Title: Honor Bound
Series: The Honors #2
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Published: February 19th, 2019 (Katherine Tegen Books)
Synopsis: Zara Cole was a thief back on Earth, but she’s been recently upgraded to intergalactic fugitive. On the run after a bloody battle in a covert war that she never expected to be fighting, Zara, her co-pilot Beatriz, and their Leviathan ship Nadim barely escaped the carnage with their lives.
Now Zara and her crew of Honors need a safe haven, far from the creatures who want to annihilate them. But they’ll have to settle for the Sliver: a wild, dangerous warren of alien criminals. The secrets of the Sliver may have the power to turn the tide of the war they left behind – but in the wrong direction.
Soon Zara will have to make a choice: run from the ultimate evil – or stand and fight.
Zara and the other Honors have survived their encounter with the Phage swarm, an alien species that devours Leviathans, but they haven’t escaped unscathed. Both Nadim and Typhon need to recover and they are running low on both supplies and weapons. With no choice, the crew head for the Sliver, a trading outpost ruled by the crimelord Bacia, taking up some interesting jobs in order to make enough money to pay for everything. When they attract the attention of Bacia himself, he offers them a bigger job in return for advanced armor and upgrades for the Leviathans that would be very useful against Phage attacks. But what seems at first like an innocent retrieval mission turns dangerous and the crew realize that there may be a bigger threat than the Phage out there.
I was honestly very impressed with this sequel. With the same fast paced plot and engaging writing style, this was an adventure right from page one. I loved how much the world building was expanded in this book – I could have read a couple more chapters just about the Sliver alone, it was just so fascinating with all the different types of aliens and a whole new culture. The group spends nearly a quarter of the book just trying to make enough money there, but it was never boring, not even for a single minute. When the crew set off on Bacia’s job, I thought for a few chapters that this had succumbed to middle book syndrome with characters running off on side quests, but it really turned things around and stayed focused on the plot.
Zara was amazing in this book and grows into an even stronger character and I really enjoyed how she is always able to think on her feet and handle difficult situations. Zara and Nadim were so perfect and their character development and deepening connection was wonderfully depicted. It’s a rather strange bond, but oddly enough, it works. The interludes from Nadim’s POV were great additions and it was very useful to hear his perspective at some key points in the story. With the ending of the first book, it seemed like the Phage was the enemy in this series, but this book certainly changed that. I always consider it a risky choice to introduce the main villain later in the story, but in this case, it works – and it certainly is a rather terrifying villain at that.
The one thing I didn’t enjoy about this book was the return of the Earth-side events from the first book – turns out the plot with Zara’s theft gone wrong isn’t over yet, and DeLuca is still after her for whatever reason. Oddly enough, I complained about the excess time the first book spent on Earth when it didn’t seem relevant to the story, and now that it is, I find that I am less than interested, because the plot in space with the Leviathans, the Phage and the Lifekiller is far more interesting. There is more than enough going on and I just hope that with this second plotline, the third book doesn’t end up a confusing mess.
Honor Bound was an excellent sequel and it ended on the most frustrating cliffhanger. I can’t wait to read the finale and find out what happens to these characters. With all the interesting developments in this book, this series continues to be one I would recommend for sci-fi fans!
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: