Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Avalon by Mindee Arnett

By 5:55 PM , , , , ,

Avalon (Avalon #1)
   by: Mindee Arnett

Publication Date: Jan. 21, 2014
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Genre: Science Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC received from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 432 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge sci-fi fan. Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Farscape are all coveted favorites of mine, and I have always been into science fiction books. When I saw Avalon pop up for review a while back, I couldn't resist snagging it. Not to mention the blurb mentioned Firefly- which is a smart marketing move on their behalf since I will insta pick up if it is reminiscent of my beloved short-lived show.
I enjoyed Avalon myself. I can definitely see where they would relate it to Firefly, but for young adults. A rag-tag band of mercenaries working for a crime lord while avoiding the ITA (which is basically the government that controls space)? Yep- definitely reminiscent of Firefly. I really liked the premise of this novel and it managed to hold my interest, despite a few lulls in the storyline. I also enjoyed the characters, even though we really only get to know them at face value. I wouldn't say there was a lot of depth or development where they were concerned.
I liked Jeth as our protagonist. He is the leader of the group and loves a bit of adventure. However, he is protective of his crew, especially his younger sister Lizzie. After losing their parents, the responsibility has really fallen to him, as their uncle Milton hasn't really proved himself to be of much use. Having lost the Avalon to Hammer Dafoe, crime lord extraordinaire and Jeth's boss, Jeth is determined to do enough jobs to buy her back and then try to start a new life elsewhere with his sister. However, what Jeth doesn't realize until later, is that walking away from Hammer isn't going to prove as easy as he thinks. This definitely made me think of Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt! :D Substitute carbonite for an implant that controls your brain and you've got a big problem!
I also really liked Lizzie. She's young, but she's extremely tech-savvy and a good addition to the crew. Jeth is very protective of her and while he isn't overly emotional towards her, you can tell he still cares.
Jeth certainly never imagined that he and his crew would be swept up into a storm between the ITA and Hammer, as both want the same valuable information a lost ship in the Belgrave Quadrant has in its possession. Traveling to the Belgrave Quadrant is extremely dangerous and has been deemed off limits by the ITA. Ships and people get lost in the Belgrave, never to be seen again. Taking this job is a gamble, but with his freedom and his ship dangling in front of him, it's a risk Jeth is willing to take in order to leave his life of crime behind.
This book definitely has its share of twists and turns and there was one that really made me angry! It started a negative chain reaction and really made Jeth's life a mess. I felt complete despair for him and I was really unhappy that this character committed such an act of betrayal. I can understand why they would do it, but upon making such assumptions and not COMMUNICATING really landed not only Jeth, but themselves in a world of trouble.
I am looking forward to book two, Meridian, as Avalon not only has loose ends to expand upon, but introduced some new twists and turns that will need exploring! My biggest qualm with this one was that while engaged in the overall story, there were points where I was pretty bored and ready to move forward. If you are a science fiction fan, I would give this one a try.

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  1. I'm so glad you liked this one! I really enjoyed it too! But like you that twist pissed me off so much! GAHHH it just angered me and I couldnt forgive it really. But I still am really excited for the next book. Great review!

    1. Thanks girl! I definitely enjoyed it- but am so with you on the being pissed part! Maybe that twist will redeem itself more in the second?

  2. I haven't read this one yet. I read Arnett's The Nightmare Academy and it was entertaining, but light on character development and depth, rather like you describe Avalon. That leaves me a little unsure whether to read Avalon; I'm inclined to hold off, given the mammoth proportions of my current TBR pile.

    1. Ah! I haven't read her other book, as I didn't hear that great of reviews for it. Avalon is good, but I wouldn't say its one to rush out and read.


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