Book Review: Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Book 2 of Paradox
Publisher: Orbit (February 25, 2014)
Mogsy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars
You know how some books you just don’t realize how addicted you were to them until it occurs to you how badly, desperately, severely you’re craving the sequel? Yeah well, this is one of those cases! I even broke away from my February reading list to fit this one in as soon as I received it for review, because I knew I couldn’t wait any longer.
I’m happy to report Honor’s Knight is just as much fun as the first book. In that, it certainly did not disappoint. But speaking of which, before I go further it probably behooves me to warn readers that this review might contain spoilers for Fortune’s Pawn. I don’t think there’s any way around it when talking about this book, since it picks up right after the events of the last one. So if you’d like to skip this and read my review for the first book instead, I’ll totally understand. Better yet, you should just pick up Fortune’s Pawn! It was the most fun I’ve had with a sci-fi in a very long time.
As I’d expected, it was a joy and a treat to catch up with Deviana “Devi” Morris. I’ve always enjoyed courageous and determined women characters in science fiction, and Devi lends her own brand of cool to this spirited space drama, which in my opinion single-handedly makes this whole entire series. Even though she begins this book with her mind tampered with and her memories wiped, she is still the Devi I know and love. She can’t remember how her security team partner was killed or why a single glance at the ship’s cook now makes her feel physically ill, but none of that’s about to stop her from doing her job.
Nevertheless, the wrench thrown into the relationship between her and Rupert Charkov damn near killed me. These two belong together, and to see them apart pains me, especially when I understood the reason for Charkov’s tortured reactions but meanwhile Devi can’t even hold on to his name. Can you tell that I’m really into this romance? Because I am. I’m not usually so taken with this much drama in romantic subplots, but I think this an exception because of how candid Devi is with the situation. There’s no angst or sensationalism; she handles all her problems with the same direct, no-nonsense way — with her wits and with her guns. I love it.
If you enjoyed the story in Fortune’s Pawn, then you’ll definitely like Honor’s Knight as well. The first book alluded to a mystery involving the crew of the Glorious Fool, and rest assured everything is revealed here at last. The story also takes us to new places, including a handful of exotic planets as well as a brief sequence in which Devi returns to Paradoxian territory. In fact, I wish we had been able to see more of the world in those scenes; more details about the culture in which she grew up would have been very interesting. Regardless, it was pure satisfaction to watch all the puzzle pieces finally fit together, but there were still plenty of twists and turns. Alliances will shift and secrets abound as Devi becomes embroiled in something huge, something that puts the safety of the entire galaxy on the line.
When Rachel Bach/Rachel Aaron goes for action and thrills, she’s clearly not afraid to go all the way. So far this series has been wildly entertaining, but to me it has also become a lot more than just a sci-fi adventure story about Devi blowing away big bad aliens (though there is also plenty of that). Like I said in my review for Fortune’s Pawn, what started off as a popcorn read has gotten me more emotionally invested than I realized, and I find myself caring deeply for the story and characters. Will Devi and Rupert end up together? (I hope so.) Will she achieve her dreams of becoming a Devastator? (I’m guessing probably, but after all that she’s been through, a life as a Devastator now seems kind of tame!) I’m very curious and eager to see how all of this will play out.
In short, Honor’s Knight picks up the energetic pace set by the first book and runs with it, carrying on with the momentum and revving it up even more. If this trend continues, the third and final book should be outstanding. I can’t wait.