Published by Balzer + Bray on January 21, 2014
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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.
Looking for a great sci-fi YA novel but haven’t found it yet? Avalon is the space adventure you’ve been looking for. With space ships, metatech, sci-fi technology, galactic stops and an ultimate villain, I thoroughly enjoyed Avalon for my sci-fi fix.
Jeth Seagrave and his crew work for Hammer, a boss as unscrupulous as they come, because all he wants is to earn his parents’ ship back. The crew is sent away to Belgrave, to find a ship that has been lost and to bring it back to Hammer. They discover that there are living beings on the ship and they go against orders to investigate, and this is where the plot kicks off.
Jeth offered a strong perspective, he’s brave, loyal, caring and a fantastic captain, but some of his risky decisions and fixation on winning his ship back made him difficult to connect to at the start. He grew on me though, as he demonstrated his loyalty to each and every one of his crew members and his love for his sister Lizzie. While he goes through excellent character development, his crew members could have been explored a bit more with their complementary skills and loyalty to the captain.
The pacing is done wonderfully throughout the novel, with the first half of the book slowly building up the world – something that many YA novels fail to do properly. It was perfect for introducing the characters, showcasing their abilities and building up the world of the Confederation controlled by corrupt agencies and crime bosses. The second part of the novel takes off at the speed of light, filled with betrayal, double crossing, saving loved ones from Hammer and getting Avalon back, which is an exciting and fast-paced read.
I wasn’t convinced of the romance, as Jeth was easily swayed by her beauty and they seem to be kissing a bit too quickly. Sierra wasn’t a particularly likable character, although pretty and talented in meta technology, she was manipulative, conniving, with questionable morals. She was also forgiven a bit too easily by the end of the book just for the sake of romance, which was annoying. Thankfully the romance isn’t the focal point of the novel, with the space adventure and its characters taking the lead here.
What makes the novel really shine and so different from the rest is that it’s a true space adventure. I’m a huge Star Wars nerd, with the space politics, watching space ships battle and zoom through space and all of the interesting technology they use, so I absolutely loved Avalon. You’ll have images of Avalon flying through space, getting phased in and out and the crew manning each part of the ship. With the addition of scientific experiments, life form on other planets and meta technology, Avalon was written for a true sci-fi audience.
Avalon is a true galactic adventure that lovers of space, Firefly and sci-fi will thoroughly enjoy.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray.
Rating: 4 out of 5