Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Review: Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Series: Avalon #1
Pages: 432
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through Edelweiss

Release Date: January 21, 2014
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Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

My Review:

I can say that this book caught my attention right from the opening line. This book about a group of teenagers that go around stealing ships is definitely a plot that will keep most anyone's attention, and I think it worked well. Mindee has brought about a story that keeps you guessing about what is happening until the end, and there are some great twists along the way that just keep you reading until you come to the end without even realizing it.

Jeth is an interesting character, he gets through his days doing what he does just so that he can earn back his parents' ship that was lost years ago. At first it took me some time to warm up to his character, he seemed like someone who only cared about one thing, but as the story goes along you see that the people he surrounds himself with mean a lot to him as well. I really felt that many of the secondary characters were essential to the story, but there were also a few that seemed like they had no significance and were just there. I have difficulty sometimes with these characters because I lose track of who they are and what their purpose to the larger picture is (some it just seems are there for a comedic relief). The one character I felt like I wanted more of was Jeth's sister, Lizzie. I feel like she has a lot of potential to be a big part of the story but she fell back into the sidelines in this one (I really hope her story develops more in the next book).

The way Mindee crafted this story is intriguing, you get a lot of snippets from the past of some of the characters to see what brought them to this point. And at the same time so many people in the book are such a huge mystery, just like everything about this planet they find themselves on. I really enjoyed the build up of the story and how everything came together, it felt like a puzzle that I was solving along with Jeth.

I really have to say I am enjoying all these stories that are taking place in space lately, it's a different twist and really gives readers more places to travel to. I definitely think this is a great introduction to the sci-fi genre for teenagers who aren't really sure where to start, but it's also still a great read for those who are just looking for more great science fiction to keep them going. 


  1. I love this book!

    You're right there are a lot of characters - but I quickly became attached to the ones that did stick out. Particularly Jeb and Lizzie. I also loved the focus on family and friendships.

    Bring on the space books!

  2. Yay for space books! I'm so excited that there are so many good sci-fi novels coming out lately too!



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