Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Avalon (Mindee Arnett)

(Be sure not to miss the special announcement at the end of this review!)

Avalon (Avalon, #1)
Title: Avalon
Series: Avalon, Book 1
Author: Mindee Arnett
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date:  January 21, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Science Fiction
Content Rating: Older Teen (language, sensuality, violence, minor gore, minor torture, tense situations)
Told: Third Person Singular (Jeth), Past Tense
Format Read: ARC
Find On: Goodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

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.

*          *          *

Three Words: Firefly but teenagers.

Writing: While the voice was technically Third Person Singular, meaning we kept strictly to Jeth, it read more Omniscient, giving us a more broad understanding of all the characters and scenes than one would usually get with a Singular perspective. It felt like the author was physically telling me the story - at times I swear I could almost hear her reading it aloud. For this reason, I believe it might "read" better in audiobook form - and a movie would be epic.

Setting: The future in the stars, where humans have moved to other planets and travel in spaceships via mysterious speed-of-light technology. It's space - enough said.

Story: If you love Firefly, Star Wars, and/or Cowboy Bebop, then you are going to love this action-packed science fiction thriller. To regain possession of his ship, Avalon, Jeth and his crew take a salvage job rescuing a crippled ship from the Belgrave, the Bermuda Triangle of space. Since Avalon is calibrated to handle the Belgrave's fluctuations, it seems like an easy job. But after discovering something unusual on the rescued ship, odd things begin to happen - and when the secret behind why everyone wants the ship comes to light, Jeth and his crew find themselves on the run not only for their lives, but their freedom.

This story is not for the faint of heart. Whatever the worst-case scenario was in any given situation, Jeth (and his family/crew, but mostly Jeth) got even worse. He couldn't seem to catch a break to save his life - ever. It got so bad near the end that I was ready to curl up in the fetal position and weep for him, and I was actually afraid to finish the book, knowing it was a series and therefore completely open to ending on a horrible note TO BE CONTINUED. Fortunately, some luck finally came Jeth's way in the end (but only some luck, mind you).

Characters: Jeth was a boy forced to be a man in order to protect and take care of his sister, his crew, and even his Uncle. He was still an inexperienced teenager, but he did the best he could, and he strove to put the others before himself. He was a good boy, if a little reckless, but who doesn't love a good bad boy? ;) The rest of the cast was an eclectic bunch of lovable rogues and seriously nasty villains. I did get Celeste/Sierra and Flynn/Shady mixed up a few times when they were all in a room together, but otherwise the crew was a fun bunch of characters.

Romantic Relationship: Something developed between Jeth and Sierra as the story progressed, but it was very minor, and aside for her being a constant distraction for him the romance had a very small part in this book.

Series: This is Book 1 in a duology (2-book series). While there was definitely a lot more to the bigger-picture story, Avalon had a complete arc and wrapped up at the end. Book 2, Meridian (update: now titled Polaris), currently has no publication date, but will probably release next January (update: releases 1/20/15).

Conclusion: An excellent YA Sci-Fi full of action and the wonders of space travel. The simple telling voice was a little different, but made for a quick read. I definitely look forward to more in the series!

For Fans Of: FireflyStar WarsCowboy Bebop

Scribble Rating
4 of 5 Scribbles

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Come back Thursday for an interview of the author, which will include a special giveaway!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This book seems incredibly fast paced and emotional. I'm gonna check it out. Great review!