I was absentmindedly scrolling through Amazon a few months back, as everyone in the world does every now and then, when I came across something I wasn’t expecting to see. It was a novel set in the ‘Verse (or, for those who don’t know what I mean by that, the Firefly/Serenity universe). Until that point, I had no idea that there were novels set there. I knew that they had done a number of Firefly comics because I’ve read most of them. Well, maybe not most. I can’t really say that because I don’t know exactly how many they’ve actually made, but I’m betting it’s more than half.
So, when I saw that there were novels (3 that are completed as of this writing, with a 4th available for preorder), I was excited. I enjoyed everything that I’d seen or read in the ‘Verse up until that point, and I hoped that these books would continue that trend. The first book in the series is entitled Big Damn Hero.
Here is the synopsis as it appears on Amazon:
“The Battle of Serenity Valley was the turning point that led the Independents to their defeat at the hands of the Alliance. Yet the Browncoats had held the valley for weeks against all odds, before being ordered to lay down their arms. Command stated they refused to send in airpower because the ground war was “too hot.” But the soldiers who were there insist that was not true…
While picking up a new cargo on Persephone, Captain Malcolm Reynolds is kidnapped by a bunch of embittered veteran Browncoats who suspect him of sabotaging the Independents during the war. As the rest of the crew struggle to locate him, Mal is placed on trial for his life, fighting compelling evidence that someone did indeed betray them to the Alliance all those years ago. As old comrades and old rivals crawl out of the woodwork, Mal must prove his innocence, but his captors are desperate and destitute, and will settle for nothing less than the culprit’s blood.“
I don’t want to give away any more of the story than that, so I’ll just stick to my feelings on it. Simply put, I really enjoyed it. Was it perfect? No, but it did a very good job of being a novelized version of a Firefly episode. It was very easy to imagine the actors performing the scenes as you read through the pages.
The only thing that bothered me about the book it that the author (James Lovegrove) was constantly referencing something that happened in the show. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but half the time these references seemed forced. It was like he was constantly telling you that this story takes place in the ‘Verse as if you didn’t already know it.
Other than that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. If you’re a fan of the show/movie, you should definitely give it a try.