Author: Jessie Mihalik
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Interplanetary intrigue and romance combine in this electrifying finale to the Consortium Rebellion series.
As the youngest member of her High House, Catarina von Hasenberg is used to being underestimated, but her youth and flighty, bubbly personality mask a clever mind and stubborn determination. Her enemies, blind to her true strength, do not suspect that Cat is a spy—which makes her the perfect candidate to go undercover at a rival House’s summer retreat to gather intelligence on their recent treachery.
Cat’s overprotective older sister reluctantly agrees, but on one condition: Cat cannot go alone. Alexander Sterling, a quiet, gorgeous bodyguard, will accompany her, posing as her lover. After Cat tries, and fails, to ditch Alex, she grudgingly agrees, confident in her ability to manage him. After all, she’s never found a person she can’t manipulate.
But Alex proves more difficult—and more desirable—than Cat anticipated. When she’s attacked and nearly killed, she and Alex are forced to work together to figure out how deep the treason goes. With rumors of widespread assaults on Serenity raging, communications down, and the rest of her family trapped off-planet, Catarina must persuade Alex to return to Earth to expose the truth and finish this deadly battle once and for all.
But Cat can’t explain why she’s the perfect person to infiltrate hostile territory without revealing secrets she’d rather keep buried. . . .
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
Chaos Reigning by Jessie Mihalik is the third book in the Consortium Rebellion series and the first book from both this author and this series that I’ve read. Luckily, dropping into this series out of the blue wasn’t a problem. I am a huge proponent of books being able to stand on their own, regardless of where they sit in a series, and Chaos Reigning did a fantastic job of standing on its own two feet.
The writing was excellent; clear, easy to follow, well-written, and free of glaring errors. The characters were fantastic and had a lot of depth to them. I loved the main female lead as a character – she was both smart and determined and took no guff from anyone. The plot was filled with political intrigue, romance, and good old run-and-gun thrilling moments that kept it moving at a quick pace. I don’t tend to read a lot of science fiction as a rule, but this one was right up my alley. If you enjoy series like Dune or Jupiter Ascending, you’ll most likely enjoy this one as well.
The only part of this book that I perhaps didn’t enjoy as much as I would have liked to, was the romance. It was a very slow build to begin with, which was great, but towards the end of the book, it became very forced. There just wasn’t enough there to convince me that what the characters were feeling was real, and by the time the relationship between the main characters became a genuine out-in-the-open thing, I just wasn’t feeling it. If you are more of a science fiction reader, and less of a romance reader, you may not notice it, and it’ll probably be fine, but as someone who reads romance avidly, it did bother me and knocked this book down a star.
Overall, this was a really good book. I enjoyed it more than I expected, and for reasons other than what I’d intended. If you enjoy science fiction, space operas, and action/adventure stories, I would recommend you give it a read.