Series: Avalon, #1
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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 think Avalon is the first book in quite a while that has made me feel really disappointed. Sure, I’ve read some bad books lately but none of those had I expected to turn out to be crazy brilliant reads; therefore not resulting me into being disappointed. However, I had thought Avalon would be a crazy brilliant read. I mean honestly, teenage mercenaries in space? HELLZ YEAH! The word disappointed may be overused yet it’s the only word that can describe what I felt and still am feeling when I finished Avalon.
I did get teenage mercenaries in space, but it didn’t feel and sound as awesome and epic as I had believed upon reading the synopsis. Basically we have a boy named Jeth Seagrave whose parents are dead and only his only family he has is his little sister, Lizzie and uncle, Milton. The three of them work for Hammer along with another bunch of people and together they are known as the Malleus Shades. One of the things that made Avalon bearable was Jeth and his crew’s relationship among one and another. I loved how each and every member had a significant task when they were out on missions. They were practically like one big family.
He had to. For them. For Lizzie and Celeste and Flynn and Shady. His family. He had to save them from the fate that waited for him. He was all they had.
Honestly, love it. The dialogue that’s shared and everything about the crew was brilliant. They’re always looking out for each other and battle through everything side by side.
Per contra, my biggest complaint was Jeth. His narration made me want to go to sleep for I dunno, a thousand years. There’s something about the way this book was written and narrated that made me feel so detached and bored out of brains. I wouldn’t say it was the writing itself (even though it’s told in 3rd person), but I felt that it was mainly due to Jeth’s unlikable and monotonous personality. I just couldn’t bear it. He felt like a robot even. A robot that has been trained all his life to look after Lizzie like an overprotective mother. He gets anxious feelings in his gut when his little sister sighs. Like dude, get a chill pill! Lizzie and I are about the same age (13-14) and I would be rather irritated to have a brother who mothered me that close. I’ll admit that Jeth was a good brother sometimes, only when he wasn’t being such a worry-wart-wuss, but a loving and caring brother when his sister actually needed his aid.
My second qualm with Avalon was the predictability. I saw the twists a mile away and facepalmed whenever they were revealed. Because as if they didn’t see them coming! You’d think some experienced, trained and generally smart mercenaries would see these spiraling twists coming, getting little hints or at least second guessing things but no, the clues fly right in the corner of the characters’ eyes and ignore it. *le sigh*
Lastly, I was not a fan of the romance. It was a small element in the book but I felt it was unnecessary and confusing. There was a slight instant attraction when Jeth first saw Sierra and there was no build up towards the romance whatsoever. I believe that Avalon would have been better off without a romance. Is it a rule we must have one to get a YA novel published these days? I think not. (Even though, y’know, pretty much all have one anyway.)
Due to the poor romance, lame main character and predictable plot twists I struggled to like Avalon regardless of my excited-ness beforehand. The only two points that I liked was the relationship within the crew and the world building which was relatively strong.
~Thank you Balzer & Bray for sending me this copy!~
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