Firefly: Carnival by Una McCormack, Narrated by James Anderson Foster

Una McCormack brings a new voice to the Firefly series of novels. She seamlessly slips into the supplemental literature with Carnival just as effectively as those previously written by James Lovegrove and Tim Lebbon.
McCormack’s foray into the Firefly universe introduces us to a future analog of Las Vegas in Neapolis, an oasis of luxury and fortune in the middle of the desolate, desert world of Bethel. Hired for a legitimate security job, Mal and the crew are expected to escort a shipment of valuable minerals to the dock where they’re to be loaded up and shipped off-world. As one should expect, things don’t go according to plan, and the shipment is hijacked.
We’re treated to numerous, more intimate stories within the larger tale of Carnival, as small groups of Serenity’s crew experience adventures, both exciting and illuminating. Readers are likely thrilled to learn more about Simon’s life before he rescued River from The Alliance, exploring some of his time studying to be a surgeon. We also witness more of Shepherd Book’s secret talents from the past he prefers to keep shrouded in mystery.
There’s high stakes gambling, human trafficking, political and social upheaval, and all the wit and charm you’d expect from the Firefly characters getting mixed up in these things.
James Anderson Foster again brings the narrative to life with his excellent grasp of the nuance and cadence of the characters. I’d be hard-pressed to listen to a Firefly audiobook that wasn’t narrated by Foster unless it had the full-cast providing their character narrations, but he’s the next best thing.


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