ARC Review: Honor Among Thieves (The Honors #1) by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

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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.

review

**** Big thank you to HarperTeen for giving me an eARC in exchange for an honest review****

Trigger Warning: Parental Abuse

I have to say even though I liked this one I definitely didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I went into this book thinking I’d be walking away with a 5 star rating if not a 4, but sadly it didn’t live up to those expectations. I feel like this will probably be more of an unpopular opinion and will I LIKED it I didn’t LOVE it, so it’s “meh” to me.

PLOT

I liked that we are thrown into action almost immediately and it’s pretty fast paced throughout the beginning. I did feel like the story really dragged in the middle and that’s where I got really bored with it but it did pick back up in the end. Overall I thought the pacing was kind of uneven though.

As for the plot itself, the premise was amazing but the execution fell short for me. I liked what little world building there was, the concept of sentient ships was really interesting but that’s as far as anything really went in this book. We hardly find out anything about the Leviathan and we really don’t learn anything about any other alien lifeforms out in the universe either. That was disappointing, however the ending seemed to promise future expansion on the world building in the sequel so I’m thinking I’ll read it just to learn more!

Other than the Leviathan (the sentient ships), the plot felt like it was really lacking any tension or action. Nothing about it compelled me to keep reading, since I felt nothing was really happening at all. This kind of carried throughout the entire story, the feeling that nothing was really happening. Which is a bummer because, come on, sci-fi should be filled with a lot more action than this! There really weren’t any big plot twists and when there were some, they were pretty anti-climatic or plain predictable.

There were some scenes where the action would pick up and things got a little interesting but it still felt…..flat and tedious. I don’t know, but the “action” scenes still felt lacking, which is a big reason I felt bored while reading.

However, the ending was pretty dang good. It’s a bit of a cliffhanger and it definitely piqued my interest enough to want to read the sequel.

characters

Since this book mainly focuses on a pair of Honors (people) traveling alone on a sentient ship through space, there really aren’t that many characters to keep track of.

Zara Cole is the main protagonist, she’s a thief/con artist that gets herself into more trouble she can handle just as she’s selected to travel with a Leviathan. I normally enjoy the “street rat/criminal” types of characters but it really didn’t work with Zara, in my opinion. I felt that the authors were trying way too hard to make her a “badass” and she just came off really flat and at times plain rude. Having an attitude problem towards every character doesn’t make you “tough and badass”, which is exactly how I felt with Zara.

On top of that, Zara makes stupid decisions. Granted, she didn’t make stupid decisions the entire time but there were a couple incidents where I cringed and wanted to teleport myself into the book just to make her stop. For example, when meeting an alien life form that doesn’t immediately attack you maybe DON’T shoot it. Just saying. Use some common sense here, shooting first and asking questions later isn’t going to make ANY life form fond of you.

So, I guess it’s safe to say I didn’t really like Zara.

As for Beatriz, Zara’s co-Honor, I actually did really like her. She’s quieter but she’s extremely smart and very sweet, I liked her a lot more than Zara anyways. Plus what Beatriz did to their medical bot was HILARIOUS!

Zara and Beatriz actually build up a really great friendship by the end of the story, and I LIVED for it. We need more great female friendships like this in YA!

The last important character is Nadim, the Leviathan/sentient ship. Honestly, Nadim was so innocent and adorable, I wanted to protect him because he is too precious for this world! There really wasn’t anything bad about Nadim, he is very kind and adores Zara and Beatriz and will do anything to protect them. Although as sweet as Nadim is, he is a bit naive which puts them in potential danger at times.

Also there is diversity! Zara is black, Beatriz is Brazilian, and there is a side character who is Chinese.

romance

Is there a romance in “Honor Among Thieves”? Kind of? I don’t really know myself as it was hard to tell. There was definitely SOMETHING between Zara and Nadim and while normally I would feel it was just a strong bond of friendship, I got some romantic feeling vibes. It was…….really weird. I hope it’s just a friendship thing and not romantic because that would feel really awkward in my opinion.

in conclusion

As I already mentioned I thought the premise for the story was fantastic but the overall execution fell short. I am interested in reading the sequel though, that ending left me feeling that the series may get better.

What I Loved:

  • The world building (even though it wasn’t much)
  • Beatriz and Nadim
  • Strong female friendship

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Uneven pacing
  • Overall plot was lacking tension and excitement
  • Zara’s character felt like she was trying too hard and she made some dumb decisions
  • The potential “romance” between Zara and Nadim was just plain weird

RECOMMEND

I can’t really say this will be a book I’ll go around recommending but it isn’t a BAD book by any means. I did enjoy it for the most part, it just wasn’t something that blew me away. I would say if it sounds like something you’d enjoy, go for it!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

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The Sassy

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January TBR

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So since I actually completed a monthly TBR last month I figured I go for it again, and keep my expectations realisitc! Once again I have quite a few ARCs to get through this month and a couple library books (why do I keep getting library books when I have so many physical TBR books? The world may never know.) but if I get through all of them I’ll have a couple “bonus” books to try and squeeze in as well!

I’m also planning on doing the “Beat the Backlist” challenge this year so be on the look out for that post as I will be listing all of my backlist books I plan on reading!

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Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

This might be cheating a little bit since I finished it yesterday but still counts! I wasn’t as impressed as I was expecting to be but it was still an entertaining read, I’m a sucker for a good action-packed sci-fi.


Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

My current read at the moment this is kind of fantasy and sci-fi mixed together complete with emperors, kingdoms, robots, and space pirates! So far it’s really great with lots of action and interesting world building.


The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg

Normally I’m not one for historical fiction, it really depends. However, this one has….super powers? I feel like that’s the best way to describe it or maybe more like psyhic abilities. Anyways it sounds great!


Fire & Bone by Rachel A. Marks

An urban fantasy featuring a main character who discovers she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess. I think it sounds interesting because Celtic mythology is something I don’t see very often and would definitely enjoy reading about, however, there does seem to be a love triangle so I am a little leery.


The Ravenous by Amy Lukavics

So I do really enjoy Lukavics’ books but I heard this one wasn’t her best so I borrowed it from the library just because I want to see for myself!


Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Also borrowed from the library I wanted to give it a read before reading my ARC of “Ace of Shades” just for fun. I’ve heard lots of good things about it so I’m excited.


Locke & Key Volumes 2 and 3 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

I’m slowly picking through the graphic novels available at my library and actually really narrowing it down. I decided to continue with this series and see if it interests me enough to continue further with it.


BONUS BOOKS!

As I mentioned, I don’t want to pressure myself too much but IF I get through the other 8 books I have 2 more on deck!

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The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco

I really loved the dark fantasy world in “The Bone Witch” and I’m very excited to continue on with the series with this ARC!


Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown

I finally got a copy for Christmas so I am ready to devour the last two in preparation for “Iron Gold” that comes out this month!

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Are any of these books on your TBR?

Have you read any of these, what did you think?

What are you planning on reading this month?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top 5 Wednesday: Recent Additions to My Wishlist!

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey @ Ginger Reads Lainey. You can check out the group’s Goodreads page for this month’s topics!

Sorry I’ve been so absent lately guys I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump and it has been feeling a little overwhelming at the moment, but I’m trying to get back on track so please bear with me as it will probably take me a while to reply to all of your comments over the past week and a half!

I’ve actually added quite a few books to my TBR/wishlist recently but most of them are older books that were published 2-4 years ago. Which is fine with me! Means I don’t have to wait around for them to get published, right? Let’s get started!

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5.) Parasite (Parasitology) by Mira Grant

Parasite (Parasitology, #1)

Description

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives…and will do anything to get them.

I really like science fiction but I never feel like I find any that sound this engaging and this book has pretty awesome reviews so it’s definitely one I want to add to my collection, although this is an adult book and not YA I still think it’s something I’d enjoy.


4.) Demon Road by Derek Landy

Demon Road (Demon Road, #1)

Description

Full of Landy’s trademark wit, action and razor sharp dialogue, DEMON ROAD kicks off with a shocking opener and never lets up the pace in an epic road-trip across the supernatural landscape of America. Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers: they’re all here. And the demons? Well, that’s where Amber comes in…Sixteen years old, smart and spirited, she’s just a normal American teenager until the lies are torn away and the demons reveal themselves.

Forced to go on the run, she hurtles from one threat to another, revealing a tapestry of terror woven into the very fabric of her life. Her only chance rests with her fellow travellers, who are not at all what they appear to be…

This book was recommended to me by my buddy Michelle over at Book Adventures so make sure to head on over and check out her review of it! I’m a big fan of any fantasy and horror but I’m always a little leery of urban fantasy, lots of bad books did that to me, but I can honestly say this book sounds pretty damn awesome! It comes off as something that would be very Supernatural-esque so I’m in.


3.) Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Out of the Easy

Description

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.

She devises a plan to get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

The city of New Orleans has always fascinated me and I can’t really explain but I can’t say no to a historical fiction book set there. Not to mention I hear great things about Ruta Sepetys’s books.


2.) Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine

Prince of Shadows

Description

In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and—if they survive—marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born.

Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona…
…And will rewrite all their fates, forever.

A Romeo and Juliet retelling! That’s really all it needed to tell me, well that and the great reviews of course.


1.) The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

The Chosen One

Description

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

I have quite a bit of curiosity when it comes to polygamist communities so this sounds very interesting just for that aspect alone but from the other great reviews on this book I think it will prove to be interesting in many other ways as well.

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Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them?

Did you find any books on here that sound interesting to you as well?

What books did you recently add to your wishlist?

Let me know in the comments and feel free to link your T5W as well!

The Sassy