Honor Among Thieves
By: Ann Aguirre & Rachel Caine
I have to get out of the way that I don’t like the title or the cover and wasn’t planning to read this until I heard it was about a girl who is one of the Honors chosen to go on a year long mission with a Leviathan.
Have you ever seen that show Farscape? I loved Moya. I want my own Leviathan so I decided to give this a try and oh, my God. Right now it’s top three for the year with The Cruel Prince and Loneliest Girl in the Universe!
Zara is an Earth thief whose latest victim was a really, really bad pick. No one is more surprised than her when she’s pulled out of rehab (where she went to escape revenge) and chosen to be part of the Honors. The deal is that the Leviathan’s came to Earth years ago and helped us out of trouble. In return every year each ship gets two crew for a learning mission.
After the year they can return to Earth or take the ‘Journey’ and bond completely with the ship. No one has ever come back from the Journey.
Just getting this out of the way first- the book does start off kind of slow and really typical in a sense. Zara is the plucky anti-hero with the past. Yada. Yada. Also this is part of a series so the end kind of goes in that typical big cliffhanger direction. A couple of times I got shades of Aidan from the Leviathan but it’s a sentient being and Aidan was essentially the same on that ship.
Zara/ Bea & Nadim
I have to admit I just automatically expected Zara’s partner on the ship was going to be a guy and cue romantic tension. But no it was Bea a bright smart singer who, while Zara shares the deep immediate connection with Nadim (the ship by the way) is just as important and just as badass. Though at times she’s also frightened and overwhelmed she works past that. The duo compliment each other perfectly.
The “romantic” tension if you want to call it that is with Zara and Nadim which seems strange to say considering he’s a ship but up through this book it works.
I was more than pleased with how they worked together and how they helped and benefited each other even though they fought. It was a very believable family circuit. Completely with jacked sarcastic med-bot.
Though I did think the beginning was slow I appreciated some attempts to really shade Zara. Also her relationship with her parents. Possibly I was relating because I had some of the same problems Zara had as a kid though I’m grateful my father never tried what hers did to help me.
Bonus points because while it definitely doesn’t play a big part I appreciated Zara’s rehab therapy and the fact that she actually liked it and thought it might be helping her. Like I said it’s just a flash but so nice to see a positive portrayal or therapy especially from a character I think I’m more used to seeing hand wave that kind of thing.
This is a bit of a tough one because we get the impression fairly quickly that Nadim doesn’t entirely know what’s going on either. But I did like the backstory laid out for the Leviathans and how and why they were intervening. I really liked the slow build to the other species and the bits of how we’ve used the Leviathan technology for the better (and sometimes changing nothing). It’s not a full picture because we don’t have the whole story but there’s a lot of good stuff here the authors can build on. Lots of potential.
The ending was a nice surprise in that certain things you expect to happen don’t and a couple of new bonds are forged and also some new characters introduced. I’m not entirely sure how I felt about the end to be honest. It’s definitely one of those things that will depend on where the series goes- it does promise bigger and more epic things to come. Right now I’m loving the characters and their world so I am totally in for the next one.