Series: Avalon, #1
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publish Date: January 21st, 2014
Rating: 5/5 – My new favorite sci-fi series!
A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.
Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.
Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they’re damn good at it. Jeth doesn’t care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents’ ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he’ll go to get the freedom he’s wanted for so long.
Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon’s cult hit show Firefly.
Thoughts: 2014 is already shaping up to be a great year in books. I’ve read a total of seven books so far, and Avalon is by far my favorite. I was a little hesitant because the cover suggests such a dark, creepy story (and for good reason) but I’m so glad I got the chance to read this book. That tough thing will be stopping myself from rereading it monthly from now until the next book comes out.
If you’ve ever seen (and loved) Joss Whedon’s show Firefly or the follow up movie Serenity, there’s a lot here that you’re going to like. There’s a tight knit crew, a similar government setup, a creepy part of space that everyone avoids, and of course, a spaceship that ties it all together. While I love books like Across the Universe and Glow, with their huge passenge liners, there was something so gritty and genuine about Avalon and her crew that’s going to stay with me for a long time.
Avalon follows a crew of teenaged thieves, who are under the thumb of a jerk named Hammer who runs a pretty extensive criminal empire. The captain (and our MC) Jeth just wants to keep his friends and sister safe and buy back his paren’t ship. Of course, from there everything goes a little bit crazy and it’s pretty much non stop tension with the occasional bit of banter thrown in. And I’ve got to say, Mindee Arnett does tension so well. There’s a very creepy space ship scene that basically had me looking over my shoulder, as well as some other moments that I won’t get into because you should definitely discover this story for yourself.
The one, teeny tiny suggestion I would make is fleshing out a few of the other characters, to give the crew a more dynamic vibe. Celeste, Shady, Flynn and Vince all could have used an extra 250 words or so each, spread throughout the book–a mannerism here, a one liner there–so we could get to know them a little better. I still really enjoyed every character, I just would have liked a tiny bit more. Heh, actually this book was so good that I definitely wouldn’t have complained if there had been a lot more of everyone.
If you’re a fan of science fiction, Firefly, or just good storytelling, this is a book you’re definitely going to want to check out. I have high hopes for this series, and will definitely be picking up the prequel novella, Proxy in short order. Nevermind, I just bought it. I’ll probably wait to read it though, otherwise I have no idea how I’ll survive the year I’ll have to wait before picking up book two.
Seriously guys, this book is crazy good. Go read it.
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