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.
Rarely a dull moment, Avalon bursts on the scene with a motley crew of teenagers that are actually a seasoned team of thieves working for a notorious crime lord. Now take that and put it into a sci-fi setting with spaceships, ports, high tech, and the the equivalent of a bermuda triangle out there in the black beyond and you’ve got yourself one heck of a thrilling young adult adventure.
Jeth and his team acquire goods (yeah that’s right I’m sugarcoating it) for the crime lord Hammer. He is so not a nice guy and runs everything on the space station where he lives and has his own little army of lackeys that obey him. But Jeth doesn’t want to be one for the rest of his life, so he’s been slowly working jobs for him in the hopes that he can buy back his parent’s ship, the Avalon.
One particular job might give him that perfect opportunity but it would require him and his team going on a super dangerous (and illegal of course) mission to bring back a lost ship. Mass problems ensue. What is great about Avalon is that things just keep moving. There may be a few natural lulls but they don’t feel stagnant as there is always a purpose to what the youths are doing. Not to mention this book really doesn’t mince words when it comes to description. There are some creepy and twisted things that go down and I don’t feel like the author was trying to shelter us as the readers from the reality of things that could happen.
I hate to admit that while reading I did find a few plot points overly convenient but ultimately I think that they worked….and really it’s all about perspective. What are the chances of this? What are the chances of that…and just how many people travel that you run into a certain so and so. That sort of thing. However, as I said I think it ends up working because really most stories that you read do have those convenient or highly coincidental key points to them that end up making the story what it is. Now I’m rambling but my main thing here is that it both worked for me and didn’t and when it didn’t that didn’t stop me from seriously enjoying the book.
One of my favorite parts were the characters and how each had a unique characteristic about them that made them stand out in my mind. I could really visualize them and almost even hear them. Too often I think supporting characters aren’t given enough depth or klout but the author did right by them here.
As you might have already read, Avalon has been compared to the TV show Firely by the description as well as other reviewers. Even though I am a big Firefly fan, I didn’t take this comparison into account at all. For me, unless a book is purposefully using a storyline or theme from another story/show and the goal therein is to retell that same story or essence of it, I try not to pay attention to comparisons because that just sort of ruins things for me. So whether you’re a fan or not of Firefly – give this one a chance to make its own mark on your mind instead of going in thinking you’re going to get Firefly.
Highly enjoyable, I’d definitely recommend Avalon to any fans of young adult science fiction. You can bet your sweet tookus I’ll be back for more.