Series: The Honors #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on February 13th 2018
Genres: young adult, science fiction
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Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.
Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.
Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.
Rachel Caine is one of my favorite authors, top five for sure. I was unsure about the premise of this book, and I can tell you right away, that part one of Honor Among Thieves is inferior to the rest. It’s not that it’s bad, because it isn’t, but it’s very mediocre compared to the rest. You have to stick with it to get to the meat and best parts of the book, which begin in part two. So resist the urge to DNF if you aren’t really into it–it gets a lot better.
The book starts in a generic dystopian version of Detroit, called New Detroit, and Zara lives in the slums (blah, blah, blah–been there, done that). Her mother and sister have moved to the Mars colony, her dad is an abusive dickwad, and no one from the Lower Eight (slum) has ever been chosen to be an Honor.
What is an Honor? Well, they are individuals chosen by the alien race of sentient ships (think giant whales with their insides carved out where the humans reside) to go on a year-long trip where human and Leviathan (what they are called) learn from each other in a symbiotic relationship. When Zara gets up into the ship and meets the Leviathan Nadim, that’s when things get interesting. There’s also a really delightful female friendship that I was TOTALLY here for.
So let’s talk about the romance that really isn’t a romance. A lot of readers are saying that Zara and Nadim fall in love with each other, and I don’t really see it that way. Yes, she definitely cares deeply about Nadim and the feeling is returned just as much, but I didn’t see much that was romantic about it, except the fact that her heart would race and she blushed a couple times. But honestly, that could happen in any situation where something feels new and unusual for a person. That’s not to say that I don’t think they are going to eventually fall in love, because it does look to be heading in that direction, but what it feels like to me at this point is just a very bonded affection, and I truly loved that, because it felt different and unique and unlike any other relationship I think I have read before. All the little subtle nuances and differences were great.
Obviously a major part of this book is the mystery of what’s out there in space, what is going to happen during the entire year Zara and Bea are in space with Nadim, and what exactly is the journey that only 8% of Honors choose to go on once they are finished with their first year?
I definitely recommend Honors Among Thieves, and the creativity and world-building in this novel proves once again while Rachel Caine remains one of my favorites. It’s not my favorite book of hers, but it definitely was enjoyable and I’m definitely continuing the series because I’m quite attached to Nadim and Bea, and I can’t wait to see where this story goes next.