cover image The Arrivals

The Arrivals

Melissa Marr. Morrow, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-182696-2

One by one, several “criminals and cutthroats” are pulled from our world into the Wasteland, a mysterious universe that resembles the American Wild West. They have nothing in common except a murderous past, but they band together to battle an avaricious bad guy who exploits the local populace and tries to recruit new arrivals into his band of thugs. YA author Marr (the Wicked Lovely novels) has come up with an intriguing premise, but she never fleshes it out, making this more a promising outline than a novel. Assorted monsters and villains are scattered around, including sort-of vampires called “bloedzuigers,” kind-of dragons called “lindwurms,” and a shadowy group of “trigger-happy monks” whose role in the narrative is never clarified. Cowboy Jack and his sister, Kitty, are interesting leads, but the other characters never spring to life. Readers hoping for a Western spin on Riverworld will be sorely disappointed. (July)