Another breakneck-paced space opera/romance from Jessie Mihalik…
I’m not an author, but it has always struck me that writing the middle book in a pre-planned trilogy must be pretty hard. An author gets to introduce the characters and the setting in the first book, and tee up the over-arching storyline. So everything is shiny and new. And then in the last book, they get to resolve all the problems, get rid of the villains in suitably gory ways, and fix any remaining relationship issues. So, again, some exciting stuff to write about. But in the middle book, the author somehow has to keep things interesting and move the story along, but without any of the extra little bits that can add some easy zing to the first and last books.
And Jessie Milhalik’s Eclipse the Moon, although definitely enjoyable to read, does suffer a tad from “second-book syndrome”. It’s not a fatal flaw by any means. The new lead characters, Kee and Varro, are a lot of fun. Kee’s superb hacking skills keep things going in the hunt for the villain, Frank Morten, while Varro’s 12-on-a-scale-of-10 mental capabilities are strong enough to give pause to even his own Valovian comrades. And the overall story is a pedal-to-the-metal space opera like Mihalik’s earlier books. But, against this rollicking background, Kee’s and Varro’s ongoing miscommunication may be a bit frustrating for readers, who may find themselves wanting to just bang the couple’s heads together, and tell them to each pay attention to what the other is saying.
Overall, though, I still had a lot of fun reading this book. (I want my own fluffy white burbu, just like Luna, and am harboring a secret hope that Luna may have a big surprise role coming up, and somehow help save the day in the end!) And after enjoying Eclipse the Moon, I am very much looking forward to the final book in the trilogy. Please keep in mind that I try to fight star-flation, and not give too many five-star ratings, so four-stars from me is a solid “read this book” recommendation. And finally, my thanks to the publisher, Harper Voyager, and to NetGalley for the review copy.