Short & Sweet Review | Proxy by Mindee Arnett


If you need something stolen from any star system in the Confederation, you need look no further than the Shades. Jeth Seagrave and his band of teenage mercenaries have been making a name for themselves for being able to steal anything—and for disappearing before anyone is the wiser. Their latest job, a jewel heist on Grakkus, should be no different. But when Jeth’s boss replaces a key member of his crew just before takeoff, and Jeth discovers a betrayal within his own ranks, he begins to suspect that not everyone is going to be coming back from his job alive.

Proxy is an action-packed introduction to a world like nothing readers have seen before, and it sets a spark to the powder keg that will explode in Mindee Arnett’s sci-fi thriller Avalon.  (Goodreads summary)


A spacefaring crew of teenage thieves?  An exciting universe populated by monarchies, competing crime lords, a (possibly insidious) pervasive bureaucratic organization?  A conflicted thief who wants nothing more than the safety of his sister and to regain ownership of his family’s spaceship?  A beautiful, yet ruthless, rival?

Ok.  Yes.  I want more of this, please.

Orphaned with his means of freedom leveraged over him, Jeth Seagrave finds himself leader of the Malleus Shades, a gang of thieves who do the bidding of the crime lord Hammer, while trying to earn enough to buy back his ship and get his younger sister away from the dangers of the criminal underworld.  Their current job? Steal a sacred ruby from the Grakkan emperor’s bed chamber.

Easy peasy, right? Well, what fun would it be if everything went according to plan?  And things definitely, definitely do not go according to plan. <cue danger, excitement and more danger>

This 90-page prequel novella does a great job at setting the stage for Avalon — revealing fascinating glimpses of the characters, the world(s), the dynamics, the obstacles, the risks, and the consequences.  It’s fantastic, and it made me want more of Jeth’s and the Malleus Shades’ stories.  So, in regard to world and character building, Proxy shines.  The heist, however, I found a tad oversimplified.  (Put plainly, if the emperor’s security is that easy to breach, then he deserves to have his precious ruby stolen.)  But even so, the plot has some fun twists and turns,  sometimes becoming a bit darker than I anticipated (with some possibly very ominous foreshadowing), which of course, only increases my curiosity.  All in all, I found it to be very enjoyable. 

And because it’s unavoidable to draw a comparison, for those of you wondering… yes.  Yes, this story does have a bit of a Firefly-esque feel to it — the over-arcing theme of family, semi-honorable thieves, an oppressive governing authority, a dangerous and sinister underworld, and an anti-hero hero who operates within the realm of the morally gray.  That, and it has the potential to be both great sci-fi and an interesting character ensemble piece.

Overall, with the stage now set and the players in motion, I’m excited to see where Arnett will take Jeth and the Malleus Shades.  Considering me eagerly awaiting Avalon.

nutshell2 - Necessary? I cannot say for certain, as I have not yet read Avalon.
- POV?  Jeth Seagrave
-Where does it fit?  It’s a prequel to the series.
-Prior Knowledge needed?  No.




Author: Mindee Arnett
Title: Proxy
Series: Avalon (Book #0.5)
Published: Dec. 3, 2013 by Balzer + Bray
Format: 90 pages; ebook
Source: Purchased
My rating: 4stars copya_130







  1. This sounds awesome. I have an ARC of “Avalon” that I plan to read next week. Very much looking forward to it now. Merry Christmas!

    • Ack! Sorry I missed your comment in all of the Christmas craziness! I need to hop on over to your blog to see what you thought of Avalon! :)

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