Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Readership: Young adult
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.
Sci-fi!! I love the genre but I don't read nearly enough of it. I heard of Avalon a while ago and immediately put it on my wishlist. I was lucky enough to receive and ARC and I tore right through it.
I'm going to start with what I like. Everything!! Okay, that's a bit of a fib. There are a couple of things I was iffy on but I really, thoroughly enjoyed the plot. I loved the beginning where we were getting to know everyone and immediately we see them in a job. It was light, it was fun and it was exactly how I thought things were going to start. The pacing took off after that, weaving wonderfully together. There were twists along the way that made me go "hey, whoa!" which I enjoyed because I love being taken by surprise in books. Most of the time I can guess what a twist will be and that's no fun. I'm glad to say that was not the case with Avalon.
Then there's the crew. I can honestly say I liked them all. I was a little bit unsure of Jeth in the beginning because I thought he was a bit of an obnoxious ass, but I really grew to like him. I have to say by the end I really felt for Jeth and all that he's been through currently in the book and in his past. The rest of the crew was also fantastic. I loved their dynamic.
Now let's get to the things I wasn't quite sold on. First of all, the world building wasn't on par with what I thought it should be for a sci-fi of its nature. Avalon is a super sci-fi novel set in space on all sorts of planets in all sorts of spacey-goodness. You'd think there'd be all sorts of intricate planets and aliens and very non-humans but I felt that we really didn't get that feel. That's not to say it wasn't good, I just thought it could be done a little better. I'd also would have like to known a little bit more about "First-Earth" and how they came to finally travel in space and colonize even if the book is set hundreds of years in the future.
There was also use of a certain word that really bothered me. I also know a lot of other folks who are bothered by it. Now, I won't say the word is in hopes that it has since edited out since I read an ARC. All I know was that the times it was used I cringed and had to put down the book for a bit. I just can't see why anyone, even if it is fiction, would need to use the word. It's not even used today much anymore due to the obvious stigma and offence.
All in all I really enjoyed Avalon and I would recommend it to any sci-fi fan! Especially if they're a fan of the television show Firefly. All I know is the entire time I was reading Avalon, all I wanted to do was rewatch Firefly for the 10000000th time!
I LIKED IT
An ARC was provided by HarperCollins Canada for review - thank you!!!