Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves by James S.A. Corey from the Empire and Rebellion series of novels hit the spot for me. I’m walking away from the book feeling like I experienced a classic Star Wars tale. The highest praise I can offer a book is to say it felt “vintage” and Honor Among Thieves felt very “vintage.” The novel clearly set out to capture an original trilogy tone. On that front it aimed for the fences and hit it home for me. It nailed the classic Star Wars vibe in a way I haven’t experienced in a long time. The ramifications of the book’s scope aren’t that big but you get to experience the characters in their interim state between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.
Nebula and Hugo Award nominees Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck—writing as James S. A. Corey—make their Star Wars debut in this brand-new epic adventure featuring Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia Organa. The action begins after the destruction of the Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
When the Empire threatens the galaxy’s new hope, will Han, Luke, and Leia become its last chance?
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.
At first I was taken aback by the idea of two authors writing the same book. The voice throughout felt very singular. I did not get the sense there was any tension or pulling back and forth because of the collaborative effort. In fact, I’m thinking it might have worked in a way where the authors kept one another on track. I’m only guessing. I’m trying not to gush, but I loved the tone throughout, I can’t state that enough.
The strongest character in the book, Han Solo was pitch perfect. Even the narration did little things like refer to Luke Skywalker as “the kid” that just made it feel like Solo’s book while reminding us where and when this book takes place. Set before Empire Strikes Back we get our characters before they have totally developed. So we get them in their true essence of character, if you will. The downside is there isn’t much in this novel that really has any lasting affects on the Star Wars literary saga. If you didn’t read this book, you would miss out on a great Star Wars adventure, but you wouldn’t be confused about the galaxy if you read the next book in Empire and Rebellion.
Scarlet Hark did not feel like a throwaway character and her interactions with the heroes was palatable. It was interesting to see a time when Han Solo could be attracted to other women in an instance where he could choose someone else over Princess Leia since he is a single guy still at this point in the story.
My only pet peeve with the book is probably exclusively my own. But every time I read the name “Galassian,” a cartographer, my brain wanted to read “Calrissian.” They were clearly going for that kind of name when coming up with it, but I felt it was a little too close to the mark in that instance. Thankfully Galassian was a cartographer and nothing like Lando.
You can pick up Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves on March 4th. I suggest picking it up, it will both intensify and quench your Star Wars: Episode VII thirst!
Thank you to Del Rey for an advance copy of Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves!
Stay tuned for my spoiler-filled review next week!