Review: “Honor Lost,” Ann Aguirre, Rachel Caine

Pros: Wonderful conclusion to the trilogy!
Rating: 5 out of 5

NOTE: A website glitch caused me to lose this review, so I’m recreating it partially from memory and partially from what I have on Amazon.

Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine’s Honor Lost (Honors) is the conclusion to their wonderful Honors trilogy. Zara, Bea, Nadim, and the others have to stop Lifekiller, the god-king, from wiping out sentient species across the galaxy. He’s protected by the swarm of Phage, and he’s extremely powerful. Just to complicate things, crime boss Deluca sends Derry to kill Zara. He has the use of what is essentially an assassin bot. And EMITU, the med bot who travels with our heroes, seems to be developing a mind of his own.

The relationship that has slowly been developing between Zara, Bea, and Nadim comes to fruition in this volume. As a content note, there’s not-very-explicit sex of the f/f/sentient-space-whale variety. It’s an incredibly beautiful and original poly and queer relationship that I love. It’s been a slow-burn relationship over three books with a very soft space whale, and it’s been absolutely lovely.

There are some great tense scenes in here, and even though it all takes place in space ships there’s still some hand-to-hand combat. Chao-Xing has an excellent and unexpected role to play. Everyone gets a lick in, including Suncross and his pals, Bacia, the blobby creatures from the Sliver, and even some of Earth’s military.

I love what’s happening with EMITU, the medical bot on Namid. His snarky disposition–courtesy of Bea’s mischievous streak–is turning into something of a rebellious nature, and the crew is forced to interact with him a little bit differently than they have so far. He really comes into his own in this volume.

Some tragedy does strike in between the moments of glory. I shed a few tears toward the end. I love this series a lot, and I’m sorry to see it come to an end! On the other hand, there’s something to be said for writers who know how to write a story arc with a good ending and call it done at just the right point.

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