Guest Post: Jessie Mihalik Shares Five Books Featuring Her Favorite Rebellious Characters
One of the things I loved about Polaris Rising is the rebellious nature of Ada (the protagonist), so I’m excited to have Jessie join us to day to list 5 books featuring her favorite rebellious characters.
Five Books Featuring My Favorite Rebellious Characters
By Jessie Mihalik
I love rebellious characters. From the quiet rebellion of a hidden secret or a forbidden love to the in-your-face rebellion of a character working to shatter the status quo, rebels drive plots and keep pages turning. Here are five SF/F books featuring my favorite rebellious characters.
All Systems Red is a tale of a rogue security android who has overridden its governor module and dubbed itself Murderbot. Rather than going on a murdering rampage, though, Murderbot would much rather watch hours and hours of entertainment videos while nominally keeping its human charges alive—not because it particularly cares for them, but just so it doesn’t get recalled and scrapped. Unfortunately for it, someone wants the humans dead, and Murderbot must rouse itself to their defense before they are all killed. I adored the writing, and Murderbot’s snark and dry wit shine as it reluctantly gets drawn into the human’s drama. I’ve never connected so strongly to an emotionless machine.
Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1) by Claudia Gray
on April 4, 2017
In Defy the Stars, Noemi Vidal is a soldier for Genesis, a planet locked in an ongoing war with Earth. That’s right, she’s a rebel against Earth, a viewpoint I always find fascinating. Abel is an advanced AI mech that encapsulates everything that Genesis despises. But when Noemi finds Abel floating abandoned in Genesis space, she puts aside her biases and realizes he might be the key to ending the war for good. They embark on a journey to distant planets that haven’t been visited by someone from Genesis in decades, and Noemi learns that war isn’t ever as black and white as the politicians want you to believe. I tore through this book and adored the slowly growing relationship between Noemi and Abel. And Noemi is the best kind of heroine: strong, stubborn, and brave, but willing to change her mind when presented with new evidence.
House of Suns is science fiction at its best—epic and imaginative. Six million years ago, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones called shatterlings. Campion and Purslane are two of those shatterlings and, despite strict rules against fraternization, they’ve rebelled and fallen in love. But when someone—or something—attempts to wipe out the entire Gentian line, they must work together to find out who is responsible. I loved how Abigail’s ancient timeline was interwoven into the story, offering deeper insight into the current timeline of Campion and Purslane. Plus, the world-building was top-notch, filled with vibrant planets that showed how humans have evolved in the millions of years they’ve been scattered through the stars.
I’m always interested in the way technology can integrate into our lives, and in Wanted and Wired it integrates directly into enhanced humans, giving them incredible abilities. When rebel mercenary Mari Vellejo’s latest hit ends up killing a human rather than the android she thought she was targeting, she and her biomechanically-enhanced handler Heron Farad must disappear or face capture and death. That’s just the opening of this dystopian science fiction romance, and the pacing doesn’t let up from there. I loved watching Mari and Heron burn up the pages as they attempt to figure out who set them up and why.
Told from two points of view, both women, I loved Stars Uncharted. Nika Rik Terri is a body modder, who can change people down to their cells to give them exactly what they need. She runs into trouble with her ex, a Company man, and must flee her planet. Josune Arriola is an explorer sent to infiltrate a competitor’s ship in search of the galaxy’s lost treasure. But when her original ship turns up empty and dead, Josune must work with her new crew to figure out what happened. In this space opera the rebellion is quiet, a group of people with individual secrets, trying desperately to stay alive. But when those secrets start to be revealed, they must band together to stay ahead of the Company that wants them dead. I loved how driven and competent both women were. And they respected each other’s skills and became friends. I adore strong women with equally strong friendships.
Jessie Mihalik has a degree in Computer Science and a love of all things geeky. A software engineer by trade, Jessie now writes full-time from her home in Texas. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing co-op video games with her husband, trying out new board games, or reading books pulled from her overflowing bookshelves. Polaris Rising is her debut novel.
Also by this author: Polaris Rising
Published by Harper Voyager on February 5, 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 . . .