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Avalon by Mindee Arnett eARC {3 Stars}

Avalon by Mindee Arnett is a sci-fi YA billed as a great story for Firefly fans, with spaceships and thievery but with teenagers! I started out intrigued by the creepiness of a Bermuda Triangle in space and delighted by the teenage crew of space thieves (with justification to why a teenage crew was better than an adult crew!). However, we find out what is going on with the creepy questions by about halfway through and then everything just lagged. I kept hoping that the ending would pick up, but I just didn’t care when that final page went by (except perhaps relief that I was done…).

Note: I received Avalon through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Avalon by Mindee Arnett eARC {3 Stars}

Avalon by Mindee Arnett (Avalon #1)
Published by Balzer & Bray on Jan. 21st, 2014
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Length: 432 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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.

3 Stars

Strengths:

  • The beginning of Avalon is filled with spooky mysteries that got me so intrigued. There was just enough gross stuff to have me cringing and wondering what could possibly have caused the damage the team encounters. It reminded me very much of the mysteries in These Broken Stars, so I had high hopes!
  • The Firefly comparison is quite accurate. Avalon had basically teenage versions of most of the Firefly characters and the initial heist was just something that my favorite space cowboys would pull.
  • I have been asking for more space and classic spaceship heavy YA sci-fi, so I’m glad that those elements are finally starting to become more prevalent in YA. Avalon is a great example, so if you like the classic sci-fi space stories, Avalon delivers.

Weaknesses:

  • The middle and end of Avalon are sooooooo freaking slow. Even when action was happening, it just didn’t pull me in.
  • The characters are completely static. There really wasn’t any development at all and so I just didn’t care what happened to them. There was a bit of a romance, but Jeth (the MC) didn’t really convey emotion beyond “Oo pretty girl is pretty and makes me feel funny.”
  • The “twists” were predictable and delivered in a rather dull fashion. You know me and twists after all, so this was quite disappointing.
  • I actually fell asleep around 90%, my eyes were so heavy from boredom :(.

Summary:

Avalon started out with a bang and I was so hopeful that I had hit another gem of a sci-fi. However, it just didn’t deliver past the initial draw. We quickly switch from interesting mystery to typical wheelings and dealings that I just didn’t care about. The plot twists could have been so interesting, but since I couldn’t care about the characters, the twists just didn’t spark my interest. I really wish that Avalon had been told in alternating POV, since I think certain other characters could have told a much more interesting story than Jeth.

3 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

- Anya

 

 Avalon by Mindee Arnett

© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. Ah, sneaky. You drew me in with the Firefly comparison. Then show me a book that put you to sleep!

    Oh well, my firefly needs can still be met with Chris Wooding’s book thankfully.
    Nathan (@ReviewBarn) recently posted…Dystopia Review: ‘Red Rising’ by Pierce BrownMy Profile

    • I didn’t try to be too sneaky D: I’m hoping that people who really love Firefly might still have fun with it, mine’s just one opinion after all ;-).

  2. Drat, let down again. I get all excited for some of these new titles and then I read the early reviews and bam. Happiness destroyed. Oh well, at least I’m saving myself a wasted read.

    And, though it wasn’t without its faults, Nathan has a point: you can always try Chris Wooding’s Ketty Jay series. It has a little Firefly in it. :)
    Kel recently posted…The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (1 star)My Profile

    • Yup, but don’t worry, I just hit a couple good ones ;-) That is my goal though, to keep you from reading a book you won’t enjoy, though you might still!

      Oo, thanks for the rec!

  3. Whomp. Whomp. That’s such a bummer. I had high hopes for this one even though it’s not my normal read. I hate when books peter out and it sounds like both the romance and the characters were a bit stale. I think I’ll skip this one. Thanks for the honest review!
    Natalie @Natflix&Books recently posted…Roomies (Early Book Review)My Profile

    • Haha, sound effects are the best. Yup, everything ended up a bit dragging, so there are probably better books for you to read!

  4. Awww, this makes me sad – that you didn’t like it and there was no character development. I was really looking forward to seeing if the crew’s relationship emulates the friendships in Firefly because I love anything that has characters acting like a family. I guess that’s not the case for Avalon.

    Just reading the novella was a bit boring too. :\ Jeth isn’t a very exciting character. He doesn’t make me sympathetic to his cause or whatever.
    Cee recently posted…THE NOVEL HERMIT TURNS A YEAR OLD!My Profile

  5. It made you fall asleep at the end?? That’s not good. The end is supposed to be the part that makes you read and stay up too late but are unable to fall asleep until the book is done (This happened to me last night with A Dance with Dragons <3) The comparison to Firefly, only to fall short makes me sad :(

    • *nods* Not a good sign right? That was my biggest problem I think, I had such high expectations for witty banter and awesome characters and it just didn’t happen.

  6. Me: *scrolling* *scrolling* Ohh what’s that? Nah *scrolling* Wait – was that “for Firefly fans”?? *scroll back up* YISSSS

    Hmm… I think despite the slow second half I’ll still check this one out. I’ve been looking for some more sci-fi, so this might satisfy that need!

  7. Oh noooes – well I guess I’ll find out for myself in a few weeks or less when I get around to reading it!
    Pabkins recently posted…Review: The Asylum by John HarwoodMy Profile

  8. I’m not sure whether the whole “Avalon is a teenage version of Firefly” is a good thing or not. I admit it’s intriguing. But because I watched Firefly so recently, I wonder if I’d be more critical of Arnett’s work and look for ways that it’s inferior.
    Character development is also such a crucial factor for me. I need to feel some reliability. So hmm I’m not sure whether this really is a book I should be reading. Perhaps I’ll delay for now and see if I’m interested in reading it at a later date. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you as well as you’d hoped it would! (As least the scifi trend seems to be getting bigger in YA, though, right?)
    Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books recently posted…Ready to Become a Fan of…Brandon SandersonMy Profile

    • I think that the comparison to Firefly is going to hurt people’s opinions in the end. It might boost sales because people will pick it up, but there is just no way to live up to that kind of comparison D: I am so excited about the sci-fi trend though :D

  9. Ah, sadness. When they mentioned Firefly, I was hoping it would actually be that awesome – even if I thought that was unlikely – so I’m disappointed to hear that it was only so-so.

  10. Awww, I’m sorry this one failed to impress like you’d hoped! I think we both had fairly high hopes for this one so I’m a little bit bummed out :( It’s such a shame when a book starts out with oodles of potential and then wind up fizzling halfway through. Since I read and (mostly) enjoyed Mindee’s other book, I’ll definitely still be checking this one out but at least now I know not to get my hopes up too much! Wonderful review as usual Anya :)
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: The Assassin and the DesertMy Profile

    • Ahhh, I hope that you still enjoy this one, since I know I personally hate it when I see a negative review for a review book that I still have to read, haha. By other one do you mean the Nightmare books or Proxy? I’m curious about that prequel.

  11. I’m getting less and less excited about this book. :(((
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #69My Profile

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