Release Date: January 21, 2014
Published by: Balzer + Bray
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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.
It's said that if you've read a book before seeing its adaptation, you'll like the book more, right? That's how I feel about Avalon. A lot of this book is clearly inspired by Firefly. Problem is, I love Firefly, and it's not until maybe the last third of the novel that I started to notice the differences between this book and Joss Whedon's television show. The last third feels more like the book started to embrace its own world, reminding me a bit of Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan mixed with homages to Star Wars and Firefly, and that was when I started to fully enjoy the novel.
The book isn't exactly like Firefly, of course. The author changes the character relationships, adds more of a YA background to develop the characters and their backstories (including an explanation for how a teenage band of mercenaries exists and succeeds). And Avalon is enjoyable, the character banter, the action, the epic scope of the world. It's well-written, if a bit slow in the beginning so that you've acclimated to the characters and their situation, and the romance is actually a sub-plot in the face of the adventure, conspiracy, and action. I have no doubt that this novel will reach quite a number of fans. I know that this is also pitched to Firefly fans, but I would suggest giving it to more reluctant science fiction or action-oriented readers first.
Hey, look! I can actually write a mini review.