Sunday, February 1, 2015

Polaris by Mindee Arnett: Review


Jeth Seagrave and his crew of mercenaries are pulled into one last high-stakes mission in this breathtaking sequel to Mindee Arnett’s fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi thriller Avalon.

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 novelAvalon, 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.


"A wise man once said if you meet a thief, you may suspect him to be no true man."

I remember liking Avalon very much. But I can't seem to find that sort of fondness towards Polaris. Which is weird, because Polaris is a lot like Avalon. A shit ton of stuff still happens in the book. Even more is at stake in the book. The world is getting more complex. However, the characters are lacking. They are not as vivid as in the first book. I find myself actually getting bored reading the book. 

Good things:

Well, the plot is still good. Surely the whole "a lot of things are at stake" thing is no joke. I like how the implant plays a bigger role in the book. As Jeth describes, the implant is like a "living thing". It controls a lot of your actions and thoughts, changing the person that you once were. It's more of a mental game than a physical battle. A lot of stuff has changed in the book. The relationship between people, and new threats are emerging. The addition of a bigger antagonist is exciting. However, he should be in the picture and should play a bigger role, instead of appearing briefly towards the end of the book.

Things that I don't really like:

The character strength are generally dwindling. Especially Jeth. He was quite a cunning and quick-witted person in Avalon. But that seems to degrade in the sequel. He's desperate and unable to make considerate decisions. In fact, everyone is getting desperate in Polaris, some more than others. That leads to events I'm not particularly happy with. The only part that I actually like is the growing importance of Aileen in Polaris. She's probably the only character I'm interested in the whole book. 

The ending is not particularly impressive either. It's not bad, of course. I just feel kind of sad that a duology has to end that way, when the first book is really great. Although it's fairly constructed, it's very predictable and you pretty much expects that's how things will go when the objective is revealed. It's a good thing that it's a duology. I'm sure I will flip out if that's the end of a trilogy.

Polaris is not bad. But it's not good for a last-installment.

Rating: 6/10

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