The Magnificent Nine

Book cover with a woman in silhouette holding a shotgun upright, a man in the foreground with a yellow hat with earflaps

The Magnificent Nine by James Lovegrove

Genre: sci-fi

I read it as a(n): hardback

Length: 331 pp

Her Grace’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Temperance McCloud, an old flame of Jayne Cobb, lives a quiet life with her daughter on Thetis, a far off settler’s planet. Until Elias Vandal and his gang of Scourers come to her town of Coogan’s Bluff, that is. Vandal sets himself up as the ruler of Thetis and he’s going to enforce that position by taking control of all the water on the desert-like planet. Temperance convinces Jayne and the crew of Serenity to come to their aid. But not everything is what it seems, including Temperance’s daughter…Jane.

This novel was so fun, just life an episode of Firefly in print. There really wasn’t anything too special about the plot; if you paid attention, there really weren’t any surprises and you know of course that the crew are all going to survive. But it doesn’t matter because it is just fun to read and it’s a bit of nostalgia to reunite with a beloved cast from a greatly missed show. 

I know there are other books in the series and I’m going to read them all. But I hope there will be more as well. There are books for Mal, Jayne, Inara, Zoe, and River. But what about Wash, Kaylee, Simon, and Book? A couple of the others seem to be ensemble books featuring the whole crew equally but it would be awesome if the rest of the crew could each get their own story to finish out the novels. Probably it won’t happen, but as the saying goes, if wishes were horses, we’d all be eating steak.

Favorite lines:

  • “Just tell me this: when did a shipload of criminals, desperadoes, and fugitives become such a bunch of do-gooders?”

Inara had the answer. “When their captain showed them how” (42).

  • They’ll pick up a half-dozen, maybe a dozen recruits each time. Folks who fancy being on the winning team. Folks who were perhaps never that popular in their hometown. The dregs, the losers. They see something they like in the Scourers and they latch onto it (66). [Just like a certain political group I can think of.]
  • “That was a good dodge, that one,” Jayne said. “We printed up Miles Davis labels and stuck ’em on Kenny G vinyl” (86). 
  • Seriously, keep this up and I’ll rip your arm out of its socket and beat you to death with the wet end (93).
  • I fought at Serenity Valley. It ain’t about optimism. It’s about doin’ what’s right even when everything’s stacked against you (143).

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