Published by Harper Voyager on February 5th 2019
A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.
In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars.Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head.
When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape.
But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for . . .
So this was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There are plenty of things to like in this book but there are some things that I just wasn’t feeling at all. Despite my mixed feelings, I’m excited for the second book and see what else can this author do.
The book starts off with Ada getting captured by mercenaries after being on a run for several years to avoid a political marriage to her family’s rival arranged by her father. She was locked in cell with Marcus Loch, the galaxy’s most notorious criminal. Ada had no plans of returning to her father and she knows just who to talk into helping her escape.
There are a lot of aspects that I really like in this book, Ada Von Hasenberg being number one on that list. She might be a pawn in her father’s political plans but damn if she’ll roll over for him. I really liked Ada. I’m glad the author gave her agency despite not having any power. She’s sensible too. There were instances in the book where she could have acted out or lash out when things didn’t go her way but she never did.
That’s not to say she’s perfect because she’s not. She’s suspicious and doesn’t trust anyone easily. But I like how she allows herself to be emotionally vulnerable. She’s definitely the main highlight in the book for me.
Another thing I really liked is the world building. Yeah, there are some info-dumpy parts but it doesn’t feel awkward or unnecessary. However, I’m kind of disappointed because everyone in the galaxy are all human. If you’re expecting a talking raccoon or a humanoid tree, you won’t get it here. In this world, the human race stands alone. Despite that, I did enjoy the secondary characters in this book. I’m intrigued by a few of them and want to know more about them in future books.
But like I said, this was a mixed bag for me. The romance was okay but it felt underdeveloped in parts. Despite being on the the run together, they didn’t spend that much time with each other. They’re always separated and when they do interact, it felt stilted and forced. Their chemistry however, got better towards the end. It’s especially evident during some of the action sequences especially towards the end.
I also have a bit of an issue with the pacing especially towards the end. The ending felt abrupt. I didn’t worry much about it at first until I noticed that the next book follows a new couple instead of sticking with Ada and Loch as I had first thought. As much as I wanted the next couple’s story, I wasn’t ready to leave Ada and Loch yet. Their relationship felt so unfinished. I hope we get more of them in the next installment though.
Despite these issues, I enjoyed Polaris Rising and would recommend it to anyone who’s looking to try sci-fi romance.