Review: Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

Title: Honor Among Thieves (The Honors #1)

Author: Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

Pub. Date: February 13th, 2018

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books/Harper

Pages: 309

Format: eGalley & Physical ARC

Trigger Warning: Physical/Child abuse

*HUGE thanks to Katherine Tegen Books/Harper, Edelweiss, Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion


Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.

My first YA Sci-Fi of the year & I ABSO-FRIGGIN-LUTELY LOVED IT! When we meet our MC Zara, she is on the streets trying to survive in a cut throat world. Her mother & sister have moved to Mars, she opted to stay behind as a emancipated young adult and her father…whelp more on that situation in the characters section of this review down below. I inhale read 90% of this book in 24hrs, sleep ended up winning the battle in the end but I picked it up as soon as I woke up the next morning & GAHHHH! well worth my time! as previously mentioned, Zara is on the streets and has turned to petty crime. She has one friend who is addicted to drugs & they have a very co-dependent relationship. Stealing & selling to street sharks is how she gets by until the day she steals from the daughter of a very wealthy & powerful man. Once she realizes she’s being hunted for a very specific gadget she stole, Zara goes ghost in an effort to avoid being captured. She goes through drastic measures to ensure she is tossed back into a rehabilitation program that focuses on “helping” youth by reconditioning them to go back into society as upstanding citizens. This is all in efforts to avoid the powerful clutches of those intent on squeezing her for info on the gadget she stole.

The story then truly begins while Zara is keeping her head low in the rehab facility where she realizes there really isn’t anywhere she can hide. The Honors program recruits her, a never before seen move. This program was created in partnership with the Leviathan who are Aliens that are credited for saving the human race from total annihilation. They have saved many planets from extinction and in turn, The Honors Program allows the recruitment of 100 youth from Earth & other planets. Until Zara’s recruitment, there was always a type the Leviathan chose. Selected in pairs, there is always 1 musician & 1 scientist…Zara is neither of these. Seeing as she doesn’t have much of a choice if she wan’ts to stay alive, she accepts her role. The Leviathan are aliens that act sort of like spaceships in the sense that the Honors all have to board a Leviathan. The Objective of the year long program is for humans & Leviathans to learn from each other in order to improve their quality of life. Of course there’s more than meets the eye to this program & finding out just what that is will be Zara’s real objective…

Zara- at first I thought we’d be getting the same kick a** strong female MC we’ve grown accustomed to in YA. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Zara is the first of her kind I’ve seen in any of the books I’ve come across. To say she’s had a rough life would be downplaying it. From the age of 6 she’s suffered from chronic headaches & having a hardcore religious father meant being subjected to unorthodox methods of healing. As a survivor of child abuse, Zara has detached herself from her parents. Her only loyalties are to herself & she’s managed to stay alive on the streets by always being on the move. Getting recruited into the Leviathan program has a major effect on her fierce need to not be tethered to any person,place, or thing. She’s also not used to having anyone care for her & I really enjoyed seeing the character development with Zara as the story progressed.

Parents & Sibling- We see that Zara does love her mother but unfortunately, her mother didn’t know how to protect her when she had the chance. It leads to sort of a love from afar type of situation that aches whenever they’re close & things are great because it’s temporary. Zara does have a younger sister she loves deeply & plays the overprotective sister role to.It’s her relationship with her father that is beyond repair. There were some tough scenes where she recollects moments of physical abuse at the hands of her very religious father. Zara’s dad really gives a whole new meaning to scumbag.

Beatrice- Zara’s partner on the Leviathan she is assigned to. Beatrice aka Bea is musically inclined, with a beautiful voice it makes sense why the Leviathan have chosen her to join the expedition. Bea is Brazilian and knows 4 different languages, with a large family waiting for her return to Earth, she is the exact opposite of Zara. Thankfully, their friendship was very positive & I LOVED seeing how well they meshed together.

Nadim- Saved the best for last! The Leviathan Zara & Bea are assigned to could not have been a better match. Nadim is a young alien & shares one thing in common with Zara…an aversion to following the rules. Nadim does try to adhere but more often that not, he goes off course. In this book Nadim is referred to as being a “he” but I loved how that was discussed because Leviathan don’t really have a assigned gender. The relationship that develops between Zara & Nadim can be described as unconventional & I still can’t tell you what exactly these two have going on LOL! but ummm…it gets innnneresting 😉

I’m going to keep this sections short cause when I love a book it’s really tough for me to pick it apart. I think it’s so bad a** when I come across a book collaboration where the synchronocity between the authors make for a seamless reading experience. I really couldn’t tell you where Rachel Caine’s writing stops & Ann Aguirre’s begins. I’ve read books in the past that take place in one specific setting for the entirety of the story & it just didn’t work. Honor Among Thieves takes place for the most part inside of Nadim the Leviathan in outer space & I could not get enough of these characters & their world. The only thing I would’ve liked to have a bit more insight on is the subplot involving Zara & the very powerful man she stole from when we first start this journey. Since I feel as if this will be explained in the follow-up, It didn’t take away from the story for my reading experience. We know early on that there’s more than meets the eye to the whole Leviathan program & Zara is hell bent on discovering their secrets & whether or not they have a hidden agenda. This plot progresses at a steady pace but it’s the evolution of Zara & Nadim that made for a story I just couldn’t put down. I also love the fact that we get to see some of the aliens that inhabit other worlds who have joined the Leviathan program. We get introduced to a diverse set of characters that represent all corners of the worlds & who will need to band together if they want to survive what’s to come. I HIGHLY reccomend this book to anyone who loves Sci-Fi, I’m probably going to be gushing about this one for a while & have already sent my arc copy along to another blogger buddy who I know will LOVE this book to pieces! I’ve also gone ahead & added both Rachel Caine’s & Ann Aguirre’s previous series to my TBR cause they’re my new favorites! ❤ ❤ ❤

Hello Bookworms! Hope you’re having a wonderful day <3’s! Honor Among Thieves hits shelves tomorrow 2/13 & I’ve been bitten by the Sci-Fi bug. Please leave any reccs you may have for me down below in the comments & in return I ask you pick up this AWESOME book cause I’d like to fangirl haha! ❤ ❤ ❤


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Author: LairOfBooks

"I didn't choose the Book Life, the Book Life chose me"

24 thoughts on “Review: Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre”

    1. I really hope you enjoy this one, it’s safe to say it’s now one of my fave YA Sci-fi books, now to wishin’ & hopin’ the sequel doesn’t take too long *fingers crossed* Happy reading! 🙂


  1. Amazing review! ❤ I have an eARC of this one that I had been putting off because I'd heard a few reeeeally negative reviews, but I trust your opinion on books so much and this review has me SO looking forward to it, now! Damn it, when will I learn to stop reading negative reviews of ARCs before I read them?! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Destiny! ❤ you had me pull up Goodreads real quick LOL! for the most part I look at reviews after I post mine. However, when I wholeheartedly enjoy a book, I tend to stay clear lest I be swayed into feeling a way I know I didn't feel during my reading experience *weakkkk* haha! My exception of course being problematic behavior, that I'm always weary & on the look-out for. I really did love this one especially since it's so hard to find good sci-fi in YA & this one had such a diverse cast that it boosted my appreciation. I REALLY hope you enjoy this one & now I'm hella curious to see what you think of it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bahaha! That’s what I really need to start doing, too. I don’t really mind reading negative reviews after I’ve written my review, because I don’t go back and change them very often, but I absolutely need to stay away from negative reviews if I either haven’t read it yet, or have read it but haven’t reviewed it, because I’m realizing lately that it puts a huge bias on me when I start reading, and I hate that! I’m so glad you loved this one so much though. I may go ahead and start it this week so I can at least get a review up within its release month!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I completely understand, I went through the same realization last year & decided to change things up this year. I’m still reading a bit more critically to be aware of any problematic themes or triggers. I just can’t continue to be swayed from reading a book based on how it was received by another. Or like you said starting a book with a bias. Of those I follow on the blogosphere & Goodreads, this book has really good ratings but I do see a couple of low stars not too many though. If you really enjoy sci-fi in YA then I’d highly recommend this book. Either way love it or hate it, I’d love to read your review so I’ll kept an eye out ☺️💕

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review Lilly! 😀 Given that a few of my favourite sci-fi series have ended this year I’ve been looking for something new I can get started on, and I think based on your review Honor Among Thieves is going to be on my list for sure! This sounds like an incredible story, I’m already a little hooked just after reading the blurb, and I’m really glad there wasn’t anything that pulled you out of the book given that there were two writers working on this one.
    Again great review, I hope I enjoy this book as much as you did! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth! I’m so glad the blurb piqued your interest 😃 I def think this is one you’d enjoy. I really couldn’t tell this was written by two authors & the last time I came across a co-authored book that was this seamless was with My Lady Jane. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one whenever you get around to it ☺️💕

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well that went right on my dang TBR. You have officially broken it haha. Your pretty much devoured this in one sit huh? And I have been on such a scifi kick lately that now I really want to pick it up! This would be great for my prompt that requires a book that takes place on another planet ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honor Among Thieves was so good! I really enjoyed this one, I’m just a sucker for character driven books. The plot is also awesome but it’s the alien and the MC that made this story for me 💜💜💜 I hope you get to pick it up soon & share your thoughts 😃


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