did to her when they first met. It’s not an easy thing to get past, but I love how these two characters do. There’s no simple apology and forgiveness. What there is, is a consistent proving of the truth of their respect and care, over and over again.
I enjoyed watching Ian pull his foot out of his mouth and seeing Bianca begin to build that fragile trust in him. Taking that leap, especially after being burned before, is a hard thing. But she does it, like so many other difficult tasks she accomplishes.
Bianca says at one point that she and Ian would be an unbeatable team – she means in information gathering, and problem-solving. And they are. But the truth is that when these two come together, in any way, they’re absolutely unbeatable. And the foundation on which they build their relationship is rock-solid.
The story begins to show us how things are heating up in the budding war within the Consortium. Because the war started before anyone was really ready for it, things haven’t progressed a lot. And still this book is action packed. From a interstellar chase, to an illegal crime syndicate party, to sneaking into enemy territory…there’s not a moment that goes by that isn’t fraught with some tension.
Now, I’m simply dying – all over again – with the wait for book 3, Chaos Reigning. Catarina’s story is going to be amazing. I cannot wait. I know it’s supposed to be the last book in the series, but I really hope we get Ferdinand, Benedict, and Hannah’s stories, too. Someday. A girl can dream.