Honor Bound- Book Review

You are as you should be. It was the kindest thing anyone had ever said to me, and it felt…pure.”

Zara Cole, Honor Bound Chapter 10, Page 202

Author: Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre
Published: 2019
Pages: 470
Rating: 4/10

If you have yet to read my review on Honor Among Thieves you really should go read it before you read this review. Honor Bound is the second book in the Honors Trilogy and to really understand some of the things I am going to talk about you are going to probably want at least a little knowledge on the first book and my feelings about it.

Now with that out of the way let’s talk about Honor Bound. This might be a bit shorter than the last review because for me to give a long summer about this book would mean giving away much of what happened in the last book. There will be some spoilers but I will try to keep them vague. My feelings about this book are all over the place right now, so I guess lets start with the summary as we did the last time.

Summary

Honor Bound picks up right where the last book left off. They have just been in a fight and now Zara is getting treated for alien blood that is now all over her. That blood is also poisonous. Zara, Nadim, Beatriz, and the crew of others they have picked up along the way know that they will not be able to survive long if their ships do not get the starlight they need to heal and repair themselves. They set off on a journey to find a place called the Sliver where they will be able to purchase starlight baths and some weapons for their next battle.

Sliver is even more of an outlaw alien hideout than any of them could imagine. They quickly learned from their alien honor friend Starcurrent that music is a universal currency and that they would likely be able to trade much of the music that they had on board Nadim to get them whatever currency was used on this planet. They were rich, but that wasn’t going to buy them everything they needed. This meant that they were going to have to find another way to get the second type of currency they needed. They were going to fight for it.

Overall they spend the majority of the book on the planet until the head honcho of the place calls them up and tells them she wants them gone because they are going to bring the phage to them. Zara makes a deal with them and they go off to find something that they want. The problems start to arise at this point when Zara and her crew realize that this alien queen of sorts has sent them on a suicide mission. The crew recovers what they want and in the process of transporting it back they awaken it and that is when things get real. From that point forward not only are Zara and the crew fighting their original battle, but now they have been forced into fighting a battle they never intended to.

My Thoughts

Carina Storm enjoying some reading time with Mom. ❤

I did not like this book as much as I liked the first one. It wasn’t bad but there were so many things going on that I had a hard time remember what character was what and who was doing what when. I think this story definitely could have been pared down a little bit to only include some of the information it did. There was a lot of interesting things happening, that did serve to push the story forward, but just way too many idea. I also found myself really annoyed because the relationship that I was hoping was not trying to hint at being romantic turned out to be a romantic relationship. Then they added more people to it, it was weird. I still don’t know how I feel about it.

My other problem with this book is that it isn’t very well written for what you find out the characters look like. Almost the entirety of the first book I thought all of the characters were white. They were not. I found out at some point that Zara and Beatriz are actually black, which I think is a great thing. Except that the descriptions of the characters never lead me to believe that until it was flat out said. I was hoping that would change in book two which is why I didn’t touch on this in the original review. I focused more on the story there. It actually somehow got worse in the second book. They referenced it more often which was nice, but they just didn’t do those characters justice. One incident I am thinking of is when they talk about Zara washing her hair. It is one of the few things they actually use to explain that she is black, and they just gloss over it. Both of the ladies who wrote this book are white, and as a white woman myself I find it very annoying that they wrote these characters to be black and then kind of white washed them in my eyes.

The final problem I had with this book specifically had to do with making characters non-binary. Now, I do not have an issue with them doing this, it is the way they did it that makes me mad. Once again they just kind of threw the pronouns around and made a few people non-binary and didn’t really touch on it any more. I honestly forgot half the time that these characters were non-binary. That was not something I loved. I did sort of foresee that issue in the first book but it was only touched on briefly at the end of the book so I had held out hope that it would be explained better in the second book. It was not.

Recommendation

Unlike the first book I am not overly impressed with this book. Maybe it is because I don’t love the story so all the other things that are not great about it are making me upset, but I honestly don’t know that I recommend this to anyone. If I felt like the characters were portrayed better and actually had characteristics of the ethnicities they were trying to say they were I think I might have liked it a little more. If you read the first book and you like the story then you may be able to see through the issues I had with it, but overall I just don’t love it. Now I am left trying to decide if I want to read the 3rd book just to finish the trilogy, or if I want to just skip the last book all together because at this point I don’t have hope that the things that are bugging me are going to get any better. Let me know in the comments what you would do.

O.W.L Magical Readathon TBR List

Earlier this month I found Book Roast’s Magic Readathon from 2019. At that time I didn’t realize that the this was something that she did every year. A few weeks ago, when I originally started doing the 2019 version of the readathon I started to see posts of people talking about the 2020 Magical Readathon and I got super excited. Like stopped what I was doing immediately and started planning for the readathon. Let’s just say, I have gotten super into this. So this post is going to be all about my O.W.Ls in April 2020, what career I am going for this year, and what my TBR list is for this readathon.

Also here is Book Roast’s video all about the 2020 O.W.Ls if you want to learn more about it!

My Career

Book Roast seriously has put so much work into this readathon that it blows my mind. There are entire career guides that explain all the careers you can select from and what you need to read to get them, and explanations of all of those careers. The attention to detail is fantastic. Now, when I started to do last years version of this readathon earlier this month I did not pick a career first. I decided to just start reading and get as many O.W.Ls as I could and then I would pick a career after. That was a mistake let me tell you. So this time I decided to go ahead and pick my career first, that way I had a bit of an idea of what I needed to be looking for to get to something I wanted to do. So what did I chose you ask…

A Hogwarts Professor of course! I always tell the girls that work for me that I was an elementary teacher in another life because I love to do bulletin boards, make certificates, and create fun games. So with that information I felt like this would be a fun career for me to work towards.

The Requirements

Each career has its own set of requirements to be able to become qualified to do that career. There are lists for both O.W.L.s and N.E.W.Ts but in this post I only am going to talk about O.W.Ls since that is the readathon for April.

To become a professor you need to pass 7 O.W.Ls in total and they are as follows:

* A subject you wish to teach
* Defense Against the Dark Arts
* 5 additional subjects of your choice

As you can see the requirements for this career are pretty open and let you go for pretty much anything you want to. This leaves it pretty much open for me to do anything that interests me.

Courses, Siminars, and Training

Another fun thing that Book Roast added this year was the option to do courses, siminars, and training to go along with your career. She put just as much time and effort into these as she did to the regular careers and I couldn’t be more excited. There are a bunch of options but I did narrow it down to a few.

*Animagus Training- requires O.W.Ls in Arithmancy, Potions, and Transfigurations
*Legal Defence of Fantastic Beasts Seminar- requires O.W.Ls in Care of Magical Creatures and History of Magic

TBR List

Finally the part we have all been waiting for…what I will be reading in April to start working towards my wizarding Career.

Professor
I will be reading the books below to work towards my career as a professor:

If you Tell, Gregg Olsen: Arithmancy (something outside my favorite genre)
Sea Witch, Sarah Henning: Defence Against the Dark Arts ( book set at the sea/coast)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Newt Scamander, J.K. Rowling: Care of Magical Creatures (Creature with a beak on the cover, also subject I wish to teach)
The Vine Witch, Luanne G. Smith: History of Magic (book featuring witches/wizards)
My Big Fat, Fake Wedding, Lauren Landish: Charms (white cover)
Harry Potter A History of Magic, J.K. Rowling: Astronomy (read the majority of this book when it is dark outside)
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck: Potions (book under 150 pages)

Animagus Training and LDFB Seminar
For Animagus training I have to read a book for Arithmancy, Potions, and Transfiguration and for LDFB i have to read a book for Care of Magical Creatures and History of Magic. Thankfully Book Roast cleared up in a recent video that the books you used for these extra courses could also be ones that you read for your main career. That means I only have to read one extra book, for a total of 8 books.

To Be Determined: Transfigurations (a book/series that includes shape shifting) I really have no idea on this one yet, so I will just have to pick that out as I get to it

So there it is, my O.W.L Magical Readathon TBR list for April. To be honest I don’t know if I will be able to get more reading done than that, but we can hope that I will at least get this done. Happy Reading! If you are also going to be doing the Magical Readathon let me know what career you picked, or what O.W.Ls you are going to be trying for.

Honor Among Thieves- Book Review

You were a seed, surrounded by hard shell and stony ground. Now you can grow in any direction that you wish. I will leave you alone until you see that.”

Nadim, Honor Among Thieves Chapter 8, page 186

Author: Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre
Published: 2018
Pages: 468
Rating: 7/10

I usually do not read syfy books, but the cover of this one just made me want to read it. Also, I didn’t read the description of the book before I read it. Had I, I probably would not have even given the book a second thought.

Summary

Honor Among Thieves is the story of Zara, an outcast who just wants to “be free” and live by her own rules. When we meet Zara she is living life as a thief in the Zone. She steals a purse from a seemingly wealthy girl who is walking down the street without a care in the world. Once she has time to look through the bag she found tech, prescription meds, and a box that contained some type of chem (drugs) that she had never seen before. Zara takes her haul to a seller and gets quite a decent chunk of money for what she has stolen. All she is thinking of is that she will be able to feed Derry, her chem addicted boyfriend, and herself for at least a week.

When Zara returns to Derry and the rest of her crew a man shows up looking for the box that she stole from the young girl. Zara pretends that he has no idea what he is talking about, but internally she is freaking out once she realizes that the girl she stole from what the daughter of a wealthy business man who everyone thought was crazy.

Once Zara realizes that she can not get out of this on her own she leaves Derry to go back to Parkview Rehabilitation Home. She knew she would not be able to stay there, but she is hoping that Mrs. Witham can help her get somewhere safe; Camp Kuna.

When Zara arrives at Camp Kuna she believes that she is now safe for the time being, but she is very very wrong. The first friend that she makes tries to kill her. All in the same stretch the guards come for her to take her to meet with the CEO of the camp as well as a man names Marko. Zara soons finds out that she has been selected for the Honors, a program she despised while others were fighting just to be selected. She is effectively forced into taking the spot on the Tour because she realizes if she does not she will die.

Zara soon meets an ex Honor who tells her not to go out on the tour because they are lying to her. Marko tells her to ignore the Honor because he couldn’t handle the Tour and was sent back to earth. Not long after this encounter Zara meets Nadim, her ship. The alien that will take them on a tour through the stars. She also meets Beatriz, her partner for the next year.

Zara and Nadim soon learn they have a connection that is different from what he has with others. A connection that is likely to get them into trouble.

My Thoughts

I do have to say I did enjoy this book. As I said in the beginning of the post I usually don’t read syfy books but I wanted to give this one a try. The book is a bit slow to start, which almost made me put it down. It also is a bit confusing because they switch between who they are talking to and whose thoughts are being shown quite a few times in the first couple of pages. Once I finally got into the book through and started getting into what I can only say is VAGUE SPOILER ALERT an alien/human romance I started to get into it. To be honest I don’t think that you are meant to see the relationship that I am talking about as romantic, I think it is supposed to be seen as a relationship that is on a deeper level than the superficial relationships the characters are used to; but the way it is written really suggests there is something more going on. The book also lacked the in depth details I was craving from an alien space travel story. Funny enough I usually enjoy stories that have more dialogue than filler, but in this case I definitely feel like the story would have benefited from more of what I call filler information. Overall I really did enjoy the book, though there are some concepts in it that I find it hard to wrap my head around. The ship Zara is on being an actual living being for one things. The book is part of a series though (currently at 3 books, unsure of if there are plans for more) so I am hoping as the series goes on I will be able to wrap my head around it better and better.

Final Recommendations

I would say that I recommend this book for people like me who really are not super into syfy and just want to dip their toes in the water. If you are someone who really loves these types of books you would probably dislike this one just based on the fact that the story really does not go too in depth on the concepts it is talking about.