I’m back with another blog tour today and this time it’s for The Death of Honor by Lyra Thorsson. Special thanks to Heather Fitt from Overview Media for asking me to be part of this blog tour and to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!
Goodreads: The Death of Honor (Honor Trilogy #1)
Published: 12 January 2021
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
All Rebecca wants in life is to sail through space in her ship—is that too much to ask? The moment she lays eyes on her old military buddy Jonathan, Rebecca knew there was no running away from her duties. With her best friend, sometimes with benefits, Nik, she desired to return home to the Nreff Nation, one of the four government powers of the systems, to serve on one last mission.
However, the problem with returning is that they all are wanted for treason. It wasn’t their fault, however, as they had been framed by their old admiral, Sebastien Wilde. Fortunately, succeeding in this mission might give them a clean slate, as they are to find evidence of Wilde’s involvement in the illegal human experimentation ring that goes against the Treaty Of World Equality and Rights (T.O.W.E.R.).
Rebecca and Nik agree to the mission, hoping to earn a more peaceful life, however Rebecca hides a dark secret: she was once closer to Sebastien than any of them ever realized, and the evidence incriminating him might also implicate her.
Now Rebecca has a choice: turn her back on her comrades and run for her life, or face her sins in order to prevent an all-out war.
CW/TW: This book contains sexual content, violence, drug abuse, and physical, sexual, and mental abuse.
This space opera/science fiction ended up being a bit of a mixed bag for me and I’m having a bit of a hard time articulating my thoughts well, so I’m sorry if I ramble. While I did enjoy most of the story it took me a very long time to read it as I struggled to get into it but once the story got going I eagerly flipped through the pages to find out what would happen.
I liked the premise and thought it was pretty unique because I don’t often read books where human experimentation plays a major role in the plot and the conflict between characters. It definitely goes down a very dark and quite gruesome road but I found myself continuously intrigued and wanting to know more. The writing was easy to read and flowed well enough. If there was anything that took me out of the story at times it was how the characters would often interject a word or two in a different language mid-dialogue and I couldn’t help thinking that nobody really talks like that 😅 But it wasn’t a deal breaker, just jarring at times.
The story is told in alternating perspectives between Nik and Rebecca but there are quite a few characters that we’re introduced to. I separated them in my head as “old crew” and “new crew”. The old crew consisted of our protagonists plus Jonathan and another friend and they are the reason their current mission exists in the first place. The new crew is much younger and is introduced as part of the team once this mission takes off. We get little snippets of each character but we don’t really get to know them and I found that disappointing since the past with the old crew was referred to so often, yet we’re left in the dark about the details of their history for the majority of the book. There’s definitely a lot to unpack in that group but since we only skim the surface it made it easy to feel disconnected from their story. I hope this changes in the sequels because everyone seemed really interesting and like they have many secrets tucked away!
I found Rebecca’s character to be the most intriguing out of them all. She’s so complex and so very, very morally grey but she has also endured a horrifying history of torture and abuse (and honestly it was a bit tough to stomach at times). The position she’s in is so impossible and I’m very curious to see what she’ll do next especially after that shocking twist at the end!
The one major issue I struggled with was the world building. From the minute the story kicks off, we’re thrown into this galaxy/system without any context of the setting and it was not only confusing but it admittedly took me a while to really situate myself in the story. As it continues, we do learn a bit about the various nations in the system but focused mostly on Nreff Nation, as well as the role the T.O.W.E.R. has in keeping the peace. That said, we don’t get very much historical information about how the treaty came to be, how the nations were divided, and other sociopolitical aspects of this world that I think are key to really understanding the story. I felt that the world building really only skimmed the surface and I kept wanting more.
Lyra Thorsson is the sci-fi pen name for Dani Hoots. She is a science fiction, fantasy, romance, and young adult author who loves anything with a story. She has a B.S. in Anthropology, a Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning, a Certificate in Novel Writing from Arizona State University, and a BS in Herbal Science from Bastyr University.
Her hobbies include reading, watching anime, cooking, studying different languages, wire walking, hula hoop, and working with plants. She is also an herbalist and sells her concoctions on FoxCraft Apothecary. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and visits Seattle often.
Feel free to email her with any questions you might have!
Have you read The Death of Honor or is it on your TBR?