Review – Avalon
  • Posted:
  • November 21, 2013


* I read Avalon as part of a read-a-long with On Starships and Dragonwings, My Friends are Fiction, and Scott Reads It.

Avalon is the first book in a new Science Fiction series by Mindee Arnett. This marks my first time reading Arnett’s work. For my initial encounter I was left underwhelmed by her writing. This was not a great book.

Jethro Seagrave and his younger sister, Lizzie, live aboard the spaceship Avalon. They work for Hammer, an intergalactic crime lord with a hand in many different ventures. Aboard Avalon live several other crew mates all integral to Hammer’s operations. One day Jeth is approached by Marcus Renford, and ITA agent determined to catch Hammer at his own game. He proposes that Jeth and company do the impossible; steal a ship from the Belgrave Quadrant that Hammer has his eye on before Hammer can get to it. The prize? Renford will give Avalon to Jeth outright along with precious information that could mean everything to Jeth and Lizzie… information about what happened to their parents.

Initially I enjoyed the premise of this book and was swept up in the narrative style. The prose is light, the scientific information accessible and easy to absorb, and the story fast paced. But as the novel went on I found my desire to read it to be fleeting. I had no object permanence with the book, no ability to remember that I needed to read it. The more plot Arnett developed the more I was reminded of existing Science Fiction pop culture. It feels like a mish-mash of several different space themed books, shows, and movies and the result lends artifice to the story. I found it hard to concentrate because I’ve read all of this before, or watched it at the very least.

Besides that, the characters are too archetypal and under developed. I never connected with Jeth nor felt his struggle in this story. In fact the further into the book the more I began to disconnect with everyone. Once I hit the reveal I was off the book completely. It just was not for me. It wasn’t new and it wasn’t fresh.

If a reader has never read any Science Fiction before, or for the matter seen any movies, they might find this to be enjoyable. For me I found it predictable and derivative.

2 out of 5 stars.

– BP

** Avalon releases January 21, 2013.

– Follow the Reader –






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2013-11-23 13:00:27 Reply

Ouch. I’ve only read one of Arnett’s books before (“The Nightmare Affair”), and I thought she did okay with YA paranormal stuff, though it wasn’t anything that really stood out in my mind. It’s a shame her sci-fi didn’t leave much of an impression on you; I was hoping that might have been a better one.

Thanks for the review, though!