AVALON (Avalon #1) by Mindee Arnett
YA Science Fiction
432 pages, hardcover
Available tomorrow (Jan. 21, 2014)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review
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.
I’ve always been a SciFi fan, ever since my dad and I went to go see the original Star Wars (and subsequent movies. Except those three new ones. Those sucked.) when I was little so I’m really loving this resurgence of fabulous science fiction, especially in the young adult arena (not that there hasn’t always been scifi out there — I may love the genre but I don’t love all of it. Picky, picky, I know.).
Avalon is a highly enjoyable scifi romp through space populated by interesting characters and an intriguing world. Jeth was a bit of an antihero who reminded me a little of Han Solo. He has the cocky attitude and loyalty to his friends and sister, loves his ship, and is a criminal. He’s also a bit of a jackass, very focused on getting his ship back and getting away from the bad dude who plays a large role in his life.
The worldbuilding could have been stronger. At times, I had difficulty envisioning what was going on, especially in the last third of the book. I also wasn’t a fan of the romance. There just didn’t seem to be a big connection between the two of them. There certainly wasn’t the trust, as Jeth learned pretty quickly. You can’t have a good relationship without trust, after all.
Maybe those negatives will come together a bit more in the second book. I’ll be reading it either way — I want to know what happens next! And what’s up with the little girl! And the bad guys! And…and…things I can’t talk about here because they’d be spoilers and I wouldn’t do that to you all. If you’re a scifi fan at all, pick up this book. Read it. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
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