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Hikoboshi #2

Chaos in Kadoma Ward

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Contract by proxy — Yumi is owned by a corporation.

Forced into a new life on the planet Hikari, she has two objectives: find a job and get along with Rin, the man holding her life in his hands. But with her occupation missing from this planet and her enemies looking for her, she must intrude on the kindness of reluctant strangers to stay out of harm’s way. Rin’s ex-wife wants Yumi gone, and a judge threatens to deport her if he catches her loitering about town with no job. Her desire to bolt grows stronger daily.

But Rin won’t let her go. He’s fascinated with the stories she brings from home, stories that promise to save him from the madness they all live in, a meritocracy with low birth rates and malfunctioning androids. As they build a tenuous friendship, and something more, Yumi has to face her fears, her inadequacies, and her lack of control. A headstrong journalist, she’s pushing her luck on Hikari every day as the society turns bored, restless, and finally rebellious. War is coming, and Yumi and Rin are right in the middle of it.

Chaos in Kadoma Ward is the second book in the fast-paced Hikoboshi Space Opera Romance Series. If you like high-tech futures, sizzling romance, and character-driven action, then you’ll love S. J. Pajonas’ thrilling sci-fi adventure.

Note: THIS SERIES MUST BE READ IN ORDER. It is a true series and plot elements carry through every book, from beginning to end. You will miss too much by reading this series out of order or skipping around. This series contains a slow-burn romance, profanity, and sexual situations.

307 pages, Kindle Edition

Published November 15, 2017

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About the author

S.J. Pajonas

53 books158 followers
**Sign-up for S. J. Pajonas's mailing list**

Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, Capricorn, Japanophile, and USA Today Best Selling author. She loves summer, downtempo beats, yoga pants, foxes, owls, dogs, sushi, pasta, and black tea. She lives outside NYC with her husband, two great kids, and her dog who always wants to play. When it comes to her work, she writes about everyday women and uncommon worlds. Find her online at https://www.spajonas.com

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer.
1,512 reviews5 followers
November 16, 2018
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

Rin’s ex-wife wants Yumi gone, and a judge threatens to deport her if he catches her loitering about town with no job. Her desire to bolt grows stronger daily. But Rin won’t let her go. He’s fascinated with the stories she brings from home, stories that promise to save him from the madness they all live in, a meritocracy with low birth rates and malfunctioning androids. A headstrong journalist, she’s pushing her luck on Hikari every day as the society turns bored, restless, and finally rebellious. War is coming, and Yumi and Rin are right in the middle of it.

The short review...

The world building is so, so, sooooo incredible in this series. I thought so in the first book, Crash Land on Kurai and I was enchanted how we continued to be exposed more and more to different elements of their society along with Yumi. Based upon the corporation lifestyle that is present in Japanese culture today along with their rigid idea of worth, honor and technology. I truly felt like this world was formed by travelers from earth's Japan who settled here and made a new life in the image of the one left behind. The same but also different. And that their children have taken those ideals even farther and gotten their planet into a world of hurt.

As I said in my review of the first book, Yumi is a woman made to get into trouble! She thinks and feels like we do in a world that doesn't like free thinkers or those who'd buck the system. Something that S.J. Pajonas excels at is putting her empowered, accomplished and curiously smart journalist protagonist into situations that show off her vulnerable side. It makes for a complex and well rounded woman that deserves to fall in love. And that is what we explore in Chaos in Kadoma Ward, even as we learn more about the increasingly dangerous world that Yumi finds herself in and as that unstable society rocks until it finally explodes!

Cover & Title grade -> A-

I don't quite love this cover as much as the first book's design, Crash Land on Kurai but there are still really strong elements to it. One is the consistency of design. I love that because then I know right away that this is a sequel. I love that the normal urban fantasy practice of including the couple with real life actors wasn't given in to. The outlines were enough... and it really does give you a flavor of the world.

As a Writer...

I quite enjoyed Yumi and Rin falling in love. It wasn't quite a slow burn to me because it all happened in one book rather than slowly over 2 or 3 books but it was still quite natural and honestly you really felt that Yumi deserved some happiness. Unfortunately the romance did quite overwhelm the plot and pacing of the larger story to do with androids, corporations, takeovers and alien technology.

Thinking back on my reading experience I can think of neat plot points that in the larger scheme of things have meaning and purpose... but in the moment they were quite lost under the experience with Yumi dealing with her rotten situation and falling in love for the first time. I really enjoyed that explosive end and how S.J. brought it all together, but it felt sudden and lacking in foreshadowing or a lead up. I think there were moments that did clue us in but they were quiet and you didn't really get their context when they happened.

As the middle of a three book arc (with more to come) I really loved where Chaos in Kadoma Ward took us. It felt like the middle part of a larger story and at its heart had a lovely romance that I quite enjoyed. When read in line with Crash Land on Kurai and Fukusha Model Eight, Chaos in Kadoma Ward really shines, it supplies the softer, more human moments to all of the hardship, androids and death. And Yumi and Rin's relationship is one I'm rooting for as they battle it out corporation style!

⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity
⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style
⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ World Building

Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.

You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...

Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!
Profile Image for Nicole M. Hewitt.
1,419 reviews283 followers
January 19, 2018

The absolute best thing about the books in this series is the worldbuilding, and that was no different in this second installment. I love how Pajonas created a world built on and governed by corporations—in this world, your importance and your value as a person are dictated by your employment. This is a major issue for Yumi. She’s spent her life being proud of her job (and, indeed, judging her own worth based on it, in some ways), but now she’s suddenly thrown into a situation where the skills she’s always cherished mean nothing—journalism doesn’t exist in Kadoma Ward. For the first time in her life, Yumi feels worthless. Her struggles with those feelings are a major theme throughout the book. I was also a fan of the romance in the book—I was anticipating a slow-burn romance between Yumi and Rin, and that’s exactly what I got. If I had one criticism of the book it was that, because there was so much worldbuilding going on in the first half of the book (which I loved—not only is the culture that Pajonas creates interesting, but there are lots of cool sci-fi elements to the story as well), I felt like that first half lacked a bit in pacing. It focuses on Yumi learning about the new planet she’s on and trying to convince herself that she’s not useless, and I was waiting a little longer than I would have liked for something major to happen because of that. Still, overall, this was an excellent read. I give it 4/5 stars.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Profile Image for Lola.
1,524 reviews243 followers
November 13, 2017
I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.

I loved the first book in this series and was eagerly awaiting the next book. Chaos in Kadoma Ward is a great sequel and it's just as good, maybe even better than the first book. I got sucked into the story immediately and had a hard time putting it down, every time I had to stop reading I tried to fit in one more chapter. I really love this authors writing style and how her books always pull me into the story.

Chaos in Kadoma Ward starts of a few weeks after the events in book 1. Where the first book mostly takes place on the moon Kurai, most of this book takes place upon the planet Hikari. I loved exploring this whole new world alongside Yumi and Rin. I loved the scene with the butsu! Pajonas brought this world alive, it's ruled by corporations and very focused on making money. It was a bit sad how this society worked with the focus on what someone was worth but it was also fascinating to read more about the world and how everything worked.

The plot lines set up in the first book continue here. We see more of the character we met there, the corporations and the androids. I liked the direction the plot took and there was a nice twist at the end that I didn't see coming. I knew something was up, but wasn't sure exactly what.

One of my favorite parts of this book might be the budding romance between Yumi and Rin. Gah these two are so good together and I loved all those little moments they had, where they connected with each other. Again I have to mention the butsu scene, it was a great scene, but there were all these little gestures and touches sprinkled throughout and I wanted to see them together so badly. Although we still get very little of that in this book, I liked the parts we got, but I am excited to see more of them in the next book.

Yumi is thrown in a difficult situation in this book, from the proxy contract to not being able to do her job here as they don't have a free press. And then there is this whole new world she doesn't understand yet. The social norms, the technology and just how the whole society works is alien. I liked seeing her found her way. And as usual of Pajonas's books, this isn't easy. There are definitely some bumps in the road and moments were she feels down and her migraines hit again too. It all feel very realistic how the good and the bad moments are both there.

We also get to see more of Rin in this book and I was so happy about that. I feel like I got a better understanding about him in this book and I liked when he opened up toward Yumi or stood up for her and slowly showed more of himself and his hopes and dreams. I thought it was totally obvious he was into her, even though Yumi doesn't pick up those signals at first, but I think that's because she feels so out of her element. I just wish they would've talked a bit more at certain points as it felt some bumps were caused by then not talking things through. But on the other hand it did feel realistic how things progressed.

And the world building was just amazing. I loved being pulled in this whole new world, with new customs and technology and people. We really get a feel for how the world works. How the corporations have a part, but also how normal the day to day live can be. From how the technology is part of life, to how different the people here are than Yumi is used to. I loved learning more and more about this world and thanks to well done descriptions I could vividly imagine how everything looked.

It's great how Pajoans mixed different topics throughout this book. We get to know the characters better, there's a bit of romance, but there are also things going on in the world. And wow the ending was spectacular! It was great seeing everything coming to a head and how it impacted everything and the direction Yumi and Rin are going on now. It was an awesome ending to the book and it also makes me super curious for the next week.

To summarize: Chaos in Kadoma Ward was awesome! I loved it and had trouble putting the book down. I got caught up in Yumi's story and I loved discovering this whole new world together with Yumi and Rin. I also liked how realistic the whole book is written, there are good moment, but also bad ones and Yumi does get down about her situation at times. I was hoping for some romance in this book and I am happy to say we got that. I loved all the little moment and gestures between Yumi and Rin as they grew closer. The world building was so well done, the world really came alive and I could vividly imagine how everything looked like. I liked the unique technologies we read about, like the butsu, the parcel system and the kosha. There's also some action toward the end and an explosive ending (literally) when everything comes to a head toward the end of the book. It was an amazing book and I am already eagerly awaiting book 3!
Profile Image for Diane Burton.
Author 18 books245 followers
December 24, 2017
Tense Series. Chaos in Kadoma Ward is the 2nd book in S.J. Pajonas' Hikoboshi series. I read book 1 (Crash Landing on Kurai) and immediately 1-clicked Chaos. Yumi has gotten herself into difficult situations before, but nothing like being owned by a corporation. Despite her growing attraction to Rin, he is responsible for her and that chafes her independent soul.

In this book, we get to know Rin better, his deepest desires--for freedom and for Yumi. Can he have both? But when war comes, they must survive first. We see a different side of Yumi. She's vulnerable, scared--strange sensations for her. This action-adventure space opera hits that spot where all looks lost but leaves the reader with hope. The next book in this series can't come out soon enough.
567 reviews
May 27, 2018
So they have made it to Hikari.

Rin lives in Kadoma Ward. Where he works is like 40 floors up and you can see how the corporations have the city divided up. Yumi is in trouble from the time she steps on the planet. Follow Yumi and Ron's adventures.

Read and enjoy!!
Profile Image for Mai.
2,038 reviews5 followers
May 21, 2018
Great characters, intriguing plot! Will have to read the third one soon!
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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