Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Review: Avalon, by Mindee Arnett

While Avalon has an interesting sci-fi premise, I was unable to connect with the characters or build up the appropriate excitement for the plot.

Jeth and his team fly around on spaceships stealing, hijacking, and doing the bidding of one of the biggest crime lords in space, Hammer. Jeth is basically a slave, along with his sister, Lizzie, who is on Jeth's team. Jeth's parents were accused of treason and executed. After that, their uncle who was their guardian lost the family's ship, the Avalon, to Hammer. Jeth is desperately working to make enough money to buy back the Avalon from Hammer.

Jeth and his crew get caught in the middle of Hammer and the governing agency for all space travel. Everyone is keeping secrets; no one can be trusted. They end up going to a section of space that's like a wasteland, and it also has a reputation for being somewhat like the Bermuda Triangle of space. Weird, unexplained things happen.

The premise of Avalon is promising. I just didn't click with this book. I'm a sci-fi fan, so the explanations of those aspects didn't bother me. The plot drags a bit -- I spent much of the book with a "just get on with it" attitude. I didn't feel much of a connection to the characters. There were sweet, touching moments, but I'm not sure why I didn't care very much.

Avalon is one of those books that I just didn't like as much as I thought I would, and I'm not sure why. The story is pretty good, but the execution was inadequate to really compel me to keep turning pages. Although I did finish it.

The comparison to Firefly is unwarranted. That TV show was about a group of space cowboys, who did end up doing some running from the law. But the witty dialog and colorful characterization that made Firefly special are not evident in Avalon.

Since I can't really put my finger on the problem I had with this book, I would say that if it sounds interesting to you, give it a try.

Published by Balzer + Bray, January 21, 2014
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
432 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. Sci Fi is a hit or miss for me, and I'm usually drawn to the fantasy side of Sci Fi. I'd probably be a lot more interested in this book if it did have more in common with Firefly!

  2. Aw, sorry to hear this one didn't work for you

  3. Aw, I heard good things about this one! Especially in connection with Firefly! When I get a chance to read this, I'll definitely go in with tempered expectations! Great review!

  4. Sorry this one didn't work for you but I'm really curious about this one. I expected to have some connections to the Arthurian legend. I'll have to wait and see if I can get this one from the library and try it sometime.

  5. Oh no! I hate when a plot drags and you have the "just get on with it" feeling. And I'm so bummed to see the Firefly comparisons aren't warranted. Sigh.... Well, I'm glad I can avoid this one now, thank you for your honesty!

  6. I actually had to put this as a DNF, I just couldn't connect to the story or the characters either! I'm happy to see that I didn't miss out on much though, because it doesn't seem like it gets any better. Great review :)

  7. There's really not much else I want to say about Avalon. It's a super fun space adventure, full of amazing new technology, conspiracies, and science!

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