Avalon and Polaris (Avalon #1 and #2)
Author: Mindee Arnett
Publication: January 21st 2014 and January 20th 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Kindle Edition 432 pages and Kindle Edition 432 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Read: April 2016
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.
Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon’s cult hit show Firefly.
Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
action packed, mystery, suspense, minimal romance, themes of family and friendship, plot twists galore, but there was something missing, not 100% sold
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
engaging, entertaining, fast paced, detailed, descriptive, sometime confusing when describing the space travel and other science related topics, but still not too complicated in general
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This is where things felt off for me. There’s nothing that I dislike about the characters, they’re all interesting and complex and the dynamics between them were both touching and entertaining but I just couldn’t fall in love with them for some reason. Jeth was an okay main character, I found him generally interesting but it’s kind of weird to read a book from a guy’s perspective only. He’s kind of reckless and a thrill seeker, yet he’s smart and strong. He’s conflicted on how to carry himself and what best to do for everyone that counts on him. Yet towards the end, he becomes more hopeful and looks forward to a better future. Because this book is about a crew of teenagers, there’s a lot of side characters. Some are present in the beginning and others come into play towards the middle. While I connected with more some than others, the relationships between them are all complex and distinct between each individual. That’s one of the things I really liked about the characters.
Jeth Seagrave and his crew are on the run. The ITA, still holding Jeth’s mother in a remote research lab, is now intent on acquiring the metatech secrets Jeth’s sister Cora carries inside her DNA, and Jeth is desperate to find the resources he needs to rescue his mother and start a new life outside the Confederation. But the ITA is just as desperate, and Jeth soon finds himself pursued by a mysterious figure hell-bent on capturing him and his crew—dead or alive.
With nowhere to run and only one play left, Jeth enters into a bargain with the last person he ever thought he’d see again: Daxton Price, the galaxy’s newest and most fearsome crime lord. Dax promises to help Jeth, but his help will only come at a price—a price that could mean sacrificing everything Jeth has fought for until now.
The conclusion to the story Mindee Arnett began in her acclaimed novel Avalon, Polaris is a dangerous journey into the spaces between power and corruption, life and death, the parts of ourselves we leave behind, and the parts we struggle to hold on to.
Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
action packed, full of death, despair, themes of family, friendship, romance, betrayal, it’s full of twists and turns and exciting, yet not enough to get 5 stars from me
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
fast paced, engaging, entertaining, much deeper and emotional this time around, not too complicated when it came to the science aspect, you can tell the author has great ideas and a huge imagination.
Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This second book was much better in regards to the characters, I felt more connected to them and their struggles and it made the story much more exciting. I’m still not 100% in with Jeth, he’s cool and I liked his personality but sometimes he felt too teenager for my liking, specially considering his current situation. He’s strong but he’s also a lot more vulnerable in this one. He’s angry, emotional and helpless sometimes. There’s also a few more side characters in this book that take more of a center stage. They’re really interesting and complex and sometimes even weirder and creepier than I ever expected. It had something to do with some science experiments and crazy stuff like that and it would’ve been cool to find out more about that.
I didn’t really know what to expect from this duology, except for a lot of sciency terms, but I ended up really enjoying it.
The first book started off with a bang. The plot is entertaining. We follow Jeth, the leader of a group of teenagers who steal spaceships for a famous crime lord, as he gets caught up in a job more complex than he bargained for. It feels like a roller coaster, sometimes high and exciting and other times slow and dragged out but it wasn’t jarring or exhausting. It just felt like a regular low flow of highs and lows. The action was amazing and kept me interested the entire time. There was always something intense going on that put a lot of pressure on the crew and raised the stakes higher and higher. Some things were kind of confusing and hard to understand when it came to the actual science fiction and space travel kinds of things. But I honestly believe that was mostly me being slow because the author always made sure to try and explain them in the simplest of terms, it just took me awhile to get it haha. There were a lot of unexpected twists and turns that kept me hooked into the story, but after awhile became draining. There’s only so many things that can go wrong before you start giving up on the mission ya know? Jeth started to feel that way too sometimes and yet he was really hard to read. Sometimes I liked him. I liked his personality, his motives, the way he took charge and took care of his crew. How he carried himself and his attitude really contributed to him being a great leader. Yet other times he was kind of annoying, or extremely cocky or just completely unfocused to the goal at hand. There was so much responsibility on his shoulders that it actually bothered me when he acted like a horny, teenage boy. Yeah, I typed that. There were quite a few other side characters that I really liked. Sierra was one of my favorites. She’s tough and doesn’t take any crap from Jeth. She made sure to do what was best for her and for Cora, who was a little sweetheart that got the wrong end of the deal in life and that sucks. Lizzie was also super awesome. She’s really sweet and kind and I connected to the animal lover in her but she knew when to stand up for herself. Celeste, Shady and Flynn finished off the crew and they were all cool and badass and made a great final edition to the group.
I enjoyed this book a lot as well but there’s just something about the series that I just wasn’t sold on it completely. The plot is intense. We follow Jeth and his Avalon crew as they are on the run from the ITA after the events of the first book. While struggling to stay alive, they’re captured and faced with a mission that could change their lives forever. Again, the plot of this book was filled with so much action and plot twists, even from the first chapter even! While the first and second book revolve around two different missions, they have the same feel. Fast paced, action packed, full of different plot twists that keep you on your toes the entire time. The missions are crazy and they’re full of low odds and lots of bumps in the road that kind of got annoying after awhile. You get this feeling of despair and you kind of want to give up because it doesn’t seem like anything could ever go well.And that’s why I think I couldn’t give the books 5 stars because the excitement started wearing off when so many things start to go south for the crew. I felt discouraged most of the time. Just when you think things are better, something screws it up. I liked Jeth a lot more in this one. He got a lot more complex, he showed a lot more of his emotions. I liked seeing his more vulnerable side, it made me understand him more but it was still kind of too little too late to connect with him. Sierra is still awesome. I honestly think I would’ve loved this series if it had been from her point of view. I just feel like she was a lot tougher, stronger and resilient than Jeth and I wanted to see her thought process. Aileen is a new character introduced in this book, though she does have a little cameo in the prequel novella which is how I knew of her already. I liked her attitude as well as her personality but she caused a lot of problems for the crew and had the tendency to annoy me because of that. The relationships between the crew members are explored a lot more in this book but it just felt like it wasn’t enough.
Overall, I really liked this series but I can’t say that I loved it. The premise was really interesting and the writing style carried it really well, though a little confusing for a science free kind of person. I enjoyed the characters for the most part but they all managed to bother me for some reason or another. I wish there were more books because this is a really cool world to explore.
So that’s it for my review! Let me know what you think of my thoughts and if you’ve read this duology. I know some booktubers have so I want to reach out to bloggers who have so we can talk about it. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!