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The Honors #3

Honor Lost

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Space renegade Zara Cole may have finally met her match. Lifekiller—a creature that can devour entire planets—is spreading terror throughout the universe, and it seems nothing can stand in the monstrous godking’s way.

Reeling from a series of battles, Zara and her wounded band of allies are going to need a strategy before they face Lifekiller again. Zara’s street smarts may not be enough when their enemy could be anywhere, destroying civilizations and picking his teeth with the bones.

And just when it feels like she’s reached a special place in her bond with Bea and Nadim, an ex from Earth with an ax to grind comes after her with nefarious intentions. With human enemies, alien creatures, and mechanical stalkers on her tail, it’s down to the wire for Zara to save the galaxy—and the people she calls home—before the godking consumes them all.

448 pages, Hardcover

First published February 11, 2020

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Rachel Caine

239 books18.1k followers

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5 stars
405 (37%)
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218 (19%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 174 reviews
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,290 reviews215 followers
April 21, 2020

Honor Lost was such a fun book! I have loved and devoured each book in this series because they are just so completely and unforgivably good. I love absolutely everything about these characters. It was also interesting to see little loves be together and grow. Ugh, I'm looking at your Bea, Nadim, and Zara.


Keyword: almost

I'm honestly sad to see this series go. It was so much fun to meet everyone and see these wild adventures they were on as well. I'd say I would miss everyone but I know I'm going to dive back into this and fall in love all over again. Ugh, I miss them already.
Profile Image for Brittany McCann.
1,642 reviews405 followers
October 2, 2022
I mourned the end and the loss as it combined with the loss of Rachel Caine. This goodbye to this trilogy, this universe, and these characters who will never be written again was also a goodbye to Rachel Caine. Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine made such an incredible writing duo, and I am so happy that they could give us this beautiful series, but I am so sad that there will be no more BeZarDim in my future. Rachel Caine's stories will be transmitted to the universe to anyone who will hear my voice.

I put this one off—so many times. I would pick it up, but I just wasn't ready. I knew it would be a goodbye, and I was prepared for it. I took my time to savor the battles leading up to the final war. I wanted to spend more time in the skin of the characters I had learned to love.

This one had a much more somber tone, as was intended, so be ready for it. There is a lot of sadness. There are tears of joy through the despair, but not as many as I would have liked.

If I had to critique something about it, I would say that the final war fight was good but not amazing after the lead-up. CX had an amazing end scene for the novel, though. Honestly, I don't think that could be topped!

5 Stars for a tearful goodbye to the Honors.
Profile Image for Jaye Berry.
1,350 reviews123 followers
February 15, 2020
Perfection, absolute perfection. When I say this book was exactly what I ever wanted from this series, I'm not kidding. This was seriously everything and I will never get over this.

I've never been blessed this much?? I can't believe I had doubts on where this book would go. I'm not going to get into too many spoils but this is the finale to this massively underrated series. I want to sob thinking about how underrated and unknown these books are because they truly deserve the world.

This is an amazing space story of so many different aliens, sexuality, romances, and culture. The main romance is seriously a polyamorous girl x ship x girl and the authors do not mess around in showcasing how beautiful and amazing their bond is. Plus they are so SOFT AND PURE together. Seriously there are so many good quotes and cute scenes, I was filling up my phone with screenshots. It is so fucking adorable and I am still so emotional.

I've wanted this relationship even when I was reading book one and I don't know how to thank the authors enough for fully committing to this rare and unique ship. It's like I wanted things to happen one way and the authors reached into my brain and were like, "shit that's good we're doing this for her". They could have chickened out BUT THEY DIDN'T and just ??? Thank you ??? SO MUCH. From the bottom of my heart.

I don't want to be extra but I read this in my february month of romances and honestly this feels like the most romantic book I've read so far this month. uGH CAN I JUST HUG A BOOK AND THE AUTHORS FOR FEEDING ME SO WELL?

Beyond the romance that slaps, I did like their adventures and the final battle was pretty damn epic. This is more of a character based story so the plot was kind of weak, no shade. They have to kill the epic god Lifekiller but they deal with so many other random problems nonstop along the way. It's very fast paced, the characters barely ever get a chance to breathe and I just wanted them to have a NAP. (But that scene where they do get a break before the final battle though, if you know you know😉).

This book is exactly how I like my space books: filled with aliens, adventure, and fighting against a big bad (that happens to be their fault lol) all with a fleshed out team of people. We have character development, we have humor, we have diversity of literally ALL KINDS EVER, we have LGBT+, we have romance, we have space battles, we even have sarcastic robots. If you want it, this book (and series) has it, I swear.

A series finale that leaves me smiling and so happy?? Who is she?? This is going down as one of my favorite series ever, no cap. Please stop sleeping on this beautiful trilogy!
Profile Image for Linaria.
696 reviews43 followers
February 14, 2020
If you haven't read the first two books of this series, I will warn you that this review will contain spoilers for this book and the previous books. I will say this spoiler-free though: The Honors series is criminally underrated. Also, to the person that commented on my last review: poly girlxshipxgirl confirmed. So love isn't just for humans anymore. <3

My thanks to Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine for not teasing us, or being vague. While there aren't explicit smutty scenes or anything, it's apparent that Bea, Nadim and Zara are clearly in a romantic relationship throughout the book. IT'S ADORABLE. There aren't even words for how cute and wholesome the romance is, and I'm sobbing that so many people are sleeping on Honor Lost.

Look, this conclusion to the trilogy is everything you wanted and more. We get a definitive outcome to all the loose threads in the plot. There is an adorable as fuck romance, massive character growth, plus a few twists. If you enjoyed the first two books in the series, you definitely would fall in love with this one.

To the sci-fi fans here, this book feels like Mass Effect 2, in the best ways. There's a lot of other species working together toward a common goal, with a human, Zara, taking the lead. Zara spends a ton of time talking with these aliens, learning about them, and being respectful of their cultures. It really, for me at least, had that vibe of inter-species cooperation towards a goal of not being completely wiped out.

Thank you to Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre, for writing this moving book. I know both of the authors have had a lot of personal issues, including medical, recently, and I appreciate that you both still managed to somehow find time to write this beautiful gem of a book.
Profile Image for Annika.
93 reviews2 followers
February 29, 2020
It kind of felt like a fanfiction to the first two books if that makes sense.
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,157 reviews458 followers
March 4, 2020
*Source* Library
*Genre* Young Adult / Science Fiction
*Rating* 3.5


Honor Lost is the third and final installment in co-authors Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre's The Honors Trilogy. Picking up right where Honor Bound left off, 16-year old Zara Cole, Bea Teixeria, and their Leviathan ship, Nadim are trying to figure out a way to stop Lifekiller from destroying the galaxy. To make things even more dangerous for the crew, they receive a message from Earth accusing Zara and Bea of unlawful occupation of a Leviathan (Nadim) and are ordered to return to Earth immediately where they've been stricken from the Honors Program.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*

Profile Image for LUNA.
461 reviews105 followers
August 11, 2021
Es el que menos me ha gustado de la trilogía pero aun así le doy las cinco estrellas porque me corazón no me deja ponerle menos.
No me ha gustado tanto como los otros porque creo que este tomo es un tanto repetitivo en su construcción, acción dialogo acción dialogo acción dialogo... es así todo el rato pero tiene algo muy bueno y es que ya en esta parte le tengo tanto cariño a todos los personajes que como si le dedican un capitulo al croché (cosa que me gusta, ahora que lo pienso) y es que me ha dado mucha pena despedirme de estos personajes, incluso de los secundarios, los hombres lagartos son lo mas! Esta trilogía se va a situar en las mejores lecturas de este año fijo. Lo acabo de terminar y ya me apetece releerlos.
Y no solo tiene buenos personajes, la acción es trepidante durante todo el libro, vamos al limite desde el principio, además de tener espacio para la amistad y el amor, pero sobre todo creo que lo que impera es la amistad, y me parece que maneja una filosofía preciosa de aceptarse a uno mismo y a los demás, de seguir adelante y madurar.
Una delicia de trilogía
Profile Image for Andy.
2,408 reviews189 followers
April 29, 2020
I freaking love this series so much!!! I am so freaking happy with how everything ended that I could cry all the happy tears.

The Honors series is one of my favorite sci-fi series basically ever and yes that includes counting the masterpiece that is Illuminae. But the characters in The Honors, omg I would die for ALL OF THEM. This series is the ultimate alien craziness and space battle explosions that I love in sci-fi.

Zara Cole and her crew have survived bartering on the Sliver, but after completing a job for the mastermind they are unprepared for the havoc the God Killer is about to unleash. Able to control the phage and drink organic matter, this will be the fight of their lives. If that isn't enough, Zara's ex is sent to kill her on behalf of Deluca.

In short, I love everything about this book/series. The plot is fantastic, the characters are the BEST and the romance omg let's not even start. Also, is it just me or are these covers effing stunning!? I love Zara's character arc throughout this series, she becomes an amazing leader and strategist by the end, as well as more emotionally present for her crew. Her trust issues have been soothed by Nadim and Beatriz. (ALSO I WILL DIE FOR BEY, NADIM AND ZARA)

I loved seeing Zara and the different members of her crew fight together and basically be awesome. I am a mess after this series and I don't want to spoil this for anyone so do yourself a favor and read the whole series!!!
Profile Image for Kasi.
110 reviews1 follower
May 20, 2020
This would be one star but I liked the first two books.

At the end of the day this book is an extended threesome between two teenage girls and a giant space whale as well as a heavy handed, brow beating from two middle aged white women on the importance of asking for pronouns. All of this in a world where humans are so far past common era that they think we eat pumpkins to celebrate fall, (not pumpkin pies, or pumpkin products, just pumpkins), but common day slang is used and Cthulhu is still a relevant mention. So apparently we are to believe that slang and pop culture has remained mostly static and that aliens will all basically want to murder you if you get a pronoun wrong.

Basically the world building and species development is weak as hell, I could ignore it in the first two books because it was only one or two points in the book and those points generally made sense or were worth mentioning but after the fourth time Zara reminds readers that it would be rude to assume a "gender identity" (because apparently these authors are so weak they can't imagine a galaxy not centered around human social constructs) I just couldn't stop rolling my eyes. They even make a point of stopping mid-sentence, while an ally is potentially dying to contemplate pronouns. I hate the term virtue signalling but this book is packed with it.

The really ironically funny thing about all that nonsense is that even after Zara realizes she has vastly underestimated a specific race of aliens, and feels bad about doing so, she continues to describe them as "lizards" which would undoubtedly be very rude to do. Even in a YA novel this level of pandering shouldn't be acceptable, if you want a book that deals with issues of gender, sex and identity well? Becky Chambers "The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet", although it is not YA there is also less sexual content than this book.

Otherwise the book is also a trend down hill from the former two in character development and overall progress. It felt like nothing really happened in this book other than alien threesomes and some poorly explained Reasons for stuff happening. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike sexual content or inclusion, but an author can do it well or they can smack you over the head with it until your eyes bleed.

I'll let you guess which one I think this book did.
September 29, 2019
Oh no. Zara's street skills might not be enough to save them from a THANOS-LEVEL THREAT OH MY COTTON SOCKS WHAT ARE THEY GONNA DO
Profile Image for Yels.
263 reviews31 followers
March 29, 2020
Strong 4 stars for me giving it 5 stars because Caine and Aguirre went for it and I love them for it.

Honor Lost follows Zara, Bea, Nadim, C-X, and the gang from book 1 and 2. They have saved a planet but now the god-king is off somewhere and they are struggling to catch up to him before he destroyed more worlds. Enter Derry who is now an honor and is sent too kill Zara since the Earth drug lord cannot let it go. Men. Anyway, we have space battles and deaths that I did not see coming.

Caine and Aguirre really went for it in all areas. They gave us a poly relationship between Zara, Bea, and Nadim. They made C-X a very interesting twist and they killed off characters. Much respect. I will forever be sad because one of my favorite characters got the boot but it was a great ending for this character. I will admit that I knew that Zara and Bea finally get together but I found it all happened so fast. I wish there has been snippets from Bea's perspective. It would have helped with the pinning that I love so much in books. Aside from that personal opinion, it was a great end! Much much everything tied up nicely and left a few things open for possible other books. War bitch book when?
Profile Image for Meaghan.
559 reviews74 followers
October 12, 2020
This book only cemented the fact that this is definitely my favorite YA sci-fi series/book. It's just got everything I love in sci-fi (romance! space travel! tons of cool alien species and cultures that actually differ from each other and aren't earth knockoffs!!) I don't get why so many people are just overlooking this series entirely.

The romance in this series is seriously one of my favorite things and grew on me so much, even if it's admittedly a little weird. It's a poly romance of two human girls and their sentient space whale ship and their bond is seriously so wholesome and pure! They all love each other so much and care for each other and just wanna have a million adventures together!! I loved seeing this develop from book 1, and where it ended up in book 3 (and I love that these authors just went hard on this romance, instead of just making it vague/implied. Like yes its weird but they love each other! that's all that matters!)

The sci-fi setting of this book is fantastic too. It takes place a bit in the future of Earth, though it's recent enough that Earth and its people and nations are still recognizable to the reader. But Caine and Agguire went hard on building and planning the space that Earth is situated in, and the cultures they coexist (unknowingly) with. There's so much variety and diversity in how each species understands their existence, and how this plays into their actions, desires, and opinions. Every species feels entirely unique and fully developed, and their cultures are all actually important to the story itself, and aren't just there for the background.

This finale was also just outstanding, I could picture the final battles in my head (honestly this series would make such good sci-fi films), and I definitely got a little emotional during some of the final scenes. There was also a perfect balance between the romance and the actual plot of the story, and it led to both aspects of the book being extremely strong. I really loved how the story was tied up here, and still gave some space for reflecting on the entirety of Zara's journey. Overall, I just loved it.

I'll definitely be rereading this series in the future, and I can't recommend it enough!
Profile Image for Sophie "Beware Of The Reader".
1,290 reviews339 followers
March 8, 2020
4,5 stars


What an ending to this series!

This book is filled with action upon action. When one crisis is averted Zara and her crew have to deal with another threat to the universe.  It’s like they are magnet for danger!

Never before in the series has the situation been so dire and desperate.

Lucky for us, Zara has now gathered many friends from the human honors Yusuf, Marko, Chao-Xing and Beatriz to the aliens Suncross and his crew, the Abyin Dommas Starcurrent. Even the reformed phage Xyll is now on board and trying to help them.

Let’s not forget the robots either with the med bod EMITU who has been rewired by Beatriz and now has a mind of its own, discovering the delights of the haiku poems and a new robot killer: Jury.


Xyll broke my heart somehow because having defected his specie, he felt so isolated.
“Want? What is want?”

“It’s like when you are hungry, you want food. But there should be more to life, right?”

Finally, Xyll answered, “Home”.

“You want a place to belong.”

“Belong. Yes. Would also like to be …not Xyll.”

“You want to be somebody else?”

“Not alone,” it said.


Zara has come a long way from the first book. She is more mature, has learned to talk before acting. She became the leader of these crews, has earned the alien’s lizard’s, the Bruqvisz, respect. She’s become their spokesperson.
“Chao-King’s expression shifted slightly, though I couldn’t read her reaction. “You’ve changed, Zara. It was a gamble but you risked yourself to save everyone else. I admit, I didn’t see it when you were first chosen, but …you are Honors material all the way.””

Nadim has grown too. He’s become stronger. Not jaded but less naïve. It was a symbiotic growth as he has softened Zara and she has toughened him up.


Cheers for having a sapphic love bordering on hot trio with alien species. They named themselves Bezardim because their bond is strong and stable. It was like having a sweet and hot trio. I confess that as much as I love reading MM stories I don’t like FF stories very much. Do I feel “threatened”? Vulnerable? Exposed? No idea but I was glad that this was a YA story and that we didn’t have any heavy sex scenes.


I also really loved the Bruqvisz enthusiasm for battles if they could die in glory and have songs written about their courage and EMITU’s sarcasm!


Oh and be warned but you will have a huge twist like none you could ever have imagined! I am still recovering from it but it was brilliant!!!!


Action, personal growth, friendship, crew, human/alien trio, unthinkable twist …. What’s not to like right? So recommend it? ABSOLUTELY.

Have you read this series? What do you think of sapphic love stories?
Thanks for reading!

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Profile Image for Aly.
2,605 reviews
May 11, 2020
This was a good read and I liked how it wrapped up the series, but I was confused for a lot of it. Maybe I should have reread the first two books before starting this. My issue is that there are so many characters and races, plus all these combination names when two or more characters meld together and I couldn't keep them straight. The threesome relationship between Zara, Bea, and Nadim is kind of weird and difficult to truly understand, but I'm all for new types of relationships.

The pacing was pretty good and I liked all the action in this. There are some funny bits for sure, notably Emitu who had an identity crisis and decided he's more than a med bot and the Bruqvisz, the alien lizards who love to drink and fight

I'm happy I finally read the conclusion and I love the different characters and relationships.
Profile Image for Ainhoa Prieto.
232 reviews18 followers
October 17, 2020
¡El mejor cierre posible a una saga increíbley maravillosa!
Mantiene ese ritmo trepidante que hay en las dos primeras novelas y explota en una conclusión genial.
Con esta saga me he emocionado, he sufrido, he bailado... Ojalá pudiera viajar con Bea, Zara y Nadim y conocer la inmensidad del universo... Esta trilogía me ha dejado tocada...
Profile Image for Shelby.
2,673 reviews79 followers
November 26, 2020
First of all this was an incredibly satisfying conclusion to this series, though it does leave potential for more stories within this world. I really loved this whole series. The characters were wonderful and I enjoyed all of them.

Zara, Bea, and Nadim are such a great team. I loved all of them together. They're all young, but they are determined to do the right thing and save the world in the process. There were some crazy twists in this one I didn't see coming. Some them were of the rip your heart out variety. I thoroughly enjoyed even the sad parts in this story.

All of the characters in this story are strong and unique. There's plenty of action and adventure to go around in this one. They're in pursuit of the Lifekiller, but Zara's past is out to get her too. I loved seeing everyone working together and trying to find a way to destroy the undestroyable. I would continue reading anything else that came out in this world.
Profile Image for Christina.
286 reviews10 followers
December 13, 2020
5 stars!!! This is everything I could have ever asked for from the end of one of my favorite trilogies ever, and more. The best of scifi and the best of adventure and the best of romance and the best of action and the best of cultural exploration and the best of friendship and the best of love and the best of soulmates and the best of the universe. Perfection (again, as in book 2, the Earth crime lord seems a little over the top, but hell I've been imagining him like Kingpin and it works and I'll buy it). I laughed and cried and screamed and held my breath and walked into a door because I had my face buried in this book.

I love these aliens. I love these humans.

Bea + Zara + Nadim forever!!!!

This ending makes me so damn happy. I'm so happy I own it and can revisit my favorite parts (or reread the entire thing?) whenever I want.

All I want is to deep bond with this book.
Profile Image for Laz the Sailor.
1,478 reviews75 followers
September 18, 2020
A really strong finish to an intriguing trilogy. Our intrepid heroes combine skill, innovation, and pure luck to overcome some astronomical odds. Some of the established characters have become stale, but some of the new ones are quite intriguing. And then there are those who morphed into something else altogether. Love and courage overcome everything.

Exciting and scary from front to back, take away 1/2 star for some OTT situations and a conclusion that was a bit too perfect.

I will explore more from RC (I already know about AA).
Profile Image for Becca.
584 reviews11 followers
March 28, 2020
Wow, this was such a great conclusion to this trilogy. Always wary when heading into a final book but I wasn't disappointed. The romance worked out exactly as I wanted it to! Zara and Bea sharing their love with Nadim.

There are plenty of touching moments between Zara, Nadim, Bea, Starcurrent, Suncross etc. It's amazing how the writers make you feel so connected to such a range of characters and loads of random aliens.

What really stands out across the series is Zara's character development. She learns so much about friendship and love throughout the trilogy. It definitely stood out when Derry made a re-appearance and Zara didn't take any crap from him.

The robots are a very endearing touch. EMITU writing haiku, Jury figuring things out for itself...EMITU teaching Jury haiku. I loved it a lot! I also love the little extracts of poetry from the different alien species - really gives such a rounded view of the universe.

The end was awesome. What happened with C-X was so intense and I really loved how it worked out for her. I like how the story returned to Earth. Lots of loose ends get tied up neatly!

Overall, this was a great series. It's weird don't get me wrong, but so unique and wonderful. It is so heartwarming and cute in places. Just aaaaaaaaah adorable.
Profile Image for Babel.
2,125 reviews174 followers
July 3, 2021
Es la conclusión de una trilogía de ciencia-ficción asombrosa. El concepto de una nave viviente que alberga una tripulación humana con la que conecta místicamente y viaja por el cosmos en pos de una misión secreta es oro puro.

Este último libro nos permite disfrutar de una simbiosis única y fascinante entre Zara, la Honor que tripula el Leviatán Nadim, y esta nave viva cuya evolución es palpable. Su vínculo se explora en profundidad al tiempo que las escenas de acción se suceden como en un festival de fuegos artificiales.

Todos los personajes han desarrollado una gran camaradería y confianza, por lo que abundan el humor y la lealtad. Me ha encantado la atención detallista a las amistades y alianzas, a la riqueza cultural y social. El objetivo principal en esta trama es dar caza al omnipotente enemigo que es capaz de devorar mundos, pero entre tanto Zara y sus aliados corren de una hazaña mortífera a otra con despliegue de estrategias intrépidas, luchas en el espacio, criaturas monstruosas por doquier, heroísmo dicharachero y estupendos guiños a películas de ciencia-ficción populares, incluida mi amada Terminator.

La trama corre hacia un final épico, plagado de sacrificios conmovedores y batallas galácticas que, afortunadamente, dejan una fabulosa sensación de justiciera plenitud. Sin duda, una trilogía de ciencia-ficción recomendable por su creatividad humorística, su acción imparable, sus naves sensitivas y sus relaciones inclusivas.
Profile Image for Esther Carretero.
Author 3 books24 followers
April 22, 2023
Un final bastante épico, lleno de acción y momentos emocionantes.

Ahora bien, ¿por qué le he restado puntos? En primer lugar, creo que las autoras han metido ciertas frases de carácter ofensivo e irrespetuoso hacia determinado grupo de gente cuando no había ni necesidad ni contexto para ello. El tipo de frasecitas sin sentido que, sinceramente, me parecen muy fuera de lugar y, como digo, con un tono peyorativo bastante ofensivo.

Por otro lado, el "romance" ya más desarrollado en este tercer libro tampoco me ha entusiasmado, porque creo que se le da más protagonismo a otro personaje en vez de a la pareja romántica de la protagonista, así que que me metan ahora esta relación ha sido como cambiar drásticamente el foco de atención y... bueno, no sé, me ha parecido un poco metido con calzador e innecesario por mi parte. No sé si me he explicado bien, pero ha sido mi sensación.

Por lo demás, pues hay bastantes sorpresas, despedidas agridulces y muchísima acción. Engancha bastante por ese ritmo trepidante.
Profile Image for Mila.
770 reviews65 followers
February 22, 2020
This was such a nice and satisfying conclusion to a great and unique sci-fi trilogy. The characters and their relationships were especially fascinating, plus Bea and Zara were so cute together! I just wish more people checked out this series, it's criminally underrated, in my opinion.
Profile Image for janel.
351 reviews16 followers
February 21, 2020
AYYYYYYY! Y’all hear that???? That’s the sound of Imagine me spraying confetti everywhere right about now.

Space stuff, and sci-fi in general, is INCREDIBLY hit or miss for me. I’ve found that I need a LOT of detail, and when things are “otherworldly,” I can get lost when there isn’t enough description or explanation of the world’s parameters. This series has NEVER had an issue with that, constantly giving me the stakes and vivid prose full of intriguing developments, and I’m beyond PERPLEXED that this series is so underrated. Y’all live like this, missing out on ART and space whale ROMANCE? Can’t relate.

I can’t emphasize this next part enough - I would fucking die for Zara, Bea, and Nadim. Throw in Starcurrent too, but the core three fill my heart with so much swoony joy that I can barely find room to fill my lungs. Sweethearts. They are pure and utter sweethearts.

This book didn’t have to do too much to become a favorite (mainly just needed to end well and make certain things that I needed canon), and these authors delivered and then some. For books so well developed, I don’t know how I feared a rocky ending; probably just leftover trauma from other trilogies hinting at things and then leaving them in the footnotes.

Listen, if you like sci-fi at all, are open minded about a teenage girl potentially fking a whale, and want a high stakes adventure that doesn’t leave you wishing you’d gotten more information or known more about the WHY of things, read this series. It needs all the love it can get, honestly. It deserves the world.
Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,675 reviews704 followers
May 7, 2020
Third in The Honors science fiction series for Young Adult readers and revolving around Zara Cole and Nadim, a living spaceship.

My Take
For some reason, Honor Lost feels more Young Adult than the previous two stories. It's too conspicuous in its fervor, aided by Caine/Aguirre's use of first person protagonist point-of-view from Zara's perspective. Zara is so over-the-top in her determination to "save the universe" that it's a bit jarring.

The characters have mellowed quite a bit since Honor Among Thieves , 1, and Honor Bound , 2, which takes some of the tension out of it. Although, the events that involve Chao-Xing are definitely tense! It does make for an interesting way to solve that scary conflict.

Typhon is amazingly graceful in his acknowledgements of Zara's actions. Meanwhile that Derry is such a little jerk. True, he is consistent with himself. And, like all bad guys, it's always someone else's fault.

I've liked the Bruqvisz from the start. They're honest in their dealings and filled with gusto for life and battle. It seems they're great jokesters as well! Too bad, really, that we find out so late.
"Physically soft ... but you have a ruthless streak ... and the capacity to regulate it."
Caine/Aguirre make up for their mellowed characters with some scary action that requires creative thinking, and they've "ended" this series very nicely while leaving a back door open for the future — that "interesting" and terrifying back history on Bacia! Egods!!

The Story
From heroes to fugitives, Zara and Bea are being hunted, even as they and Typhon and his crew hunt for Lifekiller.

It will be a glorious last stand.

The Characters
Honor Zara Akinyi Cole, a.k.a., Zeerakull, deep-bonded with the young Leviathan Nadim as his pilot, their bonded name is Zadim. Her mother and sister, Kiz, qualified for Mars and live in the Roma Colony.

Honor Beatriz Teixeira is Nadim's starsinger with a brilliant voice and has become Zara's lover. Honor Starcurrent, a tentacled Abyin Dommas, has joined their crew after the disaster in Honor Among Thieves . EMITU is an autodoc, which Beatriz has reprogrammed for snark, lol. Who knew EMITU could get so uppity, lol. I do like him! Xyllarva "Xyll" is a captive Phage, a sentient individual who came awake when he bathed in Honor Bound . When Beatriz and Starcurrent join Zara and Nadim, they become Starocean. They will evolve yet again and become Bezardim.

Typhon is an Elder Leviathan who has been badly wounded and holds himself aloof from his crew: Marko Dunajski and Zhang Chao-Xing, a.k.a., JongShowJing. Typhon's deep bond name becomes Lightstorm. Honor Yusuf is another of the survivors of the attack in Honor Among Thieves .

Then Lightstorm and Zadim deep bond and become Men Shen.

Bruqvisz are...
...big lizards, mercenaries and bards of the universe who believe in the glory of battle, who have become allies of "Zeerakull", joining them in their battle with their mech ships, which require ruthenium as fuel. Suncross commands their force with Followshome, Ghostwalk, and Fairweather part of his crew.

Greenheld is...
...Starcurrent’s home planet populated by the Abyin Dommas, tentacled beings, who prize singing...and whose world is protected by a warshield. The Planetary Defense Coalition is only momentarily grateful. The leaders include Searoam.

The Abyin Dommas prefer gender-free pronouns such as zis and ze . Haelara is another planet of Abyin Dommas.

The Phage are…
…a deadly enemy swarm that can strip a planet or ship of life within hours. They had been co-opted by the god-kings. Flaff is an adequate nutrition source.

Lifekiller is the god-king, one of the lesser of the Elder Gods, the enemy who has been entombed for centuries.

The Sliver is…
…a base for raiders, pirates, traders, and illegal and legal salvage operators. Its ruler, Bacia Annont, is a formidable entity. Businesses and inhabitants include Pinky's bar.

Other alien races include the Elaszi, blob-like beings with a hive memory who scavenge the universe. The Felkin? Fellkin? are another race. Oborub, a.k.a., Jellies, are more allies of Bacia's.

Back on Earth
The Honors program is meant to be a high honor for chosen humans who become the Pilot-and-Navigator crew on a Leviathan on a journey of exploration. A lie. The Honors Council consists of twelve international representatives. The Honorable Aben Rance Trent is the high judge advocate for North America and the chair of the Honors program. Lieutenant Colonel Atticus Boyd commands First Space Division Bravo and Fort Copernicus on the Luna Colony. Camp Kuna is a prison for juveniles. Dr Yu was Zara’s therapist.

Honor Jon Anderson seems to be Quell's pilot with Derry part of the crew. A rather useless one. Jury is a mechanical judge, jury, and executor. The Leviathan Ophelia has been paid off.

Torian Deluca is a criminal billionaire with fingers in too many pots. He's furious with Zara after events in Honor Among Thieves . The weak, addicted, betraying Derry McKinnon had been Zara's companion and lover back in New Detroit.

Leviathan, a.k.a., Singers, are...
...whale-like beings who sail the universe, refueling from the light of stars. They are able to reshape the insides of their bodies to suit their crew, which is always a pilot and a starsinger with whom they eventually bond, becoming one. There are two stages for their crew: Honor and then Journey. The outsides of their bodies can be mechanically rebuilt, installing armor and weaponry.

The Journey is something of a lie the Leviathan tell Earth, for it is part of their secret war. Part of the Leviathan bargain with Earth is their tech and medical knowledge.

The Cover and Title
The cover has a black background with faint white pinpricks of stars overshadowed with a ragged-edged circle of red-to-magenta that itself forms a background for a star array of white lines overlaid with three upside-down triangles of white light descending in size, the largest meeting in flares of blue at the tips. On top of that is a triangular silhouette of a spaceship. The bottom fifth is an active sea of agitated waves in a lighter magenta and black.

The text is all in white, starting with an info blurb at the very top with the authors' names below that. The title is centered over the central image with deep blue planets forming two of the "O"s. At the very bottom is an epigraph.

The title is a toss-up as to who is Honor Lost.
Profile Image for Alexandra.
1,843 reviews10 followers
April 9, 2020
Review can also be found on *Milky Way of Books*

The final book of The Honors series had everything I loved. Action, mystery and a race in time before the last battle and also so much emotion I could feel my heart beating and mourning for the characters. I loved Zara, Nadim and all the assortment of characters that completed this unique, beautiful and diverse story! The romance hooked me from the start as Nadim was pure love and cuteness! I never felt so much love for a huge, whale-like alien before!

Not to mention that the story never left you quiet as all the groups had to race against this Godkiller who could easily eat the universe like ice cream. Apart from the action, there were many mysteries behind the origins of these gods and the alien races who fought them. I loved how both authors created a vast cosmic group of cultures and aliens who were all unique in their own way!

The ending was amazing and terrific and left me with a deep sense of loss as these beautiful characters are now out there in deep space living amazing adventures! Never my quarantine has felt so...lonley.

63 reviews
April 26, 2020
2.5. The first two books were pretty good but this one went off the rails for me. It was trying sooooo hard to be woke which was pretty painful. I appreciate the effort but it is hard to read when you're cringing every 3 pages. And the villain is called "Lifekiller"? I can't.
Profile Image for Lesincele.
902 reviews107 followers
February 18, 2021
Me ha encantado, ha sido un final a la altura de la trilogía. Hacia tiempo que no leia algo de ciencia ficción tan original y menos en juvenil.
Profile Image for Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library).
625 reviews302 followers
April 3, 2020
This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library

Although I totally love this series, I found I didn't love this book quite as much as the previous two.

I love all the relationship stuff. I love Zara growing closer and intimate with Bey and Nadim. It's so sweet it makes my teeth ache. I love them and I will defend them to the last. This is a real love triangle, where each of the trio loves and adores each other: none of this possessive 'you must choose' shit. That's why there is a triangle on the cover.

However, I feel like this book was a whole lot of filler and wallowing around like a hippo in mud while the crews searched the galaxy for their deadliest enemy ever. I get that there's only so much Lifekiller stuff you can show without becoming repetitive, but the crews spent so much of the novel literally losing him, and Zara went off and had filler adventures that didn't really seem to contribute to the overall plot. I even found it hard to make updates as I was listening because so little of the on page action pushed the narrative forward.

I was also upset that Typhon's crew have such life changing experiences for them, but Zara kind of gets away with everything scot free. She faces no consequences for her actions, and gets everything she ever wanted. I feel like the authors were kind of helicoptering in this book, and I don't feel it's an accurate representation of the badass Zara I know and love from the previous novels. I love Zara, and I want the world for her, but she didn't pay an awful price for any of it - that was left up to Marco and CX. Part of me wonders if this is because Typhon didn't bond with his crew as strongly as Nadim did with Zara and Bey: is that what the authors are trying to say? That only if you bond to the unprecedented depths Zara/Bey/Nadim did, everything will turn out OK? Zara spent so much of this novel observing the pain and trials of other characters instead of experiencing it herself.

It bothers me because other people are literally always jumping in front of Zara and taking hits meant for her. I'm kind of happy I guess that everything works out for Zara, but where's her life-altering scars? What's her sacrifice? She seemed pretty safe, if scared, aboard Nadim, swanning around with Bey and hanging out with battle glory alien lizards. Even when it appeared she was taking a risk, somehow it all magically worked out OK for her, like when she nearly suffocated but of course someone was there to rescue her, or when a droid programmed to kill her not only decided to take out her assassin, but also decided to take out her most dangerous enemy back on Earth. Or when her lizard alien pals kamikazed themselves for her. Or when former enemies suddenly became allies to help defeat the Big Bad.

Like, I love Zara, but I want to see her suffer and overcome it. Or use her smarts to outwit the bad guy, like CX kept saying she had a superpower to find her enemy's weakness. But in the end, she contributes very little to the villain's defeat.

Look, this book was still thoroughly enjoyable, just not as enjoyable as the previous two.

Right near the end of the book, I heard something that hit just a little too close to home, particular during this troubling and uncertain times during the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic:

"We took some damage to our ozone layer, and there are toxic pockets, particularly in Australia."

"They're used to the world trying to kill them," I joked…

"But if people stay inside our filtration systems should take care of it in a month or two."

Profile Image for Jessi (Novel Heartbeat).
995 reviews611 followers
March 13, 2020

This one was much slower than the first two. It actually didn't pick up until about the last quarter of the book, and it makes me sad to say that I was kind of bored with it in the beginning and middle. It was lacking the magic that the first two books held for me - the first because I was introduced to the world of the Leviathan and the epic concept of their bonding, as well as the world; the second because it felt like Aurora Rising/Aurora Burning with epic space travel, interesting new alien species, intergalactic space stations, and a creepy abandoned planet (holding a dormant god in prison). I can say unequivocally that the second book was my favorite!

The stakes were SUPER high, but things never really felt dire. Everybody would be panicking about another new threat looming, and I'd just sigh to myself and be like "oh, shut up, you'll be fine."

I liked the romance between Bea and Zara well enough - it was sweet, took a long time to develop (slow burn yasss) - but I never really felt the chemistry between them even though I really liked them together. I do, however really appreciate the fact that they saved the kissy kissy for appropriate times - there's nothing that pisses me off more in the middle of a high stakes sci-fi or fantasy when the main couple is freakin' making out when everyone is in mortal peril *rolls eyes* They would kiss every once in a while, but a chaste we-have-more-important-things-to-do kiss. I love when romance takes a backseat to the action!

The main thing I enjoyed about this one in the first half was the world and all of the characters. I still loved those parts! I loved the side characters even more in this one, especially Suncross and Chao-Xing! Suncross stole the title of Favorite Character from Starcurrent in this one - mostly because Starcross is fierce and hilarious and Starcurrent was barely present in this book. I loved him SO MUCH! I loved when he hugged Zara ("This is a hug? Am doing it right?") and then said "Live with honor or die with glory, Zeerakull." YAAASSS HE'S SO BADASS. I found C-X growing on me, too - I actually really liked the direction her character took!

The battle at the end was badass! I really enjoyed how the final installment wrapped up, it was a satisfying end to a fantastic trilogy!

This review was originally posted on Novel Heartbeat. To see a breakdown of my assessment, please visit the full review here.
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