by Melissa Marr
Cover Artist: Colin Anderson
Review by Steve Sawicki
William Morrow Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061826962
Date: 02 July 2013 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Chloe Mattison wakes up in a place called the Wasteland. In many ways it resembles the wild west of late 1800's America. Except for it obviously being on an alien planet--with aliens--and people from different time periods. There are two sides on the planet--the group that Melissa finds herself with and the other side, run by Ajani, a British subject with a penchant for Egyptology.
New arrivals at the place are collected by one group or the other, but no one really knows why they are there or what they are supposed to do. As time quickly passes, Chloe finds herself at the center of a conflict between the two groups with a role to play that could settle everything once and for all.
This is Marr's second book for adults, having cut her teeth on YA fiction. There are moments when some of that YA structure creeps in but it's not that obvious and does nothing to detract from a fine story. The story itself is well crafted and the characters are certainly interesting.
It's no mean feat to have characters from different time periods interact with each other in ways that seem natural but that also seem true to the characters origins. And the story itself is originally done. Certainly this is not the first tale of different people who find themselves together in a strange place and who must find a way to bind together to survive. But Marr pulls it off with style and creates an interesting and readable book.
This is the first time I have read anything of Marr's and I found it quite enjoyable and will definitely look for her work in the future. Overall I thought she did an excellent job of pulling everything together and weaving the different character's individual stories into the larger context. Definitely recommended if you're looking for a tale that's a little off beat and with a western flair.