The blurb describes Mindee Arnett’s Avalon as “FireFly for teens” – that’s spot on. The story takes place in a world full of spaceships and quirky characters and there is just enough comedy combined with a hint of the seedy underbelly of the world to evoke thoughts of Whedon’s Firefly. The main character, Jeth, is a reluctant hero who is fiercely loyal to his crew, surprisingly capable, ethically flexible and full of snark. Total Mal.
So the story centers on Jeth’s latest mission. He and his crew survive by working for a rather shady character who sends them on missions to steal ships and, in this case, metatech – an incredibly valuable type of ancient technology that lets people jump through space. Jeth completes these missions with the hopes of buying back his parents’ ship (Avalon) – ah the love of a man and his ship – and providing a better life for his sister Lizzie. Things, of course, go wrong on the mission and Jeth meets a new love interest in the form of the fierce Sierra, who is protecting a mysterious and powerful child named Cora.
*Sidebar* Since I’m now totally picturing Nathan Fillion in Firefly, you should know this is what I imagine Jeth to look like. But please make sure to picture the young, attractive version of Fillion. Not the lovable, but doughy actor we see weekly on Castle.
By the end of the novel you discover a lot of answers about Cora and the history of metatech, but that really raises even more questions. Overall, there’s a lot of action, a lot of drama and this is one book I could easily see being made into a hit movie.
If you’ve read any of Arnett’s other books, you’ll see this is a huge (and in my opinion positive) change from the Nightmare Affair series. Look for Avalon to hit the shelves on January 21, 2014.