PJV Quickie: My first thoughts regarding AVALON by Mindee Arnett are that it is very reminiscent of FIREFLY, the Joss Whedon show that lasted 1 season, but amassed a cult following. Yet, while reminiscent, I would say it’s an enjoyable science fiction young adult novel, with “frontier and space opera” tropes, not a rip off of the television show, which has the same tropes. Arnett did a wonderful job of making these tropes into a well-written and highly high-impact read.

Review: Jeth, the main character of AVALON is the leader of a rag-tag band of teen thieves that are practically indentured servants to a crime lord whose influence has a very far reach. Jeth started working for Hammer Dafoe, because his alcoholic uncle lost his parent’s ship, The Avalon, in a card game. Jeth, has an inexplicable talent for thievery, so Hammer has no problem allowing Jeth to steal ships so Hammer can scrap them, mostly for the metatech which allows the ships to jump through space and is controlled by the Confederation. When Hammer requests that the group of teens, enter an area of the universe that is like the Bermuda Triangle of the universe, to rescue a missing ship…the payment is too good to pass up and Jeth and his group venture into this insane stretch of space.

From the beginning things start going ridiculously wrong and even when they find the ship, things aren’t what they seam.

Action from the very beginning. There is scheming, fighting, quirky characters, witty commentary and great science fiction plotting and world-building. Highly enjoyable book to read, I couldn’t put it down. But, I love me some science fiction!

I was highly impressed with Avalon, the characters and the setting. It was very reminiscent of FIREFLY the television show by Joss Whedon, but it wasn’t a rip-off. It was like a Young Adult version of the show, with a little more mystery and a more complex plotting.

I loved all the characters and I thought the idea of the space-travel that they discussed in the novel, metatech and the drives that helped them “jump” through space was original and well thought out. I also loved how the characters didn’t just fall upon one another with the romance.

Another great point about AVALON, it was written from a male POV which is refreshing in today’s Young Adult market, especially with SciFi that has a hint of romance.

The ending left me with questions, but I hope that I get to read more from this series.

Recommendations:
If you enjoy science fiction, this one is for you. Fans of the show Firefly should also get a kick out of it. There has been a lot of grumping that it is too similar to Firefly, but I made a point of watching the Season (again!) after I read the book and nothing was glaringly obvious. You could place different characters as this one or that one…but you can do that in most Young Adult books and television shows. The quirky, fun-loving side character, best friend, the tough sexy chick, side character, the stoic leader…etc. Make up your own mind though, read the book!