Avalon by Mindee Arnett is a sci-fi YA billed as a great story for Firefly fans, with spaceships and thievery but with teenagers! I started out intrigued by the creepiness of a Bermuda Triangle in space and delighted by the teenage crew of space thieves (with justification to why a teenage crew was better than an adult crew!). However, we find out what is going on with the creepy questions by about halfway through and then everything just lagged. I kept hoping that the ending would pick up, but I just didn’t care when that final page went by (except perhaps relief that I was done…).
Note: I received Avalon through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Avalon by Mindee Arnett (Avalon #1)
Published by Balzer & Bray on Jan. 21st, 2014
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Length: 432 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
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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.
- The beginning of Avalon is filled with spooky mysteries that got me so intrigued. There was just enough gross stuff to have me cringing and wondering what could possibly have caused the damage the team encounters. It reminded me very much of the mysteries in These Broken Stars, so I had high hopes!
- The Firefly comparison is quite accurate. Avalon had basically teenage versions of most of the Firefly characters and the initial heist was just something that my favorite space cowboys would pull.
- I have been asking for more space and classic spaceship heavy YA sci-fi, so I’m glad that those elements are finally starting to become more prevalent in YA. Avalon is a great example, so if you like the classic sci-fi space stories, Avalon delivers.
- The middle and end of Avalon are sooooooo freaking slow. Even when action was happening, it just didn’t pull me in.
- The characters are completely static. There really wasn’t any development at all and so I just didn’t care what happened to them. There was a bit of a romance, but Jeth (the MC) didn’t really convey emotion beyond “Oo pretty girl is pretty and makes me feel funny.”
- The “twists” were predictable and delivered in a rather dull fashion. You know me and twists after all, so this was quite disappointing.
- I actually fell asleep around 90%, my eyes were so heavy from boredom :(.
Avalon started out with a bang and I was so hopeful that I had hit another gem of a sci-fi. However, it just didn’t deliver past the initial draw. We quickly switch from interesting mystery to typical wheelings and dealings that I just didn’t care about. The plot twists could have been so interesting, but since I couldn’t care about the characters, the twists just didn’t spark my interest. I really wish that Avalon had been told in alternating POV, since I think certain other characters could have told a much more interesting story than Jeth.