Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves: Empire and Rebellion by James S. A. Corey

We’ve known since the beginning that Han and Chewie can hold their own in a story. Hearkening back to the fun of the late 70s Solo trilogy by the late Brian Daley, Honor Among Thieves meets every expectation and surpasses book 1 in the Empire and Rebellion mini-series, Razor’s Edge. If I have one gripe at all, it’s that, much like Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, it recalls too many lines straight from the films, and worse, it even uses phrasing from modern pop culture that should never enter Star Wars (“I know, right?”). Unlike with Zahn, however, this is a minor gripe here. Where Zahn’s entire novel was nothing but repurposed dialogue, Honor Among Thieves instead uses the familiar lines sparingly so as to add that little touch of character. It’s hard not to hear a younger Harrison Ford’s voice ringing in your ears when you read this.

The new character Scarlet Hark is Solo’s match. With the elegance and grace of Leia and the streetwise cockiness of Solo himself, she tests the smuggler’s reputation at every turn, making this book one big “put up or shut up” for the man who doesn’t yet know why he’s involved in the Rebellion at all. Given its place in the timeline right after A New Hope, this is the kind of story and character growth that the Expanded Universe was meant for, before Zahn and his followers watered it down in soap opera level malarkey. More than that, the only real requirement for reading this is that you know A New Hope, and really… if you haven’t seen that, why are you looking to read this?

Bottom line, this is a fun, quick read. Apparently it only takes a couple of sick days to plow through it, because it reads at the speed of Star Wars.

4 stars

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