Mar 4, 2014

Book Review - Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves

Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves by James S.A. Corey
When the mission is to extract a high-level rebel spy from the very heart of the Empire, Leia Organa knows the best man for the job is Han Solo—something the princess and the smuggler can finally agree on. 

But when Han locates the brash rebel agent, Scarlet Hark, she’s determined to stay behind enemy lines. A pirate plans to sell a cache of stolen secrets that the Empire would destroy entire worlds to protect—including the planet where Leia is currently meeting with rebel sympathizers. Scarlet wants to track down the thief and steal the bounty herself, and Han has no choice but to go along if he’s to keep everyone involved from getting themselves killed. From teeming city streets to a lethal jungle to a trap-filled alien temple, Han, Chewbacca, Leia, and their daring new comrade confront one ambush, double cross, and firestorm after another as they try to keep crucial intel out of Imperial hands.
Honor Among Thieves very much reminds me of some of the early Bantam Books, and I mean that in a good way. Our heroes are racing against the Empire to stop a potentially devastating super-weapon, new minor characters are introduced, and even though the main characters start off in different directions, they're all brought together at the end to save the day. It might sound a little formulaic, but I was very excited to return to this point in the Star Wars timeline. For those new to Star Wars in book form, you don't have to have read any of the voluminous prior history to enjoy this. All you need to do is see the original movie.

What sets it apart from those earlier books is the focus is mainly on Han, my favorite of the Big Three. They did a great job of capturing Han on the page, especially his interactions with Chewie. At times they're bantering back and forth and other times they're bickering about how best to fix the Falcon. They also do a fantastic job of making Chewie come to life even though you can't understand him.

The most major of the minor characters, Scarlet Hark (that's her on the cover between Leia and Han), is a great companion for Han. She's someone who can give just as good, if not better, than she gets. The only thing I'm not too fond of is her name, for some reason it just doesn't roll off the tongue for me. I think it's the double "ar" in her names. Not a huge deal and I'd like to see more of her in the future.

But considering this is the last of the "old guard" adult Star Wars novels, no one can say what the future will hold for Star Wars in print yet. It's a little weird to not have any new books on the horizon since the 90s.

My biggest gripe? The use of "crap" and "piss." They might be acceptable on TV now but they ejected me from the story each time I came across them because they are so un-Star Wars (twice and once respectively). Not over used by any means but there are at least a handful of in universe curse words that could have been used in their place.

Overall, this is a pretty straightforward, fun romp with some old friends that I've been missing. I recommend it for fans of the original trilogy and especially for fans of Solo. Is there such a person that isn't a fan?

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