Author: Mindee Arnett
Published: January 21st 2014 by Balzer & Bray
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review
"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."
First line: "Stealing a spaceship shouldn't be this easy."
Thoughts: Sweet mother, talk about your fast-paced thrill rides. AVALON is a prime example of why I truly need to read more Sci-Fi novels. From the likable characters to the action, back to the thievery, and then finally at the handful of cring-worthy moments, there was just never a dull moment. I devoured this book and craved more.
What originally drew me to AVALON was it's correlation to the show Firefly. I love me some Firefly and feel like the book owned up to the comparison. Much like the show, there are complicated situations and a group of miscreants who, let's just say live outside of the law. Jeth, the main character, heads this group and, for the most part, is kind of a jerk about it. He's one of those protagonists where you can't help but question whether you hate him or love him. I know that may not seem very appeasing, but trust me when I say it made for a very interesting story.
My favorite books tend to be told through a male's perspective, and AVALON is no exception. I wouldn't say this is one of the best books I've read ever read (though it is a good one), but I will say that having a male lead made it one hundred times better than having a female one. It wouldn't have been the same had the story been told through Lizzie or Cora's point of view.
Speaking of Lizzie, I have to say that she was by far my favorite character in this novel. She's Jeth's sister and was just super witty and hilarious. How could I not love her? Even though this book had loads of lovable and original characters, I loved her the most.
One of the things that kept me reading AVALON was that it constantly kept me on my toes. All I wanted for Jeth was for him to get the Avalon (his parent's spaceship) back and get the heck out of Dodge. Alas, things aren't that simple. There was so many plot twists and turns, I sometimes couldn't keep up. I will say that there were a handful of times where I felt confused or a bit overwhelmed. In life, a lot can happen in an instant, but in AVALON's case, it made me kind of go back and reread a few scenes. I may be the only one who had this problem, but this did happen to be a handful of times.
Overall, I recommend AVALON to those who enjoy thrillers and sci-fi novels with tons of action and suspense. Though I've already read AVALON, I plan on ready PROXY (the prequel) in the near future. AVALON did leave me with a few unanswered questions, and I feel as though the answers will lie in PROXY. If not there then it's sequel, which I hope comes out sooner rather than later.
“He kissed her, and something moved between them, an unspoken bond pulling them together over what they had gone through and what they would face. But those memoires and thoughts faded away until there was nothing but the sensation of his lips on hers, the exchange of breath and the soft harmony of hearts beating. For one blissful moment they were nothing but feelings and physical sensation.
The moment lasted a very long time.”
“He didn't know if it was real, if freedom was something you could earn or win after a long, hard fight, or if it was just an illusion. But he decided it didn't matter. Only this mattered. This moment right here, surrounded by the people he cared about. And he realized this was the paradise his parents had meant when they named this ship.”
"'Kitties make everything less scary.'"