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Nothing in the 'verse can stop the Serenity crew

Cover of Big Damn Hero
A review of Big Damn Hero by James Lovegrove

From the Firefly ‘verse -- the show that was cancelled after only one season, but has a cult following that just won’t quit --comes Big Damn Hero.

The novel is set in the middle of the TV show, and feels just the same. There’s action, laughter, drama -- the whole shiny universe in a book. Captain Mal Reynolds is captain of the Serenity spaceship, and was a captain in the defeated Browncoats army. His crew? First mate Zoë fought alongside Mal in the wars. Skillfully piloting the ship is Wash, Zoë’s husband. Jayne, Serenity’s merc-for-hire, brings his personal arsenal and a willingness to fight if the money’s right. Simon Tam is the crew’s doctor. He is also a fugitive from the Alliance for breaking out his sister, River, from “school” where the Alliance lobotomized her to make her into an unstable weapon. Their mechanic, Kaylee Frye, keeps the ship running and the crew smiling with her happy outlook. Inara Serra, a registered Companion, adds some legitimacy to the crew, allowing them to go places they are sometimes unwelcome. And then there’s Shepherd Book, a priest who took to Serenity after some time in the monastery and who also has some past connections to the Alliance.

In Big Damn Hero the crew of Serenity find themselves planetside on Alliance Day, a celebration of the day the Alliance government conquered the Browncoats. Captain Mal and his crew of misfits and outlaws are again doing business with Badger, their shady contact on Persephone, who has offered them a job hauling some incredibly hazardous cargo. At the same time, Mal has a lead on a mysterious sidejob. Suddenly the Captain gets snatched from under Jayne and Zoe’s noses while they are out to meet their new contact. Before the crew can attempt a rescue, they realize their dangerous cargo is making River jumpy. They must leave their captain behind because when River, the mad, child-like genius, gets jumpy, everyone pays attention. Will their unstable cargo go off unexpectedly. Will they figure out who took their Captain? Why are there some discontented Browncoats back on Persephone and what dark secrets do they know about Captain Reynolds?

Big Damn Hero is the first of three novels (hooray!) that will be published by Titan Books, with Joss Whedon, creator of the show, serving as a Consulting Editor.

May 13, 2019