Firefly: Big Damn Hero - time to head back to the Verse
I have never had a desire to delve into the plethora of books related to existing sci-fi franchises, like Star Trek or Star Wars, but Firefly's cancellation remains such a sore spot for me that I couldn't resist a chance to experience more of the characters I fell in love with and didn't get enough of. Big Damn Hero is the first novel set in the world of the short-lived TV series created by Joss Whedon and it reads like it could easily have been an episode of the series. Set in a time before the movie Serenity, as evidenced by all of the characters being present, Big Damn Hero offers up a chance for you to return to the Verse and spend more time with Mal and the crew as they try to make a living under the watchful eye of the Alliance.
As usual times are hard for the crew of Serenity so when they are picking up some dangerous cargo on the planet Persephone Mal decides to follow up on a lead for a potential second job that could provide some much needed cash. Unfortunately for him it was a setup and the next thing he knows he has been kidnapped by the very Browncoats he fought for in the war. They believe he was a traitor to their cause and they blame him for the loss of the Battle of Serenity Valley. The rest of the crew isn't sure what happened to Mal but they do know that they need to get their dangerous cargo to its destination if they want to get paid. This result in the crew splitting up and it allows us to get a glimpse into Shepherd Book's mysterious background, something the TV series always hinted at but never revealed.
Although this is the first book of a series it reads just like a standalone episode of the TV show so if you are a fan of the show there is little risk in giving it a try. For me it was a joy to spend more time with the characters that I fell in love with and I am totally on board for picking up more books in the series. The audiobook version is narrated by James Anderson Foster and although he doesn't try to sound exactly like the actors and actresses from the show he does a good enough job with the voices for you to picture them all in your head just the same.