Firefly: The Magnificent Nine by James Lovegrove
An old flame of Jayne Cobb’s, Temperance McCloud, sends a message to Serenity, begging him for help. She lives on the arid, far-flung world of Tethys, and bandits are trying to overrun her town to gain control of their water supply: the only thing standing between its people and dustbowl ruin. Jayne tries to persuade the Serenity crew to join the fight, but it is only when he offers Vera, his favorite gun, as collateral that Mal realizes he’s serious.
When the Serenity crew land at a hardscrabble desert outpost called Coogan’s Bluff, they discover two things: an outlaw gang with an almost fanatical devotion to their leader who will stop at nothing to get what they want, and that Temperance is singlehandedly raising a teenage daughter, born less than a year after Temperance and Jayne broke up. A daughter by the name of Jane McCloud.
The Magnificent Nine is set after the tv series, but before the movie Serenity. So, the full crew is all here. And this certainly feels like an episode of Firefly and definitely a classic Western. The crew of the Serenity race to help a small town fight off a gang. Jayne has a special history with one of the residents who requests his help, and her daughter happens to be named after him.
This latest Firefly novel is a lot of fun. Besides the crew that we already know and love, there are several interesting new characters. The main villain has an interesting backstory with a bit of mystery. This story has plenty of dangerous villains, suspense, and humor. And a bit of poignant heartwarming drama rounds it out. The flashbacks help move along the current story. And the climactic finale doesn’t disappoint. I love that the series is continuing in novels. And this latest installment is a great addition.