Review: Honor Among Thieves (Spoiler Free)

honor-among-theves-500x760Grab your hat and hold on to your swears because Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Honor Among Thieves is out today!  Written by the author duo James S. A. Corey, Honor Among Thieves turns the spotlight on Han Solo and Chewbacca as Princess Leia sends them on mission only a pair of scoundrels like them can successfully pull off.

Set before the previous Empire and Rebellion novel, Honor Among Thieves opens with Leia asking Han to go into the middle of Imperial space and retrieve one of their field agents.  Scarlet Hark is a professional though so this should be a relatively simple mission.  Too bad the bounty on Han’s head is about to catch up with him, adding in a slight complication.  Oh.  And not to mention that Scarlet doesn’t actually want to be retrieved quite yet.  An Imperial astrocartographer is rumored to have made a discovery that could put him towards the top of the Emperor’s list of favorites and Scarlet wants to get her hands on it first with Han’s help.  Nothing ever seems to stay simple for long when it comes to missions for the Republic.

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Go/No-Go: Honor Among Thieves

honor-among-theves-500x760Time for another installment of Go/No-Go, our spoiler-free, mission control-style look at whether or not you should put your hard-earned money down for a newly released book, film, comic or what have you. On the launchpad today is Empire and Rebellion: Honor Among Thieves by James S.A. Corey.

Bria’s take: SWEARHAT is an excellent successor to Razor’s Edge in that it keeps incredibly true to spirit of the Rebellion, the Original Trilogy, and (most importantly) the characters.  And just like Razor’s Edge before it, Honor Among Thieves is fun.  Like most of the books set between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, the need for a new Rebel base feeds into the plot.  This book manages to take that plot line and weave it in and out of the book’s main plot, keeping readers guessing as to where it’s actually going to go.  Not only did James S. A. Corey get Han and Leia dead on but they also created a new character, Scarlet Hark, who is an absolutely joy to read.  I would love to see her incorporated into more Rebellion and early New Republic era stories.  In short, this fast paced and well characterized story is a good addition to the Expanded Universe.  SWEARHAT gets a definite Go from me.

Brian’s take: SWEARHAT (Best acronym or BEST acronym?) is an extremely fast-paced and enjoyable adventure and a solid follow-up to Razor’s Edge. For one reason or another, Han Solo has been a character that has been hard to get right on page, but James S.A. Corey has gotten it pitch perfect. You can’t help but read the lines in Han’s voice because every mannerism and spoken line is just so Han. Of course, you’ve always gotten my attention when a well-rounded and compelling female character is introduced, and Scarlet Hark fits the bill. Overall this book is a zippy and enjoyable read and is well worth the pickup. All I can say is that when the Expanded Universe gets sorted out, I hope Del Rey brings James S.A. Corey back, because the duo clearly gets the franchise and it would be wonderful to see more from them. This is a Go from me as well.

Verdict: SWEARHAT is a go, so pick it up when it hits bookshelves tomorrow. Also stay tuned for a more full-length and spoiler-filled review.

“Honor Among Thieves” Gets a Blurb

re-honor-245x372The Star Wars Books Facebook page has released the full blurb for Empire and Rebellion: 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. After all, for a guy who broke into an Imperial cell block and helped destroy the Death Star, the assignment sounds simple enough.

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.

But even with the crack support of Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing squadron, the Alliance heroes may be hopelessly outgunned in their final battle for the highest of stakes: the power to liberate the galaxy from tyranny or ensure the Empire’s reign of darkness forever.

They had me at “Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing squadron.”

The Han-centric novel is scheduled for release on March 4, 2014, in hardcover and ebook formats. The first book in the Empire and Rebellion series–Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells, starring Leia–releases on September 24.

James S.A. Corey’s Han Solo novel gets a title

Hit it, Star Wars Books.

This will join Martha Wells’ Razor’s Edge as part of the new Original Trilogy era book series.