ARC Reviews, Book Reviews

ARC Review – Eclipse the Moon

Despite my best efforts, I have finally made the mistake of many NetGalley users and ended up with an ARC for a second book in a series. I was annoyed at first but my library had the first book and I enjoyed it so reading them both back to back was actually a really good time. Eclipse the Moon by Jessie Mihalik is the second book in the Starlight’s Shadow series. The first book, Hunt the Stars, was released in February 2022 and the second book will be published July 12th. This series is a sci-fi romance series following a ship of bounty hunters.

Goodreads Description for Hunt the Stars

I’m going to assume folks haven’t head the first book so here is that synopsis.

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.

My Review for Both Books

Although I was initially annoyed to have to read the first book in the series in order to read my ARC, I enjoyed my time with both of these books. They were both 3.5-4 star reads, CAWPILE had them just eking out 4 stars.

The first book was a good introduction to the world and these characters. It is very character driven with a fairly typical space/sci-fi plot. The plot was nothing too memorable on the first one. They’re trying to find something that was lost and have to partner up with Valoffs (the humanlike alien race that they recently warred against) to do so. This was all fine although I wasn’t exactly riveted. I did get annoyed that multiple times there was a plot twist because the humans uncovered something the Valoffs were hiding, this just seemed lazy to do over and over again.

The characters made it really fun though. I enjoyed the found-family feel of the main three humans on the ship and the additions of other Valoffs and humans added a nice layer to get to know the characters more. The romance is slow-burn and really well done. It’s not quite fade to black but really just gives some peeks. The character who I loved in this one was Luna, the telepathic white fluff ball I never knew I needed in space opera. She reminded me so much of my westie who was equally food obsessed and sassy, it was great.

Overall, this first book was a great time with some really good characters and I was not unhappy to jump right into the second one.

The second book had a stronger plot and lost some of what I loved about the characters. This one follows a different main character and her love interest. I really liked following Kee and thought her perspective was a nice switch. However, a good chunk of this book took place away from the bulk of the other characters. Since one of the things I really enjoyed about the first book was the way the characters played off each other, this was a bit of a bummer. But I did like Kee and there were still some good scenes with everyone so the characters were still good, just maybe not as strong as the first. It definitely could have used a lot more of Luna.

The good news is that the plot was better in this one. It was a little more detailed and just had more to it. It easily kept my interest and I wanted to know what would happen next. The politics did get a little muddy at times but I got enough of the general idea that I could live with glossing over the details in this type of book.

I also like the romance a lot more in this one, there’s just something about the grumpy/sunshine pairing that really worked and the more I read about Varro, the more intrigued I was about his character. There is definitely more smut in this one too but it wasn’t a huge part of the book and stayed more in talking about feeling than anatomy which I appreciated.

So I have to say that I’m glad I picked up this ARC even though I had to read two books. It is a very fun, easy read if you’re in the mood for a sci-fi romance. I think I’ll pick up the next one when it’s released.

* I received a free ARC of Eclipse the Moon from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *

3 thoughts on “ARC Review – Eclipse the Moon”

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