Friday, January 17, 2014

Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Release Date: 1/21/2014

Series: Avalon (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Space Opera/Dystopian Sci-fi

Subjects: outer space, space ships, adventure, technology, thieves

Setting: A space ship, outer space, and on various planets and Spaceports

POV/Tense: 3rd person, male POV (Jeth) and past tense

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 415 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen: Balzer + Bray

Summary/ product description: “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, and Star Treck”

My Review: Avalon could have been a really great book, but it fell a bit flat because the narration wasn’t that great. If it was written in 1st person, it might have been way better because then we’d get to know what Jeth was thinking. In 3rd person, it was somewhat boring and I ended up skimming much of it. Maybe I was just in the wrong mood for this book, but I didn’t find it all that thrilling. 

The outerspace stuff seemed cool, but also like it was too similar to Star Treck or other space operas. It was sort of unique that Jeth’s group stole metatech, but it’s kind of cliché that they’re a “ragtag team of teens…blah blah blah”. They’re like teenage space pirates, or part of the space mob. I just had a really hard time getting into it. I read the prequel, Proxy, and was a bit discouraged by the writing style. I loved the author’s book Nightmare Affair. But this book is just so different from the quirky female character Dusty. 

Not everything was boring. I did like the dialogue and banter between characters. I liked Lizzie and kind of wish we’d gotten her POV. Sure, she’s only 13, but if this story had alternating POV, it would really be great to get her perspective. She’s funny and an expert hacker. She loves animals and brought a cat on board the Avalon. I also liked Shady. He was the tough guy and was described a really tall and looking like a lion. He had a great sense of humor. Celeste was okay, but she didn’t seem very warm in personality. There was Hammer, the crime boss who was manipulative and used brain implants to control people. 

There were characters that Jeth met later on. Sierra, Cora and Vince. Sierra was kind of the love interest. To me, it seemed a little fast. He meets a bunch of strangers stranded on a ship, and kisses Sierra only a few days later. I wouldn’t say that there was much romance, though. I really liked Cora. She’s a really interesting character. She’s a little girl and a bit strange, but seems normal. 

I did enjoy some of the plot twists. I kind of predicted one of them, but there were so many revelations toward the end. 

The science and technology and space travel was the most interesting part and I definitely recommend this book to Star Treck, Star Wars, Firefly fans and fans of Beth Revis’s Across the Universe. I think boys would enjoy this book the most. The graphic below provided by EpicReads will help.

Cover Art Review: I have no idea what that stuff is on the cover. I wish there was a space ship instead. I like the layout and the title, just wish the image made sense.

1 comment:

  1. Well written characters, great pace to the storyline. I like how this author handles situations in this book and how it brings me into the story. highly recommend.

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