Avalon

By Mindee Arnett

Source: Received from the publisher via Edelweiss

Series: Avalon #1

Received from the publisher via Edelweiss, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: January 21, 2014

Published by Balzer & Bray

My Rating: three-stars

Avalon

From Goodreads:

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 excited to read this book because the synopsis sounded really cool and fun and exciting, and so different from other books I’ve read. I also read and loved Mindee Arnett’s The Nightmare Dilemma last year, and was really looking forward to reading something else of hers.

Unfortunately I have mixed feelings about this. I really wanted to like this a lot more than I did. It just took me so long to get into the story, and I never really felt that I connected with any of the characters. I really liked the story and the world that the author created, but I struggled to feel involved with the characters and their plight throughout the book. I didn’t feel as though I got to know Jeth or any of the other characters.

I did enjoy the action scenes in the book, and I felt that the pacing picked up in the second half. The book was not short on villains, double crosses, and some interesting world-building, but for some reason I felt that it lacked something. None of the characters felt very developed or fleshed out and I didn’t find myself emotionally attached to them. Without that connection, the book was a fun read but nothing more. I didn’t feel that I cared one way or the other what happened to any of the characters. Similarly, the romance felt very tacked-on.

I loved the sci-fi elements and am curious to learn more about the world the author has created. The story was compelling enough that I definitely want to read the sequel and find out what happens next, but I wish I had cared more about the characters.

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