In February of this year, the first part of the new book series on Joss Whedon's Firefly was published by Panini Verlag. In the series of novels Firefly - Big Damn Hero the author James Lovegrove, who implemented the story concept by Nancy Holder, takes up the stories about the crew of the Serenity, based on the TV series by Joss Whedon. The time of the novel was set in such a way that characters longingly missed by fans, who have already lost their lives on film, are lively and charismatically following in their well-known footsteps again.

The series Firefly - The Dawn of Serenity

Firefly - Der Aufbruch der Serenity is a fourteen-part American science fiction and western series by Joss Whedon, which has been available as a DVD set in German-speaking retailers since 2005 and was broadcast on TV in 2009. Firefly was canceled after eleven episodes had aired, so it didn't even see a full season. However, as sales of the DVD set flourished in stores, the movie Serenity - Escape into New Worlds was broadcast worldwide in 2005.

The series is set far in the future. The resources of our world have been used up, there is totalitarianism, violence and desperation. As a way out of their dramatic situation, people flee by means of spaceships into a new planetary system in which there are already highly developed planets on the one hand, but on the other hand these must first be made habitable through terraforming. Control over the system is carried out by the alliance, which controls with drastic means. These circumstances lead to similar living conditions as in the days of the American pioneering days and the only protection from the Alliance is to settle on the outskirts of the system.

Firefly - Great damn hero. The serenity. Image: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann
Firefly - Great damn hero. The serenity. Image: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann

The episodes are always about the adventures of the crew of the space freighter Serenity. Most of them are in the uncontrolled peripheral areas that protect themselves from the alliance, and who stay afloat there through dodgy jobs. The series does not follow a clear line, but rather describes the life and experience of the Serenity crew in individual episodes. In addition, the further development of the Firefly system also plays a key role.

Thematically across episodes are the relationships of the crew members and their guests to each other, the concern for the state of mind of the sister of a crew member and the escape of a sibling pair of the crew from the troops of the Alliance.

The start of the novel series - Firefly Volume 1

Firefly - Big Damn Hero reads like watching an episode of the TV series. The crew of the Serenity moves, as usual, with their shady assignments, on the edge of the universe and legality. In doing so, Allianz is pursuing her. But with all the nostalgia, history quickly picks up speed, because in one of the jobs where Captain Malcolm Reynolds smells quick and urgently needed money, everything goes wrong that the reader can only imagine.

The tams are still on board, and Jayne hasn't tried to betray them since we got medication and medical supplies on Osiris. At least something. Spepherd is still reading his storybook. Zoe is still my first officer, and I certainly wouldn't want anyone else. Kaylee makes the ship work and Wash makes it fly.

Captain Malcolm Reynolds - Firefly - Great damn hero

Malcolm finds himself in the trap of kidnappers faster than he can believe, handcuffed and tied with a sack over his head. The Serenity crew members Zoë and Jayne immediately follow the trail of the kidnapped Captain Reynolds, but the search into the blue turns out to be difficult. One thing seems clear, the kidnapping seems to be related to Malcolm's past. Because this was, like Zoë, a Browncat and fought for the freedom of the planets and their inhabitants, who wanted to escape the control of the Alliance.

Firefly - Chinese curses here! Image: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann
Firefly - Chinese curses here! Image: Anne Marie-Christine Volkmann

As usual from the TV series, the reader can expect a look at the interpersonal relationships between the crew members of the space freighter as the story progresses; the rough surroundings of the marginal planets and the dodgy clients also appear familiar. Which will appeal to fans of the cult series in particular. Because when you read, these are transported back to the atmosphere of the cult series without wandering around. The novel is immersed in the middle of the action. Which in turn makes the reading flow for readers with no prior knowledge of the TV series Firefly - Der Aufbruch der Serenity seem a bit bumpy, but not remarkably uncomfortable.

"Tā mā de," he uttered.

Firefly - Great damn hero

Since Lovegrove has skilfully implemented the scenery of the Firefly universe, it is clearly recognizable and easy to imagine as such. The written Chinese swear words should be mentioned as irritating for newbies and an unexpected feast for the eyes for fans. In the Firefly universe, Chinese is the second world language, so this was implemented in a strikingly positive way.

Pictures of Firefly - Great, damn hero


Softcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Panini
Language: German
ISBN: 978-3833237713
Author: James Lovegrove
Year of publication: 2019
Cost: 15,00 Euro


A book that revives the cult around the Firefly and will especially please fans of the series. The feeling and the atmosphere around the crew of the Serenity were skilfully captured and written down by James Lovegrove. The novel reads fluently and without any noticeably disturbing translation errors. The novel cannot be recommended unreservedly to readers without prior knowledge, as it starts in the middle of the story of the Firefly universe and could raise unanswered questions.

So far, a volume in this book series has been published by Panini Verlag: Firefly 1: Big, damned hero.