Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: Avalon by Mindee Arnett

  • Publisher: Balzer & Bray
  • Publication date: 1/21/2014
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

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.

My Thoughts

Wow, I have been reading a lot of space type novels lately. This one sounded really exciting and cool so I had to read it. I did like it, but something about it just didn't quite sit well with me. Maybe it was the way that it read while in Jeth's head. I think that it seemed more like "telling" rather than "showing" how he felt or was acting. There was also a lot of inner dialogue that just sometimes started to take away from the flow of the story for me. Besides that, I thought that the plot and the characters were great. It was very fast paced and stuff seemed to always be happening to keep my interest. There is a slight bit of romance, but it doesn't take over the story or seem out of place since it's just barely there.

Jeth is the leader of his group of mercenaries that do missions for their boss, The Hammer. He is a tough kid, but he is pretty messed up from the death of his parents, and losing their ship to his boss, thanks to his uncle. His mission in life is to do enough jobs to make the money he needs to buy his ship back. I thought it kind of stupid that a person as smart as him wouldn't think about the fact that his boss probably won't let him go even if he can buy the ship back. He has a bit of a one track mind when it comes to that though, so I let it slide. He also does really care about his crew, so he's got a soft side to him. It doesn't come out often, but it's definitely there. When he discovers some secrets that have been hidden from him, he has a hard time knowing who to trust, and it does get him in deeper than he could have imagined. I thought that his character was developed well, but I didn't like being in his head much.

The other characters were really great too. We get to learn about them through Jeth's head, but we do learn enough to feel like we get to know them. They all have their own pasts that aren't so wonderful, and we get a little bit of the history of each of them. It really helped to make me feel like I could be part of the story. I love it when secondary characters are important to the story too, and they don't seem like they are just there in the background.

This is a fast-paced book that kept my attention with where the story was going. Being the character driven reader that I am, I did struggle a little with it since I wasn't really feeling being in Jeth's mind. I'm not typically a fan of third person point of view, but I think that it would have worked better for me for this particular book. There is a lot going on, and there are a lot of characters, so I think that having more of a broad spectrum would have really had me sucked in. I like to feel like I am really sucked into a book, not like I'm just reading words on a page. I also wish that we had gotten more detail on the settings. The plot was really great though, and I am curious to see where the next book will lead.

*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.


  1. This one sounds really interesting. Too bad you didn't love being in Jeth's head.

  2. I already been seeing lots of review for this one. I so have to read it now.

  3. I think this might be too far out of my range. It does sound interesting and I'm glad it held your attention. :)

  4. Yeah a lot of people had similar issues with being in Jeth's mind. I loved the relationships he had with his sister and friends, and I'm glad that you enjoyed the secondary characters. I'm sorry that you weren't able to totally connect to this book, but I'm glad you still enjoyed it. Fantastic review, Amy! <33

  5. I agree, Amy. I wasn't a huge fan of Jeth, his inner dialogue and general monotonous narrative made me feel so detached. The action was great though!

    Lovely review, Amy! <33

  6. Kate just reviewed this one for us--I think she liked it better than you did, but I really want to give it a try sometime. I've definitely seen reactions very similar to yours, though, so you're not alone with the mixed feelings. I'm glad you liked it enough to continue with the series, though.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  7. Three stars are a common theme for Avalon. I see a lot of complains about the love interests.


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