Polaris is here! Polaris is here! Polaris is here! Can you tell I’m excited? But I’m also a bit sad to see the AVALON story by Mindee Arnett come to an end. Before we say goodbye to this spacey-odyssey, we have a quick recap and character guide to refresh your memory!
In Avalon we got to meet Jeth Seagrave, captain of a gang of teenage spaceship thieves working for the notorious crime lord Hammer Dafoe. At the start, Jeth is looking for a way out from Hammer’s control. He doesn’t like that his little sister Lizzie has joined the gang. The two of them were orphaned after the Interstellar Transport Authority executed their space explorer parents for treason years before. The opportunity to escape comes when Jeth is sent to the mysterious Belgrave Quadrant to recover a lost ship. Instead he finds Sierra Hightower, an ITA deserter, and a little girl named Cora who turns out to be Jeth’s sister. Everyone in the galaxy is after Cora, including Hammer and rogue ITA agent Marcus Renford. Cora’s genetic code holds the key to solving the problem affecting the tech that enables faster-than-light space travel. When Renford and Hammer kidnap Cora, Jeth and his crew rescue her and make their escape.
As Polaris opens, Jeth and his crew are still on the run from the ITA, and Jeth is on the hunt for his mother who is still alive after all.
Avalon Character Guide
Jeth Seagrave: 17-years-old, Jeth is leader of the Malleus Shades, a group of teenage spaceship thieves. He’s an expert marksman, and there’s nothing he cares about more than his little sister Lizzie and his ship Avalon. He doesn’t love being a criminal, but he’s good at it. Maybe too good. All he wants out of life is to get out from under the control of the notorious crime lord Hammer Dafoe.
Sierra Hightower: Raised by an abusive guardian, Sierra was forced to join the ITA at a young age. But when she meets young Cora, a girl suffering even worse abuse than she did growing up, she decides to steal her away from the ITA. While on the run, her path crosses with Jeth’s. She must decide if she can trust him or if he’ll turn her in for his own gain.
Cora Seagrave: Six-year-old Cora is the little sister Jeth never knew he had. Conceived during their parents’ last trip to the mysterious Belgrave Quadrant, Cora is hiding an extraordinary secret locked away in her genetic code, a secret the most powerful people in the galaxy will do anything to possess.
Lizzie Seagrave: A techie genius, Lizzie idolizes her older brother, but she’s not afraid to stand up to him either—especially when he’s wrong. While Jeth is always out to protect his own, Lizzie’s generous, optimistic nature means she wants to help everybody, no matter the risk, including Sierra and her young, odd companion.
Milton Lewis: A retired ITA doctor, Milton is uncle to Jeth and Lizzie. He hasn’t done his best to take care of them, though. His sister’s death at the hands of the ITA has sent him spiraling into a deep depression. But where Jeth goes, he always follows and supports as best he can.
Hammer Dafoe: Governor of Peltraz Spaceport, Hammer is a notorious crime lord. His black market operations provide him with wealth, power, and a constant need to acquire more. He always takes and never lets go—especially not his prized assets, Jeth and his crew.
Daxton Price: Renowned marksman and tracker, Daxton is a bounty hunter working for Hammer. His latest mission is to recover Jeth and the people with him. But Dax harbors his own secret ambitions.
Marcus Renford: A rogue ITA agent, Renford is seeking Cora Seagrave at all cost. His adopted daughter was supposed to deliver her into his hands, but she has rebelled and gone on the run. Using all his considerable resources, he has set out to find Sierra, a quest that soon ensnares Jeth and his crew.
Top 5 Moments in AVALON
All Jeth wants is to be free…
“Jeth wanted to fly away into that vast stretch of unknown, to see how far he could go, what new places he could find…His parents had been space surveyors for the ITA, and he’s inherited their wanderlust. It was like a constant vibration inside him that refused to be still.” Avalon pg. 14-15.
And his ship Avalon is his ticket out of here…
“From here he could see Avalon. She was a Black Devil spacecraft, old enough to be considered a classic, but still tough as they came. With her streamlined body, she looked more weapon than ship, something fierce and predatory. She was the best, most versatile spaceship around…And she’s mine. Almost.” Avalon pg. 42-43.
Faster than light space travel will take him anywhere…
“Jeth engaged the metadrive. A moment later, a brilliant light like a raw, living energy enveloped the Montrose…Weightlessness came over his body. Not like being in zero gravity, but as if he had no body at all, his existence blinking out. He didn’t move, didn’t breathe. His heart no longer beat and his mind no longer thought. A fraction of a second later, they came through the other side, traveling thousands of light-years in an instant.” Avalon pg. 32
But he’s got to get through the obstacles first, like Hammer…
“Hammer froze, a big man reduced to cowering. He raised his hands in surrender. Do it now! a voice screamed in Jeth’s mind. Finish this. Once and for all. It would be so easy, a slight increase in pressure and the bullet would eject from the barrel, tearing a death hole through the man’s brain.” Avalon pg. 372
But the fight is worth the prize of freedom…
“He didn’t know if it was real, if freedom was something you could earn or win after a long, hard fight, or if it was just an illusion. He decided it didn’t matter. Only this mattered. This moment right, here, surrounded by the people he cared about.” Avalon pg. 415
A Look At What’s Coming Up In POLARIS
An older, wiser Jeth, one aware of his own mortality…
“Once Sierra was gone, he turned away from the ship’s black, sleek side and faced the impossible expanse of open space surrounding him, a dark tapestry threaded with pulsating flecks of light. It was a sight that never failed to remind him of how small and unimportant he was. Even the weightlessness of zero-g was a reminder. He was nothing, just an empty, inconsequential thing, here for a fleeting moment before the cells and molecules that had come together to form his body disintegrated back into their smallest, immeasurable units.” Polaris pg. 62
But he still appreciates a good thrill…
“The high that came after a close call was unlike any other. It was a moment of complete fulfillment, complete elation in the here and now, fully electrified. Doubts and worries did not exist in that moment. The persistent empty feelings—the daily want for something more, something greater always just out of reach—disappeared.” Polaris pg. 263
Which is a good thing, as he’s facing new enemies…
“‘If you do not surrender,’ Saar continued, ‘I will hurt you in all the ways that matter most. Hurt you until you beg me for the mercy of your death.’” Polaris pg. 221
Want to read more YA books set in space? Check out this reading list!