Review of Polaris by Mindee Arnett

PolarisCoverPolaris
By: Mindee Arnett
Release Date: Balzer + Bray
Publisher: January 20th 2015
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Following the events of Avalon, Jeth Seagrave and his crew are on the run. Jeth is desperate to find the resources and funding he needs to rescue his mother from an ITA’s research lab and leave this whole galaxy behind for a new life somewhere else. But the ITA is just as desperate, and soon Jeth finds himself pursued by a mysterious figure hell-bent on capturing Jeth and his crew—dead or alive. In a last-ditch effort to save everyone he holds dear, Jeth enters into a bargain with the last person he ever thought he’d see again: Dax Shepherd, the galaxy’s newest and most fearsome crime lord. And he’s not the only one: upon arriving back at Peltraz spaceport for the first time since he witnessed the death of his old employer, Jeth discovers Dax has a new partner: Jeth’s mother, Marian.

This shocking turn of events is only the first in another breathless, action-packed sci-fi adventure rife with danger, love, and betrayal, as Jeth has to once again ask himself how much he’s willing to invest in a morally bankrupt galaxy in the hopes of saving those he cares for.

My Thoughts:
I read Avalon, the beginning of this dualogy, last year and found it to be an enjoyable read. It had a creepy atmosphere that I had hoped would span into this novel but did not. I thought that would disappoint me but I was nicely surprised. In Polaris Arnett really upped the tension and heartbreak for her main character Jeth.

There must be something wrong with  me because I love for a main character to be pushed to the brink and be generally tortured emotionally. I felt that Arnett really put her characters through much more strife in this book than the first. I felt that Jeth, in particular,  had a lot of emotional growth throughout the series and I really began to connect to him in this second book. So many horrible things were done to him and those he loved it was actually painful to read (which I loved). I wanted to see his world be turned inside out. I wanted to see his nightmares become reality–isn’t that awful of me? Arnett delivered and for me, it made this novel (and series in general) stronger.

One of my problems with the first book was my lack of emotional connection to the characters and their welfare. Thankfully I was able to connect to the cast of characters and began to find myself fearing for them. Even the secondary cast seemed better rounded and their interactions and dialog more fulfilling. The romance still fell a tad flat for me but since it was such a small part of the story it worked out.

As for the story itself, I enjoyed where Arnett took things and I really liked that we got to learn more about Marian (Jeth’s mother). The action felt consistent with the first novel and really these two books flowed very well together. I felt that the loose ends were tied up well and nothing was left unexplored.

Final Thoughts:
I felt that Polaris took the series to a better place because I was able to find an emotional attachment to Jeth and the rest of the characters. I liked that Arnett went darker in this final book and still managed to bring things around and provide a good conclusion.

Review of Avalon by Mindee Arnett

AvalonAvalon
By: Mindee Arnett
Release Date: January 21st 2014
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Purchase:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

An electronic copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I read Avalon with my reading group, Scott Reads It, Bibliopunkk and On Starships and Dragonwings

My Rating:
star

Summary:
A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

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.

The Story:
Avalon was one of my most anticipated reads and when I was given the advanced reader copy I was beyond thrilled. I’d heard many comparisons to Firefly which off the bat made me very interested. I’ve read Arnett’s paranormal The Nightmare Affair and thought it was a fast and entertaining read adding to my curiosity of how she would fare with science fiction. Honestly, I think this anticipation and high hopes for what I wanted Avalon to be might have marred what it truly was.

My experience reading this book started off wonderfully. I was immediately drawn into the story and looked forward to being swept off my feet.  The pacing was fast and I thought the science fiction aspects were done well and it did mirror the aura of Firefly, especially with the main story arc. Sadly, as I continued to read I was unable to really connect with the characters and never fully grasped the world they lived in.

There was a beautiful addition of some creepy details and I had chills reading. Unfortunately, this aspect puttered out in the last half of the book and things became more predictable. I quickly saw the direction things were headed and felt a small amount of disappointment that not only did the mysterious elements not amount to as much as I liked I was correct in the outcome of why they were occurring.

The Characters:
I found the cast to be likeable enough but I really missed that there wasn’t more internal dialog amongst the crew and bolder personalities. Everyone sort of just melded together in my head (especially weeks after reading). I felt that not one character stood out to me. The main character, Jeth, was supposed to take that spot but I never successfully connected with him. I found Arnett’s male voice to be well done and believable but overall he just lacked something to make me love his character. Sadly, I’m not exactly sure how to pin point it.

The romance in Avalon felt very secondary and really it felt more a means to an end than a focus of the story. For me, the two characters connection stopped after attraction and I never felt any real emotions between them. I personally prefer my science fiction with less romance than more so this didn’t really affect my reading experience.

Final Thoughts:
I enjoyed reading Avalon though I was disappointed in the book overall. I felt that the beginning half was excellent and because of that and my very (possibly unrealistic) expectations I set this book up to fail in some ways. I think that if I had read it without my own hopes of what it would be I could have seen what the author intended and enjoy it more. I will continue with this series and hope that the world is developed more as well as my connection with the characters.

Giveaway of an arc of Avalon by Mindee Arnett

I have recently read AvalonMindee Arnett’s newest book and start of a new series. I wanted to give my arc away so someone else could have the chance to read it (and possibly review). Plus, this is the month of thanks so I wanted to thank you all again.

Look for my review of Avalon next month.

Avalon (Avalon, #1)Summary:
A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

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.

Look for Avalon January 21st 2014 by Balzer & Bray

Giveaway (US Only):
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday #12

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are highly anticipating. This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait to-read” selection is: Avalon by Mindee Arnett.

AvalonSummary (via Goodreads):
A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

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.

Why Am I Eager for Avalon?
I love sci-fi and anything that has been said to be a match for fans of Firefly automatically gets my interest. The description makes it seem like a real page turner and that cover looks intense. I need this book now!

Available January 21st 2014 from Balzer & Bray

The Nightmare Affair Review

The Nightmare AffairThe Nightmare Affair
By: Mindee Arnett
Release Date: March 05, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen

Copy obtained by NetGalley by Tor Teen

My Rating:
star

Summary (via Goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.
Literally.
Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.
Then Eli’s dream comes true.
Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target

The Story:
The Nightmare Affair was an enjoyable read for me for the most part, though I did see a few of the twists coming. I loved that our main character was a Nightmare; I tend to gravitate to stories centering on any form of dream walkers (Sandman by Neil Gaiman being my favorite). The story had good bones: a girl who is a literal Nightmare (like the Old Hag in folklore) that through a human’s dreams (who happens to be a really attractive guy) can help solve murders. Most of the book moved at a nice pace with just a few areas lagging. It honestly had a Harry Potter-ish feel to me in some aspects: being at a school for magic users, not trusting all the faculty, etc. Though the idea of Nightmares was original; the story itself felt familiar and the mystery unraveled rather slowly and was not climatic. I never felt nervous for our characters on their adventure. The big reveal was a let down to me, I wanted so much more.

The Characters:
I think the characters were the strongest aspect for me in this book. I liked Eli and Dusty and enjoyed watching their interactions with one another. Their dialog was often times funny and it really was the prominent thing keeping me invested in the story. I also enjoyed learning the little we were given about Nightmares and their purposes. The entire magical world seemed a bit lacking in description to me but I’m hoping Mindee Arnett will go deeper in the next book.

Final Thoughts:
Overall a light, entertaining read that I enjoyed but wished it had been a tad darker. I look forward to what Mindee Arnett has in store for the following book.

The Nightmare Affair book trailer: