The Death of Honor - Lyra Thorsson
Genre: Science Fiction | Space Opera
Potential Trigger Warnings: This book contains sexual content, violence, drug abuse, and physical, sexual, and mental abuse. If any of these themes are challenging for you, I would recommend not reading this book.
Synopsis: 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, 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.
My Thoughts: I’ll be honest, this is the first sci-fi book I’ve EVER read and I did go into it thinking ‘oh god, I hate sci-fi’. I always have an immediate preconceived idea that sci-fi instantly means aliens. I forget that films like Star Wars contain humans (and I like Star Wars!!).
What I liked: This book has an alternating first person perspective between Rebecca and Nik. If you’ve been around here for a while or follow my Instagram you will know how much I love an alternating POV - I think you can find out so much more about the characters and their thoughts and feelings, which I really enjoy.
The characters are really well written. I developed the strongest disliking towards Sebastien. Horrible, horrible human. I’m also really appreciative that Lyra included content warnings on the blurb of the book. We need more of this!!! Rebecca and Nik are great main characters and I loved the relationship the pair had. At one point they separated from one another, which is another reason why I love multiple POV books - you could continue to see both of their lives, what they were doing and how they were coping. It always annoys me when books are single perspectives and one of the characters goes elsewhere and is essentially forgotten about. I think Rebecca was a particularly well developed character. She seemed to have more secrets and mystery about her compared to Nik - for example, her addiction to the drug Morphine-B, which she hid from those around her.
It took me a little while to get into the book as I said I’ve never read a sci-fi book and it took me some time to figure out the general plot and atmosphere of the book. But I read the second half of the book in one sitting and I was completely gripped. It really ramped up the pace during the second half of the book.
What I didn’t like: This might be really petty, but throughout the book there were certain words and sentences that were written in other languages. Most curse words were in German, and then there were also some phrases in French and Italian (I think) and to be honest, I didn’t think they were necessary. I have a GCSE in French (most of which I’ve forgotten), very very basic understanding of German and not a clue with Italian, and found myself quite often spending more time on Google Translate than I did reading the book. I felt quite lucky to be reading a Kindle copy as I could just highlight the text and it would translate, but if you were reading a physical copy of the book, it would be much more difficult.
I also struggled with the general context / world building of the story. Sometimes it seemed like they were in space, and other times they could have just been on Earth somewhere. I was a tad confused whether the book was set within our universe or another. For the most part it seemed like they were in another universe and then there were mentions of Scotland..? I think that the random interjections of other languages also made it seem more like they were on Earth. There was very little context at the start of the book, you’re almost thrown in at the deep end. There’s little explanation about where Nik and Rebecca are and what they’re doing. The book starts with them in space on a ship that’s having technical issues.
Overall Thoughts: I actually enjoyed this book once I overcame my preconceived ideas about aliens and figured out some of the context for the book. The book really picks up the pace in the final 20(ish)% and the storyline becomes much darker, dramatic and gripping. The story is left on not so much a cliffhanger, but with lots of loose ends that still need to be tidied up in the next book.
About the Author: 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.
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