Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Arrivals review

The ArrivalsThe Arrivals by Melissa Marr,

The second adult novel from NEW YORK TIMES bestseller Melissa Marr.

Book Synopsis

Chloe knew she shouldn't have gone into the bar last night. Now, in addition to a pounding headache and weak limbs, she's got the guilt of five years of sobriety down the drain.

When she wakes, she's not in the world she knows. She's in the Wasteland, a world populated by monsters and  unfamiliar landscapes, in the company of people just like her, pulled to the Wasteland out of time and place, for reason no one knows or understands. Once there, though, their mission is clear: keep the peace, protect each other, and try not to die, because sometimes, after six days of death, you might not wake up.

But things are changing in the Wasteland. And for Jack and Kitty, brother and sister from a Wild West frontier town; Edgar, a prohibition rumrunner and Kitty's former lover; Francis, a former hippie and general peacemaker; Melody, a mentally unbalanced 50s housewife; and Hector, a former carnival artist, the careful balance they've been keeping for years; why have they been brought to the Wasteland in the first place? And will it be possible for them to get home?

Shona's review 4 of 5 stars

A quick read of the blurb had me jumping at the chance to get a copy of this. The first few chapters where interesting enough but for some reason I didn't feel that pull that makes me want to carry on reading. I'm not sure but I think it's because I was expecting Chloe, after all I had already identified with her a little from the blurb and for her not to be there threw me off a bit. It didn't stop me from reading on though, like I said the whole idea of the book had me intrigued and I
wanted needed to know the why's of it all.

You soon realise that the first few chapters are giving you just enough back story and information to give you glimpses of the lives The Arrivals lead and that is what draws you in. The ever-changing dynamics of the group, the uncertainties; both in life and deaths, the deceptions. It's all very exciting. Although not set in the Wild West the Wastelands has that feel to it, we have a whole bunch of  people who have been taken from their own time (between the 1800's and 2013) in our world and been transported to the Wasteland. This is a great mix of science fiction and western. Cowboys have never been so hot ;-)

The back of the book says "A thoroughly original and wildly imagined tale.." and I honestly can't think of anything more appropriate to say about this book. It is well written and definitely has  the 'hooks' to catch the reader. The only reason I haven't given this 5 stars is because the first few chapters didn't immediately grab me. But what it lacked in pulling power in the first few chapters it soon makes up for in the rest of the book.
Melissa Marr was voted in high school the "most likely to end up in jail". Instead, she went to graduate school, worked in a bar, became a teacher and did a lot of writing. Her first adult novel, Graveminder, is  now in development for a television series with producer/director Ken Olin (The West Wing, Brothers & Sisters, Alias, Thirty-something). She is the author of the Wicked Lovely series.