March 24, 2014

Review of Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Release Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Page Count: 432
Genre: Sci-Fi/YA

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.

I was really really excited to read Avalon when I found out about it and since it had come out two weeks prior I immediately bought it. It completely lived up to my expectations and I enjoyed every single second of this sci-fi book about space mercenaries. People have compared Avalon to the TV show Firefly but I can't judge anything about that since I have not seen that show, however if it is anything like Avalon then I'm sure to watch it.

When I read the reviews for Avalon it seemed like they gave the book generally medium ratings (2-3.5 stars) and I became slightly worried that I wouldn't like it. Despite my worries I bought it and devoured it in one day, that's how good it was. It might start off kind of slow but as you keep reading it keeps getting better and more interesting. If you were to split it into four parts then I would say that the first part is generally good, second and third parts are really really good, and the final part is interesting and ends the book in a satisfying manner.

Avalon is about a kid named Jeth and his crew who are basically space mercenaries and work for a man named Hammer. The only reason Jeth does this  job is so that he can earn enough money to buy back his ship Avalon that his uncle gambled away. He's been working for Hammer for several years when he gets a job that is risky but very rewarding, going into the Belgrave (space Bermuda Triangle) and retrieving a lost ship. If he can succeed then he will finally be able to take back his ship but if he fails then he and his crew will most likely perish. As they start off the job everything is going fine until they find the ship, the ship is covered in giant holes and it looks like there are no survivors. Once Jeth boards the ship a whole host of troubles and discoveries visit him. The plot of Avalon was extremely interesting and had my attention the whole time, especially in the second half. There are a lot of plot twists and turns and I loved every page of it. Especially when Jeth and his crew are about to leave the Belgrave and a major event happens to them. Avalon is written from Jeth's point of view and while his POV was great I would have liked to read the POV of some of the other characters. Jeth's character improves subtly from the beginning of the book to the end as he faces obstacle after obstacle. Mindee's writing from Jeth's POV was remarkable as was the other characters. She made the story flow smoothly and wrote in a way that captivated me and made me love the book. I've read many sci-fi books but Avalon by Mindee Arnett was definitely one of the best one's I've read yet.

There was some romance in Avalon but Mindee did not make it a big deal and kept to a minimum which I found actually made me like the book better. There was enough romance to keep the reader interested but not enough to overshadow the main plot and events of the novel. AND there was no love triangle which made me extremely happy, love triangles usually end in one of the characters experiencing heart break and I'm glad that that did not happen.

The only major dislike I had about Avalon was that there were some parts of it where I was bored and considered stopping my reading of the book. The biggest part where I experienced that was after Jeth leaves the ship in the Belgrave but hasn't left the Belgrave itself yet. It does get better after that but it would have been better if the scene after that part had arrived more quickly. Overall, Avalon was an extremely good sci-fi read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm counting down the days to the sequel and ending of the duology. If you like sci-fi, Firefly, or an interesting and really good YA read then Avalon is a book that you should read.

4.5/5 - Amazing book

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