Author: Mindee Arnett
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: 21 January, 2014
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss
Goodreads rating: 4.06 out of 5.00 (100+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room
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.Review by Nara
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 have no idea what that thing on the cover is supposed to be, but omg it's pretty. And the main reason I wanted to read this book, to be honest (don't judge a book by its cover? lol). However, judging the book by its cover actually turned out to be in my favour, because Avalon was one excellent read.
I feel like some of the minor characters were a bit flat, but to be honest, I'm not a big character reader (I more so look at plot and writing and such) so I wasn't bothered too much by it. That being said, I did appreciate the camaraderie between Jeth and the rest of the crew members- they weren't so much a crew as a family ( #awww #cliche). And Jeth himself wasn't a bad character- he's one of those thieves who are thieves for a reason. One of those thieves that still have an intact moral compass. I do rather like reading about that sort of character- they're so interesting in their imperfection. Plus, male YA protagonist! Win.
A lot of people complain about the romance in this book- that it feels out of place and inappropriate. I actually didn't feel the same. While it perhaps wasn't completely necessary, I don't think it really distracted the reader from the main plot at all. I feel like the amount of focus put on the romance was the amount that was needed. I do have to say it was instalovey, but thankfully not excessively so.
In terms of the main plot- MAJOR BOMBSHELL 2/3 OF THE WAY THROUGH. There were actually quite a few twists and turns throughout, making for a fairly unpredictable read. I quite liked how things didn't always go according to plan, and how things weren't always in Jeth's favour. The action scenes were well written, with the reader left second guessing what was going to happen.
The sci-fi aspect of the book is very intriguing. As a massive sci-fi fan, I was hoping that this wouldn't be another These Broken Stars (where, while the book is good, it's not really focused on sci-fi), and it definitely didn't disappoint. A lot of interesting technologies were brought up- for example, the mystery of the metatech, a technology that allows fast travel through space. The mystery of how it was developed and where it came from was one that helped drive the pace and plot.
Even with the emergence of more and more sci-fi young adult books, Avalon is certainly one that stands out from the crowd. Those looking for excellent world building, fast-paced action and an intriguing mystery should definitely pick up a copy.
Really liked it