Book Review: The Arrival (BirthRight Trilogy #1)

the arrival version 4 (3)Title: The Arrival (BirthRight Trilogy #1)
Author: Nicole McDonald
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Goodreads, Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Cat, Kassie, Sian and Loi are anything but damsels in distress.
Fed up with a lack of decent male specimens they cast a love spell in the hopes of finding their soul-mates. And inadvertently land themselves on another planet. Oops.

The Arrival, follows the girls’ adventures as they stumble through a foreign and often hostile world where humans are NOT at the top of the food chain.

Friendships are forged and love teeters on the horizon while the threat of civil war looms thanks to the girls’ very unexpected ‘gifts’.
Will the girls master these gifts in time to survive a war in which, not only are they the ultimate weapons, but also the ultimate prize?

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Cat, Kassie, Sian and Loi are fed up with not having any men in their lives, so they decide to cast a love spell. Instead of uniting them with their soul mate, the spell transports them to a different planet where nothing is at seems. Oh, and their cat and dog are tagging along as well for good measure. A bit in “Alice in Wonderland” fashion the four girls have to find their way through the mystical island to get back to their home.  The only one capable of bringing them back is the powerful sorceress Elena. But the girls’ unexpected magical powers in this foreign world causes them to be pawns of a civil war, and their chances of survival slim with every passing second. And amidst all this madness, they may even find true love as well.

The book is told from the point of view of all four girls, and that’s basically what annoyed me the most. It’s not obvious right away who’s doing the talking. I wouldn’t mind switching POVs every chapter, telling the story like that, but here the POV switches just about every other page. I can’t stay in one girls’ mind long enough to make up my mind about her or the situation at hand. I would’ve preferred it if the POV-switches were less frequent. The upside of the switches was that I got to know all four girls quite well. While they’re similar in a lot of aspects, like best friends tend to be, they’re also quite different. Once I got used to the switching POV (around halfway through the book), the action and tension had picked up, and I began to be able to differentiate all four girls, this story was a lot easier to read.

Plot-wise you’d think it wouldn’t be very original. The premise reminded me of Alice and Wonderland, the Neverending Story, Narnia. And it starts out very similar, but goes in a lot of different directions from there. Nicole McDonald has two extraordinary writing gifts: she has an almost unlimited imagination, which she displays in this book, and she has the ability to paint a lot of detail in a few short sentences. I enjoyed the girls’ magical journey, their coming-to-terms with the new powers they had, and how they’re not willing to give up no matter what life throws at them.

Halfway through, the unstoppable amount of action starts making up for the somewhat-clumsy start with the different POVs, and I got so sucked into the story that I forgot to be concerned with the POVs. The story really picked up, throwing me right into some kick-ass awesome scenes, and I loved it. The girls aren’t afraid to stand their ground when something goes wrong, which was great as well. I hope I find the time to read the second book in this trilogy soon, because this story left me yearning for more!

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