Rejoice AVALON fans because the cover to the sequel of this space odyssey series is finally here! Get ready to gaze upon POLARIS plus a Q&A with author Mindee Arnett and a giveaway!
In case you are unfamiliar with Avalon, here’s what you need to know:
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.
Are you ready for the cover of Polaris?
Here it is!
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.
The book goes on sale December 30th!
Q&A with Mindee Arnett
AVALON was full of fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat, high-stakes adventure. We’re addicted. What can we expect in this sequel?
You can expect more of the same and then some. The stakes, for Jeth in particular, are much higher in Polaris. But some of the stakes are a bit different as well. Jeth is going to face a lot of psychological, verging-on-existential, stakes. But there’s also plenty of action and physical stakes as well.
What do you like best about writing sci-fi? What about writing YA?
The best part about writing sci-fi is how much it challenges me. For one thing, the world-building rules are a bit stricter than in fantasy, which requires me to do a lot of research and studying of scientific ideas and theories instead of relying mostly on my imagination. Secondly, sci-fi is challenging because it requires me to really take on a “bigger picture” examination of my story and the technology in it. I have to strive for a deeper understanding of the way the world works as a whole. In sci-fi, the science or technology must be a driving force in the story. What’s hard about that is technology is something we naturally take for granted. Anything that makes our lives easier, more enjoyable, safer, is rarely something that also provokes deep thoughts about the larger sociological or ecological ramifications of the said technology. At least, not until it’s too late and the damage is done. Pretty much every aspect of global warming is a good example here. We love cars, we love the benefits of pesticides and fertilizers, and most people aren’t concerned, or aren’t aware, of the impact these technologies are having on our world at large.
As far as writing YA, the best part is the freedom. There are so many different types of stories to tell within this age range.
You’ve built such an elaborate intergalactic world, complete with some crazy technology! We assume you haven’t ventured past the Milky Way (although if so, please halt this Q&A and give us details!), so where do you get your inspiration? What do you hope we might actually invent or discover in the future?
If you want my responsible, grown-up answer here then I hope someone finally invents a reusable and environmentally healthy fuel source, one that actually gets a chance to really catch on and overcome the political and financial monopoly of Big Oil.
But the non-grown up in me is really hoping for the Holodeck from Star Trek. I would settle for the Oasis from Ready Player One.
As far as inspiration, that comes from everywhere and nowhere. Avalon was inspired by a myriad of different things, including Firefly (obviously), but also stuff like coral bleaching and the recent energy crisis.
What are you currently working on? Can you give us a hint, tease, something to tide us over?
Well, this is a hard, hard question. I have thoughts and ideas about a possible spin-off set in the Avalon universe, and I’m also in the very early exploration stage of a sci-fi thriller that I’d like to think of as Children of Men meets Toy Soldiers (the early 90s film starring Sean Astin and Wil Wheaton). That sounds weird, especially for a Young Adult, I suppose, but the basic premise is a group of wealthy, prep school kids unintentionally create a cure for cancer in a post-nuclear war world where radiation-induced cancer has become a pandemic. Naturally, once news of this invention gets out, every government, terrorist organization, and militaristic group is out to get them.
And of course, what do you think of this stellar POLARIS cover?
I absolutely love it! The whole “negative image” approach really captures the spirit of this book, the way it kind of takes the issues and conflict of the first book and turns them inside out. Also, it’s gorgeous and striking. I think it’s safe to say I keep on winning the cover lottery.
We know you can’t wait to get your hands on POLARIS, but in the meantime, enter to win a signed hardcover copy of AVALON and find out where it all began. Tell us what you think of the cover in the comments below by Friday, June 20th for a chance to win!