The latest novel addition to the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Honor Among Thieves marks the debut of the writing duo Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck in the galaxy far, far away. Writing under the pen name James S.A. Corey the duo takes us on adventure starring Han Solo set between the events in the novels Scoundrels and Razor’s Edge.
Honor Among Thieves feels like a retro EU novel recapturing the fun and adventure of Han and Chewie from the Brian Daley novels and the ever present threat of a super-weapon from the Bantam era.
Nebula and Hugo Award nominees Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck—writing as James S. A. Corey—make their Star Wars debut in this brand-new epic adventure featuring Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia Organa. The action begins after the destruction of the Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
When the Empire threatens the galaxy’s new hope, will Han, Luke, and Leia become its last chance?
When the mission is to extract a high-level rebel spy from the very heart of the Empire, Leia Organa knows the best man for the job is Han Solo—something the princess and the smuggler can finally agree on. After all, for a guy who broke into an Imperial cell block and helped destroy the Death Star, the assignment sounds simple enough.
But when Han locates the brash rebel agent, Scarlet Hark, she’s determined to stay behind enemy lines. A pirate plans to sell a cache of stolen secrets that the Empire would destroy entire worlds to protect—including the planet where Leia is currently meeting with rebel sympathizers. Scarlet wants to track down the thief and steal the bounty herself, and Han has no choice but to go along if he’s to keep everyone involved from getting themselves killed. From teeming city streets to a lethal jungle to a trap-filled alien temple, Han, Chewbacca, Leia, and their daring new comrade confront one ambush, double cross, and firestorm after another as they try to keep crucial intel out of Imperial hands.
But even with the crack support of Luke Skywalker’s x-wing squadron, the Alliance heroes may be hopelessly outgunned in their final battle for the highest of stakes: the power to liberate the galaxy from tyranny or ensure the Empire’s reign of darkness forever.
Honor Among Thieves does not have a ton of ripple effects in the wider Expanded Universe and frankly thats alright. What we do get is delightful prose and sharp pacing that provide a novel that flies by quicker than the Millennium Falcon on the Kessel Run.
In this novel that focuses on Han we also get appearance of classic characters in Chewie, Leia, Luke, Wedge, C-3PO, and R2-D2. Mixed in with this we get the introduction of the smuggler Baasen Ray, Ray’s pilot the Bothan Sunnim, a thief Hunter Maas, Imperial Astrocatographer Essio Galassian, and the books co-star Rebel Spy Scarlet Hark.
Baasen Ray is another case of Han’s past catching up with him, this is something that we see repeated various times through the films and the Expanded Universe. Hunter Maas provides some colorful comedic relief. While Essio Galassian is the nominal villain of the story that is probably the weakest part of the book. We hear about Galassian early in the novel but don’t actually meet him until much later in the book and when we do it feels a little anti-climactic.
Scarlet Hark will be the most talked about character coming out of this book. I enjoyed the introduction of Hark, a character that holds her own with the movie characters and has a very interesting interplay with Han and puts some interesting pressure on Han and Leia’s relationship.
I won’t spoil to much of the plot of the novel but the race against time to get the intelligence about a potential new super-weapon was a lot of fun and the conception of this super-weapon was one of the more novel ones we have had.
If you like Han Solo stories or simply that mixture of action and banter that filled the Original Trilogy than you won’t want to miss Honor Among Thieves, it is one of the funnest Expanded Universe novels I have read in some time.