Big Damn Hero by James Lovegrove and Nancy Holder
Category: Science Fiction
First Publication Date: November 20, 2018
Synopsis: 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.
My husband and I adore Firefly, so when we saw this series was coming out a couple years ago, we were very intrigued. I normally don’t like tie-in book series (despite my very positive experience with some Star Wars novels) and thought maybe this was going to be seriously underwhelming, which is probably why it took me two years to read it. I was wrong. This was the most fun book I’ve read in a while!
I haven’t watched Firefly in three years now, but the details of who was who and some of the background were nicely and patiently given in the book, so it was not a problem to follow at all. This is more slow-paced than I anticipated, but I think it gave enough time to develop each character a little further (it’s definitely more character-driven than plot-driven) and let us enjoy their banter and dynamic while also maintaining tension throughout the story and keeping me nervous for the physical integrity of… everyone. What impressed me most about this book is: it felt exactly like watching an episode. The dialogue was on-point, the descriptions and adventure felt so much like a Firefly episode I had to go to read the episode summaries to make sure they hadn’t just novelized a script.
Big Damn Hero is predictable, and sometimes a bit too slow – I’ve seen reviews where readers were put off by this, but it did not matter much to me. I loved getting back in to the world and having such fun with the characters again. This is a delicious space-Western that had me giggling to myself, holding my breath and generally having a great time, and I look forward to reading the other books!