Review: The Arrivals by Melissa Marr


The Arrivals by Melissa Marr // VBC ReviewThe Arrivals
Melissa Marr

Published: July 2, 2013 (William Morrow/HarperCollins)
Purchase: Book Depository or The Arrivals
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Jannelle

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

In The Wastelands of some world away from Earth, you can find a group of individuals self-titled “The Arrivals.” The brother and sister leaders of The Arrivals are Jackson and Katherine Reed. Having once lived in California in the Wild West, Jack and Kitty (as they prefer to be called) were picked up by a wormhole and dropped in the wastelands. As they were the first to arrive on this strange world, they had the longest time to acclimate themselves to the oddities living in the world around them. So, as people kept dropping in from the planet we know as Earth (just different time periods), the brother and sister duo would help each individual collect their bearings as they had done.

Upon their entrance to this new world, The Arrivals can be killed, but can also resurrect. Though sometimes they do not come back from the dead, there is always a new one coming after one passes indefinitely. The newest human to arrive in the wastelands is Chloe. Coming from 2013, Chloe arrives in the middle of a feud between The Arrivals and their enemy, Ajani, who is notorious for his greed and love of power. The accordance between both groups is that each has their chance to converse with the new arrival and then that person gets to decide which side they are on—The Arrivals’ or Ajani’s.

In the midst of trying to discover where they are and why they’re there, The Arrivals help to create some kind of order in the wastelands as well as in the town, Gallows.

The Arrivals had me hooked from the first paragraph. Melissa Marr delivers you in the middle of the action right away and keeps up the pace throughout the novel. I love that she doesn’t waste any time by describing a long journey to and from the camp or the Gallows; every scene is well thought out and purposefully placed. And don’t get me wrong—nothing about The Arrivals feels rushed. Marr removes the unnecessary and leaves the essential to help drive her story forward, keeping me completely immersed into the novel the whole way through.

The multiple perspective narratives I associate with Marr’s novels also help deliver a well-rounded understanding of this strange world that not even the characters fully comprehend. By creating various points of view, Marr has enabled the reader to actually see a story developing. If The Arrivals would have been created with the perspective of a single protagonist, I do not believe I would have been able to appreciate the world Marr has created, seen all of the different story lines developing and how each individual character –through their personal story line/plot point- would eventually influence the final outcome of the novel.

A mix between a western and a science fiction novel, The Arrivals has something for everyone—monsters, romance and wormholes (to name a few). My only con? It was a short read. For some people, this is not a problem but I got so caught up in this world Marr has created that I just didn’t want it to end. The Arrivals was a great standalone novel, but I still have so many questions and am just so curious about wormholes, personal relationships and how their life’s longevity will work itself out that I would unquestionably pick up another novel set in this world. Definitely recommend this to any fantasy/western/science fiction lovers out there.

Sexual Content: scenes of a sensual nature, references to sex

2 Responses to “Review: The Arrivals by Melissa Marr”

  1. Amy says:

    This sounds really good. Immediately adding it to my TBR list!

  2. Dang I forgot about this book. I have an ARC from RT13 somewhere in my house. I need to dig it out and read it.

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