Author: Mindee Arnett
Series: Avalon #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
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.
First Sentence: Stealing a spaceship shouldn’t be this easy.
I’ll admit it, it was a struggle for me to finish Avalon. I could put down the book for days and not even think about it. Avalon isn’t the kind of book I’ll read the first place, but when I won a pack of books that included an ARC of Avalon, I felt obligated to read and review it. Don’t get me wrong, Avalon certainly isn’t a bad book, it’s just not the kind of book I usually choose to read.
The first half of Avalon started off slow with the exception of the first couple of pages. In the first half of the book, Mindee Arnett slowly eased us into her world by giving us little pieces of the world-building. The first half of Avalon tells us things like what is located where and who does what, slowly gives us a more in depth history on most of the characters’ background, and slowly went into the real important part of the story. Honestly, the first half of Avalon was hard to get through. It didn’t make me want to continue and read on more, but other bloggers who have already read Avalon advised me that the payoff in the second part of the book would be worth it since there’s a lot more action there, so I continued to read on (not like I wouldn’t have read on anyways or else I would feel ultra guilty about DNFing a book that I won).
Celeste smiled up at Jeth, her lips parting in a sensual gesture, an inviting smile. An outside observer would think she had only one thing on her mind. No one would guess these two, both just seventeen, were actually casing the place. (ARC 1)
Speaking of the world-building, Avalon‘s world-building was nicely done. Before I went into the book, I was expecting to be confused by all the newly introduced space terms. However, to my surprise, I wasn’t confused with any of the new terminologies and inventions introduced and used at all; it all made sense to me, although I won’t pass a terminology quiz on the terms and world-building if you give me one. Everything in Avalon just made sense as I was reading it.
However, I do have a small problem with how parts of the world-building and big reveals were delivered though. I counted more than ten pages of info-dump in which a character was explaining about something related to the world-building after a big reveal that had happened in Avalon. It was long and tedious to read and I wish that Mindee Arnett found another way to give us all the world-building information without using more than ten pages of dialogue info-dumping.
“Right.” Jeth’s heartbeat quickened, his grip on the empty data cell tightening. One last con. That was all. Then he would finally be free. (ARC 180)
There was also some romance in Avalon (dear goodreads, why do you insist that there isn’t any romance in Avalon?) and honestly, it wasn’t needed. I’m not sold on the couple. They have absolutely no chemistry together (sorry, but admiring the other person’s look doesn’t mean that the characters have some chemistry to me) and when they were together, I honestly felt like sleeping until that big twist happened.
The main problem I have with Avalon is that it is not a unputdownable book (is that even a word?). While I was reading Avalon and something else came up – it could be anything: I have to wash the dishes, drink water, go to the bathroom, etc. – I easily put down the book and didn’t feel the urge to do the chore quickly so I can continue to read Avalon asap. Even those huge plot twists and big reveals didn’t keep me invested in Avalon. Avalon was missing that certain addictive element for me; I wasn’t personally invested in it nor would I care if I didn’t ever finish reading Avalon.
This was Hammer’s realm, one of conmen and kingpins, where everything was a gamble, a game of cards.
And where Jeth had only ever held a losing hand. (ARC 304)
Overall, in the end, I don’t know what to think of Avalon. I don’t know if I’ll like it any better if it’s my type of book. All I know is that Avalon will must likely disappoint Firefly fans by the description Cee from The Novel Hermit gave me of Firefly, so if you all want to read Avalon because it’s recommended for fans of Firefly, don’t get your hopes up and make your expectations too high.