Jun 24, 2013

ARC Review--The Arrivals by Melissa Marr

The Arrivals
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 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 reasons 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 fifties housewife; and Hector, a former carnival artist, the careful balance they've been keeping for years is about to be upset. All of them and Chloe are about to get the answer they've been looking for years: Why have they been brought to the Wasteland in the first place? And will it be possible for them to get back home?

I received this ARC while at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. I was in no way compensated for this review.

I was most happy to receive and ARC of Melissa Marr's next adult release, The Arrivals, while at RT. Although the story seemed odd, I was willing to try it out. And it was definitely a bit odd. Even after finishing I am still left wondering the why of everything. I feel stupid for having missed why these people were brought to the Wasteland. It's not that the storytelling wasn't good, because it was, I guess I was just overwhelmed with the new world setting and trying to figure out what's what that I somehow just missed a few details.

I was surprised when the story opened up to Kitty and Jack in the middle of some business, and not with Chloe. I felt like the description I read made it seem like the story would follow Chloe adjusting to this new world. Well, Chloe didn't show up until a few chapters later. It's true that in the Wasteland that if you die, you won't stay dead. You'd rise in six days, but not always. It's a gamble either way. 50/50 shot that if you get shot--or die some other way--you'll still live to tell the tale. And when one of the group Jack and Kitty have formed dies and stays dead, they know someone from the normal world will be coming shortly.

It's definitely a strange world building here, but strange in a good way. They are bloedzuigers, which is basically a vampire, but they are not like the vampires we're used to. Not moody or sparkly or carnivorous, just different somehow. I struggle with trying to explain, it's really just one of those things you have to read for yourself to truly grasp it!

The bad of misfits that are described in the book description above, all came from different times, yet they have one thing in common; they have killed someone. In order to arrive in this Wasteland, you have to had killed someone. How you get chosen is still a little unclear to me, I guess it's just Fate. So when Chloe does arrive and hears this tidbit, she realizes she's with a band of murderers...like herself. But there are always extenuating circumstances when it comes to murder, like with her case, so she figures maybe there's reasons why these other people killed too. Unfortunately, we don't really ever find out. Not about everyone. We just know that they have killed before arriving.

This story definitely focuses more on the actual Arrivals, those who have come to the Wasteland from another world and time, so Chloe gets some facetime, but it's not just her story.

The characters were definitely engaging and intriguing, but I felt like it was more focused on Jack, Kitty and Edgar, along with Chloe while the others were just sort of there and played a few roles into the story. Kitty and Edgar have a history, after being trapped in the Wasteland for so many years, romance is bound to happen. But after a particular occurrence, Kitty ends their relationship. There's definitely lots of tension between the two, as Edgar still loves Kitty and lets her know that daily.

Kitty was an oddity herself, but I still loved her! For some reason she has some sort of abilities that she got from her, but it's never quite clear on what they are. They just make her the prime target for Ajani, our villain in the story. He wants Kitty because of what she can do and will do whatever possible to get her in his clutches.

There's also a bit of romance between Jack and Chloe, although it's hard to say if it's real. First things get heavy after they have this special kind of drink and are moving with adrenaline. Then later when things start to get a little more hot and heavy, they are interrupted and Jack accidentally calls her by his old lover's name--the woman who died that essentially brought Chloe to him. So yeah...things are definitely complicated between them.

The ending was likely just as complicated in some respect. I get the whole showdown with the bad guy and why he finally wanted Kitty. But I can't grasp a tiny why he wanted to do what he needed Kitty for. It's hard to explain without spoilers, so I guess I'll leave it there and we can all be confused together!

The ending was good though, definitely wasn't expecting that particular turn of events. And there was just one little tidbit that is left uncalled for that makes me wonder, well? What happened there? I don't think this is a series, I believe it is another standalone like Graveminder was, but again, I don't know for sure.

The Arrivals is definitely an intriguing story with a cast of colorful characters that are sure to keep you entertained! The world building was fantastic, it's definitely a strange world they live in. It was just a few of the plot details that have me reeling, but all in all, it was definitely a good read!

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars

The Arrivals releases July 2, 2013


  1. I've been curious about this book for a while now. Melissa Marr's writing is definitely different from most other writers. It sounds like it might be a confusing book for me!

  2. Sounds like an odd premise with these people going here after having murdered someone. I can understand the confusion with the world-building. I've been through that with some books before. BTW - so jealous of all the great ARCs you picked up at RT :D Wonderful review! Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

  3. Great review, Jessica - I love Melissa Marr, and I want to read this as well. A wasteland where characters may or may not be stuck seems like something I might enjoy!

    Happy reading.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  4. Oh my xD I think I'll be adding this one to my tbr (:
    Great review!

  5. This one sounds different; but it in a good way! Great review!

    *goes to add on goodreads*

  6. This seems so interesting and unique, I think I'm definitely going to add it to my TBR list. And I've heard wonderful things about Marr's writing, so all the more reason to pick this up. Lovely review, Jessica! Thanks for sharing. :D <3

  7. I remember thinking the synopsis sounded really strange when I first heard of this book and didn't add it to my TBR pile but you now have me curious -it definitely sounds unique and I like mystery surrounding the wasteland and the characters.

    A great review Jessica! :)

  8. Wonderful review, Jessica. I love Marr but this one had me curious. It does sound complex and very different. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)


Comments are an award all on their own! So my blog is an award free one! Thanks for any consideration though!