The book is the second part of the trilogy Empire and Rebellion but it's set before Razor's Edge. As Razor's Edge covers the events right before Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Honor Among Thieves is set right after Episode IV - A New Hope. I think this is kind of odd for a "trilogy" but I understand it's called that way because each book covers the adventures of one of the 3 big characters.
“But always there was the voice at the back of his head telling him that by joining the Rebellion he’d become less of a rebel than he’d ever been.”
Honor Among Thieves
Originally published: 2014
Author: James S. A. Corey
Genres: Star Wars Novel/SciFi
(reading time: May 21 - May 23)
I enjoyed the first part but the second one was the best (maybe because Leia was in it too). In the first part we have Scarlett who acts like Leia and it feels like there's no point in having her when they could have the princess, but I loved how Corey describes the conflict in Han's head about being part of the rebellion, using Scarlett and then Leia:
“We’re not anarchists,” she said. “We have goals. We want to end the Empire.”
“And replace it with what?
“You know what,” Scarlet said. Her crossed arms matched his own. “Are you trying to make fun of me?”
“It was rhetorical. I’ve heard the speech, sweetheart. ‘A glorious return to the Republic of old.’ To a guy like me, a new boss is still a boss.”
I think is great that the author managed to describe Han's internal conflict so well. This kind of conversation take places quite often throughout the whole book (with Scarlet, with himself and with Leia). Han is trying to figure out what he's doing and why and what's going to happen next. He says he does't like to think about it, and that's totally in character, especially for a novel set right after the events of A New Hope, in any other period it wouldn't have the same impact for the reader.
I loved the Han and Leia bits. There is a part where the Bounty Hunter tries to help Leia getting to a platform and he reach for her butt and Han punches him in the stomach when he notices and he gets very mad. And also Scarlet notices he is starting to have feelings for Leia but Han is totally oblivious until, I guess, this part:
“I was afraid you were in trouble for a second, Your Highnessness,” Han said, but the barb sounded hollow and unconvincing. Leia looked up at him, and the softness in her face told him that she’d heard the relief in his voice. He might just as well have said I thought I’d lost you.
“No such luck,” she said softly. He was surprised by the power of his urge to sweep her into his arms and kiss her. For a moment, there was something else in her expression—apprehension or hope or something of both. She blinked and looked away.
Here's a dialogue between Han and Leia that I think is just brilliant and you should read it even out of contest because it's great!
“If we figure this device out, it ends the war.”
“It ends the war,” she repeated, looking up from her work to stare him in the eye. Han didn’t know how her eyes could be that soft and that hard at the same time. “No more Alderaans. No more Kiamurrs. Never again, Han. What is that worth? We stay here. We hold this position until General Rieekan comes.”
A stormtrooper risked a quick look into the room, but Han put a blaster bolt into the door frame right next to his face and he pulled back.
“We can’t do it,” he said, keeping his pistol trained on the same spot, waiting to see if the trooper would peek out again. “And even if we could, you’re talking about making a government with absolute power to control travel. The first government that can enforce its laws without anybody slipping through the cracks.”
Leia pressed an injection ampoule to Scarlet’s neck, then began winding a bandage around her arm. The spy mumbled something unintelligible.
“This isn’t the time for that conversation,” Leia shouted. But a few seconds later she went on, “You say that like it’s a bad thing. Only criminals would have anything to worry about.”
Han laughed and fired a few shots at a trooper who’d looked around the corner to take a few desultory blasts at him.
“Leia, hate to break it to you. We’re criminals. I’m shooting at the government right now. That’s why they call it a rebellion!”
“We’re fighting to restore—”
“Yeah, yeah, the glorious Republic of old,” Han snorted. “I’ve heard the sales pitch, sister. But tell me this: if that glorious Republic had had this technology, would it have stopped Palpatine from taking control?”
Leia opened her mouth to answer, then closed it and frowned. Han stood up and fired off a few more shots at the doorway. No one was visible, but he wanted it to stay that way. Scarlet blinked and sat forward, rubbing her eyes.
“Probably not,” Leia finally admitted. “By the time anyone realized what he was up to, he controlled the bureaucracy.”
“And would there now be a Rebel Alliance?” Han asked gently. He trusted her to see what he saw. He didn’t need to browbeat her into it.
“No,” she said. Her expression was almost hurt. “I’d never misuse this, you know. I’d never let anyone else, either.” Scarlet coughed and struggled to focus on them. “What are we talking about?” she asked, but they both ignored her.
“I know you wouldn’t,” Han said. “I trust you, Princess. But the guy who’s elected after you? I don’t know him.”
Leia frowned and looked away. Something moved in the shadows on the other side of the doorway, and Leia took a quick shot at it. Whatever it was stopped moving.
“If we take this,” Han said, using his blaster to wave at the massive machine all around them, “the next evil galactic empire that rises never ends. Does the fact that we probably won’t be there to see it make you feel better?”
“No,” Leia said. “No. You’re right. Let’s blow it.”
Han let out a long breath. “I’ve got to admit, it’s a huge relief to hear you say that,” he said with a grin. Leia frowned at him, confused. Her eyes went wide.
“You already set it to collapse?”
“Yeah, that one thing Scarlet told me not to touch? I touched it about a minute ago. But I was having trouble figuring out how to break the news.”