I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Honor’s KnightHonor's Knight by Rachel Bach
Series: Paradox #2
Published by Orbit Books on February 25, 2014
Format: ARC
Genres: Adult, Sci-Fi
Pages: 358
Source: NetGalley
GoodreadsAmazon
four-stars
Devi Morris has a lot of problems. And not the fun, easy-to-shoot kind either.

After a mysterious attack left her short several memories and one partner, she's determined to keep her head down, do her job, and get on with her life. But even though Devi's not actually looking for it -- trouble keeps finding her. She sees things no one else can, the black stain on her hands is growing, and she is entangled with the cook she's supposed to hate.

But when a deadly crisis exposes far more of the truth than she bargained for, Devi discovers there's worse fates than being shot, and sometimes the only people you can trust are the ones who want you dead.

It’s no secret that I loved Rachel Bach’s first Paradox novel earlier this year. So much about it was spot on, but none more so than main character and narrator Deviana “Devi” Morris. Her outing  and characterization in that series opener (titled Fortune’s Pawn) — that ball of action and battles and romantic chemistry like WHOA in SPAAACE that it was — was pitch perfect. It was balls to the wall awesome, labelled the Most Jessie of all Jessie Books, and it made an impression.

So to say I was excited for Honor’s Knight is a tad of an understatement. Oh boy, did it deliver a nearly perfect reading experience for a science fiction fan. Give me strong, capable, complete characters like this Paradoxian merc any day. Give me complicated and original plots like these and my SF/F addiction will go on unimpeded. Devi is arrogant and always ready for a fight, but she’s also compassionate, smart, and careful. She’s easily the most dynamic character, and it’s hard to resist getting sucked into her fanclub. I can’t say that I relate to her/everything she goes through (with my Earthbound and only regular ass-kicking abilities) on any kind of personal level, but I love her POV.  She makes some dumb mistakes, and is far from immune from pain, but that only reinforced how Devi feels real in a way few main characters ever are.

Despite the comfortable familiarity of reading her inner monologue and narration, Devi is wrestling with all new threats here in book two. This isn’t a retread of the first book or a plotless, meandering story — Bach is actively building something big with her series. Each book adds to the overall picture; we, the audience, just are too close too see it clearly yet. We saw peeks of it beginning in Fortune’s Pawn, but ever so slightly, she draws back the curtain even more here in Honor’s Knight. It’s a pretty compelling and crazy plot — one that somehow makes invisible space monsters, government conspiracies, unchecked agencies with unlimited power altogether believable — but Bach sells it. Or rather, she sells it through Devi.

Though the same Firelfy-esque team we got to see in the first book surrounds Devi to a lesser extent here, but Honor’s Knight, for all purposes, should really be called Devi Morris Kicks Major Ass in Space Part 2. Once again, this is Devi’s show, and we’re all just here for the thrill and vicarious danger constantly threatening her from the first chapter until the last page. Other characters can hold their own, but none has the charisma or allure of Devi and Rupert. The bones are there (Caldswell’s past seems like a minefield of interesting), but the author has yet to create three full dimensions for Mabel/Nova/Basil. It’s refreshing to see the romance complications play out from the first book for both Devi and continuity’s sake, but they can admittedly feel like a distraction from the more important events taking place elsewhere. That said, this is not a book devoid of feels and I felt for more than just my ship by the end of the novel.

As always with books about SPAAAAAAACE, I’m all about the alien races and the tech. In the first book, we are introduced to the aeons, xith’cal, and lelgis but here the characters interact with each race in a much more meaningful (and plot-relevant) fashion. We get information about aeons and their home worlds, how the xith’cal operate, and more time with the lelgis. Not all is explained — the continued confusion around plasmex and its uses is frustrating — but I’m sold on this universe, its creatures and hyperspace that Bach has envisioned. It’s wide, it’s varied, and it’s different. It’s fun to explore, though these books lean very hard on the “shoot’em up ” rather than “explore and learn!” scale of science fiction.

Basically, this is epic epicness in SPAAAACE and if you like badass female characters who shoot first and ask later, Devi is your girl and this is your book.

Jessie

Jessie

Jessie is cleverly disguised as a responsible adult. She likes books and any kind of pun. She's also a proud member of many fandoms and always willing to flail over something bookish or pop culture related.
Jessie
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8 Responses to “Review: Honor’s Knight”

  1. I haven’t read this series, but you have me thinking I am definitely missing out on something good!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings
    Missie recently posted…Things I Have Learned Book BloggingMy Profile

    • Jessie

      If you like scifi and kickass characters, this is definitely one you don’t want to miss. It’s just fun to read :)

  2. I’m really keen to get started on this series, as I have been seeing it all over recently and with such raving reviews!
    And being both a Firefly and Battlestar Galactica fan, it seems like it would be right up my alley :)

    Unfortunately, just the other day, I read a very negative review of the last book from a huge fan of the first two, which had some genuine points (as far as I could tell not having read it yet), so now I worry about starting the awesomeness and then being let down. Oh, the troubles of book lover! ;)

    Camilla @ The Girl Who Loved To Read
    Camilla recently posted…“Everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us… on the inside, looking out.”My Profile

    • Jessie

      Some other fans seem to have more of an issue with the romance. I didn’t as much which is why my rating is higher than several of my friends who loved the first. It all depends on if you Ship the Ship! If you do — it’s hardly noticeable. But if you’re left cold by it, I can see why your opinion would be lower.

  3. I’m with the first commenter—sounds a lot like a series I’d love to get my hands on and soon.
    Sierra recently posted…DNF Mini Reviews: Gehenna and AuditionMy Profile

  4. Oh man, this book sounds perfect for me and my sci-fi gang of friends :P I have been reading so many fantasies and retellings lately, it will be nice to change up the genres. I somehow managed to miss out on this series. While Fortune’s Pawn sounds vaguely familiar, I don’t think I actually checked it out before. I guess now is better than later :) Thanks for the review Jessie!
    Angel (Spare Reads) recently posted…Review + Giveaway: Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)My Profile

  5. Just started Fortune’s Pawn last night and seriously considered skipping work today to finish it…and immediately download and binge this second book. I’m loving Devi, am super-curious about Rupert, loving the captain and his weird crew.. Yeah. It took not long at all for me to become a total fangirl.
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted…Get in meh brain: PARASITE by Mira GrantMy Profile

  6. “that ball of action and battles and romantic chemistry like WHOA in SPAAACE that it was” teehee, I love this.

    Honor’s Knight wasn’t quite as good, but, holy hell, Fortune’s Pawn was so fracking awesome that how even.

    “Devi Morris Kicks Major Ass in Space Part 2″ <- I support this title change.

    All I have to say for book three, which I've not read yet, is: NOW KISS GODDAMMIT.
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Audiobook Review: Legion by Brandon SandersonMy Profile

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