Honor’s Knight: review

March 26, 2014 2014, 4.5 star books, adult crossover, Kate, rachel bach, sci fi or futuristic 28 ★★★★½

Honor’s Knight: reviewHonor's Knight by Rachel Bach
Series: Paradox #2
Published by Orbit Books on February 25, 2014
Genres: adult, science fiction
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonIndieboundBarnes & NobleGoodreads
four-half-stars
The rollicking sequel to Fortune's Pawn -- an action packed science fiction novel.

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.

Wendy gave me Fortune’s Pawn for Christmas, and I put off reading it for months and months–until a week ago. I have a tendency to do this; being given or loaned a book makes me feel like there’s a lot of pressure on me to enjoy it, and that perceived pressure pretty quickly turns into a weird resentment of the book in question. I’m such an idiot. Once I finally sat down with the darned thing, I devoured it in one sitting, and as soon as I finished it around 2 am, I proceeded to read Honor’s Knight right then and there in a blurry haze of bloodshot eyes and coffee breath. Because these books are really, really good, you guys.

What follows will contain spoilers for Fortune’s Pawn, the previous book in the Paradox series.

Honor’s Knight opens with an intense, heartbreaking prologue in which we learn why so many powerful men have young “Daughters” who don’t speak and are identical to each other, and–more importantly–where they come from. The prologue is set three years before the action of the previous book, and it both introduces us to some major new characters and shows us several characters from the previous book in a very different light from how we’d seen them up to this point. Everything we thought we knew is turned on its head. A good guy does a majorly creepy thing, and then the prologue ends, and we’re off to the races.

Devi wakes up healed after the big battle at the end of Fortune’s Pawn, and for a large chunk of the book we operate under a fog of dramatic irony, as Rupert (yes, his name is still “Rupert;” that didn’t magically change between books. Sigh.) has, with the help of a Daughter, wiped Devi’s memories of him, of symbionts in general, and of the big battle. He’s also fixed it so that when she looks at him she feels disgusted and becomes nauseated. It’s ok if you hate Rupert for doing this; he does another terrible thing early in the book, and boy, is he ever going to have some ” splaining” to do when Devi gets her memories back.

Which is a thing I love about Devi. Despite being a ruthless glory hound of a mercenary, she is loving and strong and loyal to a fault, and she expects no less from the people she chooses to spend her time with. She reminds me a lot of UF heroines like Kate Daniels–while I love both Ripley (from Alien) and Starbuck (from Battlestar Galactica), the similarities between Devi and them are pretty superficial. She is much more feminine at her core than either of those ladies.

In fact, my only problem with this book–and with the series in general–is Rupert. Their relationship hasn’t been allowed to build naturally; it started with lust, then quickly switched to suspicion, then to intense friendship and sex, then to this star-crossed lovers thing, and finally, when things had begun to chill out, Devi’s memories were taken. So it’s all going to have to build again. For a third time. And while all of it makes sense for the story, getting jerked around like that can compromise the reader’s ability to emotionally invest in the romance. Also, for someone who’s supposed to be a legendary warrior, Rupert sure does spend a lot of time mooning about like a lovesick puppy. I find him to be kind of insufferable, and I hate that he does unforgivable things to Devi (he does most of them to protect both her and the entire universe, but still).

I know that seems like a big complaint, but in the grand scheme of this novel, it really is a minor quibble. This is still one of my favorite science fiction adventure series. It’s intense and visceral and feminist, and my heart ached for Devi and her shipmates, who charge blindly through the universe, trying their best to do the right thing against impossible odds. As far as sequels go, this one was nearly flawless. What a relief.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.

Kate

 

 

 

28 Responses to “Honor’s Knight: review”

  1. Larissa

    I’ve been reading this one on and off as I’ve been busy but I’m enjoying it immensely (: Lol I can’t see myself rating it anything less than 4.5 stars unless something really bad happens. I really do think this series is soooo underrated, I feel like a lot of people would enjoy it if they gave it the chance. I’m glad the second installment in this series worked for you! I knew I’d enjoy Honor’s Knight right away, alike you the prologue definitely had a huge positive impact on me. It was so well written and had me feeling emotional to my core haha. Rupert is my one somewhat issue with this series too. I’m not really sure of how I feel with him which is honestly a problem in itself. It means I’m indifferent, I don’t hate him or love him. I just have a feeling of total and utter apathy. Devi’s awesomeness totally makes up for mediocre Rupert though (:

    Amazing review! Makes me want to pick up Honor’s Knight right now and finish it.
    Larissa recently posted…Discussing Through Midnight (28): Larissa’s Italian Adventure

    • Kate Bond

      I think Devi’s awesome might be partially TO BLAME for Rupert’s mehness. It would be tough to write a love interest who’s as awesome as she is without overshadowing her, and I’m glad the author erred on this side of that.

    • Kate Bond

      I wanted less sappiness! I wanted him to still be a strong character, even after having lost her–or maybe I just wanted him to go fully into it and then snap out? I don’t know. Something about it just didn’t work for me.

  2. Danielle Richardson

    I’ve actually never even heard of this first book in this series. But seeing the stars you gave this book, I think I’d better look for it. Very interested in reading this, and I like the unique cover.

    • Kate Bond

      It’s a really good series, and I agree about the cover–I liked the first one best of all, though, with the super close-up face.

  3. Kim

    So, the totally embarrassing thing about me is that a story’s romance, and how well it does or does not work for me, has a disproportionate effect on my total enjoyment of the story. I really enjoyed Fortune’s Pawn; it’s such a great story. But what it kept it from being more than 4 stars for me was, unsurprisingly, the romance.

    Now, I like Rupert a lot more than you do, but, like you, my complaint lies in the development of their relationship. It was so zig zagging and sudden in places. I don’t even mind that his name is Rupert. But you know what I do mind? I just can’t handle long hair on dudes because I am a shallow, shallow creature.

    Also, your description of the prologue made my heart skip. Intense! I can’t wait to read this but I’m waiting until #3 is out in April so I can read them both at the same time. :)

    • Kate Bond

      I think you may like him less in book two. Maybe. We’ll see. Maybe you’ll be like everyone else who has read these books and like him more.

      SPACE BOOKS start with an automatic four stars for me because I love them so much, so if I rate a space book lower than that, something terrible has happened.

  4. Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I didn’t read the entirety of your review since I haven’t read Fortune’s Pawn yet, but I am SO THRILLED to see you enjoyed this sequel too! Off late, I’ve been waiting till all three installments in a trilogy release because the disappointment of Middle Book Syndrome or a Finale have become too familiar. I have a feeling this is one of those rare and stellar series, though, so the moment Book 3 is out, you can bet I’ll be flying through these books, especially as I love sci-fi. I’ll be back to read this once I get around to picking up Fortune’s Pawn! :)
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…ARC Review: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

    • Wendy Darling

      KEERTANA I WANT YOU TO READ THIS SERIES. It’s probably the first scifi series I would ever DARE recommend to you because I know how choosy you are about world-building and such. That’s how good I think this is! It will hold up to Ivy Book Bindings scrutiny.

    • Kate Bond

      Yeah, there’s no Middle Book Syndrome here. I was so relieved, because it’s enormously disappointing when that happens. I’ve actually read a lot of books that are, like, 7th or 8th n a series lately, and really really terrible. But what do I do, abandon the series that was otherwise quite good? Sigh. Life is hard.

  5. Wendy Darling

    You know what’s funny–Rupert really grew on me in HONOR’S KNIGHT. As much as I’m still not a fan of the name and I DID quite like him in the last book, I didn’t mind the relationship in this one. Everything you said about the starts and stops of the relationship are absolutely true, though, and I wish there had been a little bit less of that. It’s going to make book three really hard. Maybe I didn’t mind because I just felt their attraction more strongly in this one or something–that first scene where they really interact all and he does is touch her hand? MAN. It got me all shivery, and over something so simple.

    As you said, it’s such a small thing to criticize, though–this book is SO good. And it took the story in directions I wasn’t expecting to go, which is always fun! I’m really jazzed about all the surprises coming up in book three. Because if she did this with a book two, imagine what she’ll do with a series ender!

    Thanks for reviewing this one for us. :) I want everrryone to read this series.

    • Kate Bond

      I want everyone to read it, too.

      I read some other reviews of this after I posted mine this morning, and I’m definitely in the minority, Rupert-wise. I’m just not feeling it at all.

      • Kate Bond

        And by “in the minority” I mean that I cannot find another reviewer–except maybe one of the Book Smugglers in their co-review of it–who doesn’t like this romance.

    • Kate Bond

      Bill in True Blood is a name that makes me laugh every time I hear it. Especially when people say “Vampire Bill.” And I don’t even watch the show.

    • Kate Bond

      You should! It’s so, so good…although I don’t know that you’ll be able to resist immediately reading the sequel. Book one ends with A LOT of excitement.