Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“There is no room for idleness in this new world.”
A bear, known only as Caver, recounts when his planet was covered in nature and not yet tainted by human touch. Since then, humans have branched out from another world and enveloped his planet. The differences between the two species result in an atmosphere of fear which rips apart the old way of life and enforces the creation of an apparently more civilised one. However, how much will be lost in the process?
This book is my third Henry Bassett read, and I felt like I’d definitely saved the best until last! I felt like this was completely different to the other books I’ve read by this author, but it still possessed the same captivating language and description that drew me into the other books. What’s particularly unusual about this book however, is that it is told from the perspective of a bear rather than a human being, but bears in this story seem to have certain similarities to humans. I have to admit, the first paragraph or two had me feeling dubious, but the more I read, the more this story just seemed to work. I don’t know what it was, but it soon had me addicted once again!
It’s clear that Caver is aware of the nature around him, and the description was really quite beautiful to read. There was a strange kind of mystery surrounding the book which I liked. We don’t really know what is happening most of the time, but you really can’t help but get drawn into the lives of the characters described. The bears eventually begin their travels to a certain place not known by the reader, and the story powerfully builds up your curiosity to make you wonder what it is that they seek. Caver is sometimes as clueless as I was, but I felt this all added to the excitement of where they were going and what was to come.
It soon clicked in my mind that Caver was venturing further than he ever had done away from his cave, enjoying new sights, smells and tastes, and basically experiencing an awful lot for the first time. The more we read, the more things begin to make sense, even the divide between humans and bears becomes clearer. There was a healthy mix of genres as things developed and I loved how the danger and suspense kept me gripped from start to finish. I was very surprised by the turn of events in this book, and it was such a captivating ride!
Humans become characters we learn to be cautious of and I found myself really thinking of so many possibilities with this book. It soon becomes a struggle for these bears to stay safe, and their journey to save themselves makes quite an enthralling read. There’s danger and excitement at every turn and this really gripped me from beginning to end. Characters look out for one another too, and the story spreads a message of hope to some degree. I found the whole thing such a great read, with an ending that makes you mull over what the future holds – if you’re looking for something a little bit different or unusual, try this short story and let me know what you think!
A big thanks once again to Henry Bassett for the copy of this book to read and review! You can purchase your own copy of Arrival on Kobo or Amazon, available on Kindle. Make sure you’re following the author over on Twitter for more updates!