Review: Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik


Title: Hunt the Stars (Starlight's Shadow #1)
Author: Jessie Mihalik
Publication Date: 1 Feb 2022
Genres: Sci-Fi Romance

Author's links: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 4 Stars


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.


This is an fun, engaging space adventure romance and enjoyed it a lot. After reading the previous space romance series by this author I have come to expect the balance to be in favour of the adventure/thriller aspect rather than the romance and going in with this knowledge I was able to enjoy this story in full measure.

It's an enemies to lovers romance. There is a new race involved, reminiscent of Nalini Singh's psy characters - humans but with psychic and telekinetic abilities who came into existence on another planet.

There is a lot that I liked in this story. The thriller/solving a kidnapping aspect was well done and complex and we will be seeing more of this big conspiracy plot in the future books in the series. The MCs were both great, similar in so many ways - both are ex-soldiers, leader who took care of their people. I absolutely loved the way they built their own families with those closest to them. Especially with Tavi and her crew, it was a beautiful found family and I loved seeing the support, the loyalty and care between. Something that really stood out to me in the way Tavi care for her people was the way she fed them, the care she took with making food everyone liked, it extended to Torran's crew when she took them on board. The routing task of cooking was shown as a sign of care, kindness, basic respect for other people and it really spoke to me because feeding my people is basically my own love languages.

We saw that with Torran as well, he didn't shy away from cooking for his crew and guests and it wasa brilliant subversion of toxic masculinity.

Slow-burn romance and lots of secrets Torran kept which I was not a big fan of. He was guided by a complicated moral code of promises/obligations and I felt it need more elaboration/better explanation. It added a layer of forbidden desire to the attraction between Tavi and Torran. It made sense in the world of the story and also put focus on consent and honesty in all relationships, not just when it comes to physical intimacy.

It is a solid 4-star read for me, fast-paced, action-packed with a slow-burn romance.

CW: child abduction, violence, injuries

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