Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Genre: Science Fiction
Summary: 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. (Via Goodreads.)
I first picked up Avalon because it was described to me as “Teenage Firefly” and boy is that description apt. This novel is essential Firefly fan fiction.
I am a huge Firefly fan so the comparisons didn’t put me off but rather encouraged me to read and once I realised just how much like Firefly this novel was it didn’t make me want to stop reading. However, the issue with making a book so like a show that is as beloved as Firefly is that it is always going to fall a little flat and, for me, it did. It wasn’t that this book was bad but it was quite predictable in some ways (especially if you’ve seen Firefly) and there was just something about the characters, even though I liked them, I didn’t really connect with any of them; so their troubles and hardships didn’t really bother me as much as they should have.
With all of that being said the book is good. It’s action packed while still giving importance to the relationships (familial rather than romantic – although there is some of that). It’s a very visual book – in that I couldn’t help but picture it as a film which I think is a very good thing when you’re reading a sic-fi novel. At times it’s funny and sad. A very well rounded book in my opinion – even if it is a little average.
I think this is a very easy book to read (I read it in about two sittings), sometimes though the writing seemed a little middle-grade but as there are a wide range of characters with different ages I can’t really complain too much about that and for the most part it didn’t affect my reading or my enjoyment of the book.
Overall, I liked this book. It definitely wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read but if you like science fiction and are a fan of Firefly I’d recommend you give this one a shot – just try to keep the show and book separate! I do want to read the sequel but I won’t be counting down the days for it.