Title: Honor Lost
Series: The Honors #3
Author: Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Published: February 11th, 2020 (Katherine Tegen Books)
Synopsis: Space renegade Zara Cole may have finally met her match. Lifekiller—a creature that can devour entire planets is spreading terror throughout the universe, and it seems nothing can stand in the monstrous godking’s way.
Reeling from a series of battles, Zara and her wounded band of allies are going to need a strategy before they face Lifekiller again. Zara’s street smarts may not be enough when their enemy could be anywhere, destroying civilizations and picking his teeth with the bones.
And just when it feels like she’s reached a special place in her bond with Bea and Nadim, an ex from Earth with an ax to grind comes after her with nefarious intentions. With human enemies, alien creatures, and mechanical stalkers on her tail, it’s down to the wire for Zara to save the galaxy—and the people she calls home—before the godking consumes them all.
Having discovered the true threat to the galaxy, Zara and her allies are hot on the trail of Lifekiller, a beast that can consume planets. But finding it isn’t the problem. The crew are definitely outmatched in this fight and need a better strategy before they can attempt to fight the god-king again. If that wasn’t enough, Torian Deluca is still furious with Zara for messing with his operation – furious enough to send her ex, Derry, after her into space to kill her. Now branded outlaws and with trouble approaching on all sides, time is running out fast for the group and Zara must figure out a way to stop the creature before it reaches its next target.
This book was non-stop action which was no less than I expected after how the series has been so far. It opens at the exact place Honor Bound left us, with Lifekiller poised to devour Greenheld, the homeworld of the Abyin Dommas that defeated him the last time. This conclusion to the trilogy was pretty much everything I wanted from space battles, to character growth, and of course, the plot twists. I was quite surprised that the group comes face to face – metaphorically speaking – with Lifekiller only twice, but there was plenty else going on to keep the reader’s attention and I didn’t feel like the pace lagged at any point. While I was able to predict where the story was going at around the 75% mark, the hints weren’t very obvious, so it remained an enjoyable read. I’m honestly surprised this series isn’t more popular, because it’s amazing and is now firmly fixed on my list of sci-fi recommendations.
As with the previous two books, I loved the the three central characters Zara, Bea and Nadim, but the romance between the trio was honestly just awkward and didn’t add much – the authors should have kept it as it was in book 2. What stood out about this book is how significant the secondary characters turned out to be. Chao-Xing had a much more important role than I expected (though I wasn’t a huge fan of her plotline), as did the Bruqvisz and Starcurrent. It was only in this book that I really connected with these characters and it’s wonderful that this fast paced finale took the time to focus on character development as well. I think that my favourite of the secondary characters in this book though was the medical robot EMITU, who was simultaneously hilarious and terrifying, making for some pretty humorous moments.
There are two reasons however, why this wasn’t a 5 star read for me. Firstly, there were times when this book felt like it was just moving through short quests as new challenges showed up one after another, not all of them particularly necessary in my opinion. Secondly, what I feared would happen with the Earth plotline and Deluca sending Derry after Zara turned out to be partially true. It’s presented as a major obstacle for about half the book, and is then resolved far too conveniently, bearing no further effect on the plot – essentially, it felt like a waste of time since it was so unrelated to the real conflict.
Honor Lost was a great conclusion to this series, and I thought that it tied up all the loose ends nicely. I’m so glad I got to read this entire series together and spared myself the book 2 cliffhanger. This was a fun read and it was really nice to join these familiar characters on the last stretch of their quest. I would highly recommend this series for sci-fi fans and honestly wouldn’t mind a novella or two just to see more of this world.
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: