Honor Among Thieves

Caine, Rachel & . 480p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Feb. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062570994. POP
Gr 8 Up—In the year 2042, Earth was on the brink of a global crisis when the sentient spaceships known as the Leviathan appeared. In exchange for their help, 100 human Honors are chosen each year to travel with the Leviathan, with the option to continue on to the mysterious lifelong mission known as the Journey. One hundred years later, and to her surprise, loner Zara Cole is chosen to be one of these elite humans, pairing with one of the Leviathan, Nadim, along with her human crewmate, Beatriz. Together they discover that what they thought they knew about the universe is dangerously wrong. Science fiction fans will find comfort in the many familiar story beats here—hints of popular predecessors, such as The 5th Wave and Farscape abound. What could be construed as clichéd by making protagonist Zara a streetwise thief is thankfully saved by adding relatable layers to her character. As she opens up about her past, readers learn about her fear of confinement, resourcefulness, and bravery, among other traits. Her relationship with Nadim could be interpreted as a deep bond or read into as a possible alien romance. The diverse cast of supporting characters help to add depth. Beatriz is Portuguese, others come from all over the world, and it's hinted at that Zara is biracial. A revelatory ending will entice teens for the sequel.
VERDICT While the story doesn't feel particularly distinctive, it's sure to find a broad fan base among sci-fi readers.

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