Pros: Good space combat scenes
Cons: Starts slow
Rating: 3 out of 5
Glynn Stewart’s Space Carrier Avalon (Castle Federation) (Volume 1) follows Kyle Roberts, a war hero and pilot who’s been put in charge of the Avalon, a famous old ship on its way to being decommissioned. Obviously, the ship’s last flight won’t be nearly as uneventful as he expects. First he has to clean up the ship–it’s been used as a place to get rid of problem people (everything from rapists to drug runners). There’s also a piracy problem brewing on their route.
I really prefer a book that has a strong story arc right out of the gate. Space Carrier Avalon just didn’t grab me until well into the book. Also, while it’s nice to see women in strong roles, it would also be nice if their curves and sexual habits weren’t constantly on display (or at least, also tell me how handsome and virile the guys are so it’s even). For that matter, the characters as a whole could use more depth; they all felt a little thin.
All that said, the fight scenes were great. Stewart seems to have a handle on how to display fighter and ship combat, which aren’t easy things to get right! He’s also not afraid to have death and destruction rain down on his characters, so there’s something to lose. My guess is that the next book in the series would probably be better, since by nature it would start out with a story arc in place.