Big Damn Hero book review: Firefly returns!

Firefly big damn hero book review

What is this about?: Mal gets kidnapped, the crew gets angry because no one kidnaps their captain, and also there are issues with their cargo.

What else is this about?: Establishing a background for Mal in this book, I think. But also, for me, getting to know characters I don’t know enough about. I’ll explain — keep reading.


The first original novel tying into the critically acclaimed and much-missed Firefly series from creator Joss Whedon.

The Battle of Serenity Valley was the turning point that led the Independents to their defeat at the hands of the Alliance. Yet the Browncoats had held the valley for weeks against all odds, before being ordered to lay down their arms. Command stated they refused to send in airpower because the ground war was “too hot.” But the soldiers who were there insist that was not true…

While picking up a new cargo on Persephone, Captain Malcolm Reynolds is kidnapped by a bunch of embittered veteran Browncoats who suspect him of sabotaging the Independents during the war. As the rest of the crew struggle to locate him, Mal is placed on trial for his life, fighting compelling evidence that someone did indeed betray them to the Alliance all those years ago. As old comrades and old rivals crawl out of the woodwork, Mal must prove his innocence, but his captors are desperate and destitute, and will settle for nothing less than the culprit’s blood.

Firefly comes to a bookshelf near you with Big Damn Hero.

So a little bit of background about me and Firefly: Am I a Browncoat? No, but I did enjoy the movie and the series — and yes, I did watch Serenity first, and then the series, and now I’ve read this so I am all backward. I don’t know the mythology of it, or the comics, but I do know that I enjoyed this very much!

So what is it about?

The crew of the Serenity have a cargo — the kind that goes boom — and they need to deliver it, when Mal gets sidetracked by another smaller job, and promptly gets himself kidnapped.

There isn’t a whole lot of Mal in this — even though what there is makes his presence felt — but more on that later.

First up the crew: reading about Zoe taking charge, and Jayne… being Jayne, and Shepherd, Inara, Simon, Kaylee and River deal with each other and their absent Captain was such fun. Mal is a big character, the kind that consumes screen time, movie time or book time if he’s around.

With him kidnapped, the others get a chance to be the focus in different scenes as they try to figure out what the hell happened to him. It’s fun, but also very cool for someone who doesn’t know enough about Shepherd — like moi. Or Inara, for instance.

Now, about Mal

Mal’s been kidnapped and… that leads him to his Browncoat past. Readers understand a little bit more about him when he was much younger, and things that he experienced during the war. It’s hard to explain because it gives away too much.

For someone who genuinely enjoyed the Firefly verse, this was a treat to read because it took me back to a world I enjoyed and even made me feel a bit nostalgic.


  • I must be one of the few people that loved Buffy and never much liked Firefly! I don’t know why but it just never appealed to me. I do plan a big Buffy rewatch next year though!

  • Jen Mullen says:

    Adored Firefly and was so sad that they discontinued the series long before I was ready to let it go. What a remarkable cast was involved!

  • Lark says:

    I really enjoyed both the series Firefly and the movie Serenity. So this book is one I’d like to read. 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    I haven’t watched the series, they’re not usually my thing but the husband was irate when they cancelled the series, he was really enjoying it. I’ll have to let him know about this one, might pick up a copy as late Christmas present. Great review Verushka, sounds as though it brought back a lot of memories.

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