My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
To save her brother and protect her family’s future, a powerful princess must join forces with a dashing man from her past in this thrilling space adventure, the second novel in the Consortium Rebellion trilogy.
As the dutiful daughter of High House von Hasenberg, Bianca set aside her personal feelings and agreed to a political match arranged by her family, only to end up trapped in a loveless, miserable marriage. When her husband unexpectedly dies, Bianca vows never to wed again. Newly independent, she secretly uses her wealth and influence to save other women stuck in dire circumstances. Information is power and Bianca has a network of allies and spies that would be the envy of the ’verse—if anyone knew about it.
When her family’s House is mysteriously attacked, Bianca’s oldest brother, the heir to House von Hasenberg, disappears. Fearful for her brother’s life, the headstrong Bianca defies her father and leaves Earth to save him. Ian Bishop, the director of House von Hasenberg security—and Bianca’s first love—is ordered to find and retrieve the rebellious woman.
Ian is the last man Bianca wants to see. To evade capture, she leads him on a merry chase across the universe. But when their paths finally collide, she knows she must persuade him to help her. Bianca 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 the search takes 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 . . .
After I finished listening to Polaris Rising I dove right into Aurora Blazing. I really enjoyed Polaris Rising and Aurora Blazing was just as good. While Aurora Blazing has a slightly different tone and focus than Polaris Rising, I thought that worked well here and I really enjoyed listening to Bianca’s adventures.
From the start I really liked Bianca. She shows her kindness in chapter 1 already and that’s one of the things I like most about her. Unlike her sister Eda, Bianca isn’t as physically strong, although thanks to her training she can hold her own in a fight. Instead her focus is on gathering intelligence and I really liked the first few scenes and more later in the book where we see how she uses her information network and contacts to find out what’s been happening. She’s very capable, but also has been hurt badly by her now dead husband. There is a reveal about Bianca early in the book that was quite interesting and I liked how it played a role in this book, even though it was a double edged sword that also hurt her.
Aurora Blazing follows Bianca’s story after she runs away from Earth to find out what happened to her brother Ferdinand. Her father orders her under house arrest and she knows she can’t find out the truth under house arrest so she runs. With security director Ian Bishop right behind her as her father orders him to bring Bianca back. What follows is an exciting read where Bianca goes to far lengths to find out what happened to Ferdinand and where to find him, as well as trying to avoid Ian and later teaming up with him. There are some exciting twists and turns, interesting characters and dangerous scenarios along the way. The story kept my attention, although there were some parts that I enjoyed less, all in all it was a great read.
I liked the idea of Bianca and Ian and their romance, but it took a long time to actually feel their romance and become invested in the idea of them together. These two are both incredible stubborn to the point where their stubbornness just becomes ridiculous and lacks common sense altogether. Ian wants to protect Bianca and keep her safe, Bianca knows she can help and neither of them gives and inch. So it’s just them butting heads, having the same argument over and over. She’s trying to convince him to help, he wanting her out of harms way. I was so happy when they finally decide to work together, even though their stubborn arguments continue for a long while more, at least it got more bearable. And even then it takes a long, long time before things progress into romance. I did like that subtle change and I liked their romance. They really were awesome together when they’re finally working fully together and confide in each other. I just wish it happened earlier as I feel that we got to see only very little of them together. I wanted more of the sweet touching romantic scenes and them working together and less of the stubborn arguments.
While this is Bianca’s story, we still see a bit of Eda as well, which was fun. As well as Locke, Rhys and Veronica. As Bianca’s story starts out on Earth we get to see a bit more of her other siblings and relationships among them, which I liked. We see how she interacts with her twin Benedict, as well as Hanna and Catarina. And we learn a little bit about Ferdinand as well. Bianca also meets some interesting characters along the way. Eva and Alex among them.
I liked seeing more of the world in this series, this book continues with expanding on the world building. There’s more of the house politics we see and how Bianca is part of this. This book also continues the overarching plot line regarding the war with Rockhurst a bit.
That narrator does a great job with this book. I liked the different voices she had for different characters. Each character had their own voice and I liked how she did the voices for Bianca and Ian and how they differ from the main characters of book 1. I can hardly imagine how I had trouble getting used to her narration style in book 1 as with this book I slipped into the story effortlessly and liked the narration from the start.
To summarize: This was a great sequel. It has a slightly different tone in a way than book 1 because Bianca is quite different than Eda, but I liked it. There is plenty of action, intrigue, danger and adventure with Bianca trying to figure out what happened to her brother. Bianca is a likable main character. I liked reading about her and her intelligence network and how capable and kind she was, but also how she was hurt due to what her now dead husband did and how she struggled with some things. I liked the romance between Bianca and Ian when things finally heated up. I did find the build-up a bit tedious as there is a lot of arguing and them both being ridiculously stubborn. I was happy when they started working together and when their relationship turns into something more it was wonderful to see. They make for a great team. While this is Bianca’s story and her adventure, there is still some we see of characters from the previous book which was fun.As well as more we learn of the other siblings and some new characters too. The world building and politics are expanded upon in this book. Emily Woo Zeller did a great job with the narration and I really enjoyed listening to this book. I can’t wait for book 3 and plan to listen to that one as well.