Book Review: “Honor in the Dark” by Nate Battalion
I’ve just set myself a resolution to review more books in 2023. The plan is to post the reviews on here, Ko-Fi, my Instagram, Goodreads and Amazon (where applicable). Now, I know it’s not *quite* 2023 yet, but I thought I’d jump in and get started anyway.
About the book:
Afloat in the dark of space, with nothing by the steel hull and power of the mages keeping the air inside, a battered human ship stumbles upon a secret hidden on the borders of three stellar empires that could spark a war the likes of which the galaxy has never seen before.Mythrill
Book Title: Honor in the Dark (Season 1)
Author(s): Nate Battalion
Series (if applicable): Honor in the Dark
So this isn’t really a ‘booky book’, it’s one of those things where you can read the chapters (or ‘episodes’) online. In this case, it’s on the Mythrill app (which I think it great, by the way).
I was drawn to “Honor in the Dark” because the cover art gave me some fantastic ‘knights in space’ vibes. Yes, I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I do. Frequently.
I found that the characters came to life for me pretty quickly and a few became firm favourites (leaving me eager to see what will happen to them in Season 2).
My favourites were:
– Kodama: a mage who is getting on in years. He’s fantastic at what he does and I kept expecting him to say something along the lines of “I’m getting too old for this shit”.
– Brynn – a botanist/civilian who gets caught up in the action. I won’t say too much about what happens to her for fear of spoilers!
– Perceival: another mage. He wasn’t in as much as I wanted him to be, but I really felt like I could relate to him. There was a moment right at the beginning when the shit hits the fan (in SPACE) and ol’ Percy says “I joined logistics for a reason… and that reason is I am weak”. I’m a bit of a spreadsheet bod, so if I was suddenly thrown into a combat situation, I’d feel like I was weak and out of my depth too.
– Eska: she’s a fighter who cares a lot for those around her… and she’s a badass!!!
With all that said, my favourite characters were probably the Ungoli (lizard-like aliens). During season one, you’ll get to meet Tejani and it was brilliant to see how her character developed. Again, I won’t say much more because of those pesky spoilers.
Another fantastic Ungoli character was Rujin… who is more than what they seem. In fact, it felt like most of the Ungoli were more than what they seemed, with secrets and deception lurking within their ranks.
There is a fair bit going on here. Actually, who am I kidding? There’s a LOT going on here. There are nobles, fighters, mages, rebels, and even aliens! Conflict is everywhere and it makes for compelling reading.
I liked that nothing was over-explained. Nate Battalion knows that his readers will be able to pick things up as they go along, so he focuses on telling the story. With that said, in some parts, the Mythrill app offers up these cool little ‘lore cards’ that give the reader a little more information (especially about characters) without there needing to be a shedload of exposition in the prose.
I have to admit that this story took me a while to get through, but that was my own doing. I was trying to do a ‘buddy read’ and I’m just not organised enough to do it properly! However, once I started binging the story, it was clear just how fast-paced the book is. It just doesn’t let up! It’s wonderful! Think of it like an action-packed TV show where there’s something *happening* in each and every episode. It’s like that, which is why it’s perfectly suited to this episodic storytelling style.
“Honor in the Dark” really needs to be thought of as a series more than a book. When I first finished it, I was frustrated because it ended on a cliff-hanger. It felt there was too much left undone and not enough resolution. This frustration led me to give the story 4 stars. However, this is the kind of thing that is common in TV shows and, knowing that season 2 is definitely on the way, means that such an ending for season 1 does work. So, on further reflection, I’m pushing that score up to a DELICIOUS 5.
The world (or universe!) building here is phenomenal and Nate Battalion creates these wonderful peoples and locations with apparent ease. Details are teased out in dialogue and actions and, as mentioned before, this means there isn’t oceans of text to wade through to find out what a certain object is or what a person is like.
Will I be reading season 2? Just try and stop me! I need to know what’s happening with my Ungoli friends! And the others… obviously.
Give it some stars:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Rating: 5 out of 5.