Home Reviews Review: The Arrival (Birthright Trilogy #1) By Nicole MacDonald

Review: The Arrival (Birthright Trilogy #1) By Nicole MacDonald


Title: The Arrival (Birthright Trilogy #1)

Author: Nicole MacDonald

Release Date: December 22, 2010

Publisher: Smashwords

Category: Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi/Romance

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Book Blurb:

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.


I found this book to be a bit of a tough read simply because it hit on my biggest pet peeve: bad editing. I struggled with multiple names of characters in addition to a nickname for nearly every one of them. Many of the characters expressed thoughts that were difficult to follow with the point of view shifting nearly every paragraph. Also difficult to process was the overuse of words (more specifically “and”) and misuse of verb tense (such as using has instead of had). The problem is that most of these issues manifested within the first chapter, making it difficult to proceed. Reading over a paragraph multiple times tends to interfere with the love affair created between reader and story. The introduction of 16 characters for a book 1 was a bit much. Hopefully with Book 2 each will prove necessary. I also appreciated that this was not a romance dripping in sexual encounters. Not to say that I don’t love such books, but it is nice to have a break as well as a book that can be recommended to the “faint of heart”.

Never one to leave anything unfinished (especially a book), I continued on. I am glad to say that I hung in there and did not give up on the book. It was at about Chapter 10 that I found myself getting into the story a bit more. I had been skeptical about a working plot, but was happy to discover that the author has a good basis to work with. MacDonald also threw us a doozey in ending the story in the middle of what is likely a pivotal fight between the “good” and “bad”. I would classify this story as sort of an Eragon meets Avatar: The Last Airbender with a little Charmed surrounding it all. Short of telling the story, those familiar with the given references will understand why. I really enjoyed the use of Griffins, having always been fascinated by the mythical creature.

In short, MacDonald has developed a promising story line that has potential. With a bit of polishing in the editing department and possibly making the story more focused on Alec and Cat, rather than the point of view of everyone, I would easily have been submersed within this book. If the girls are as close as they are supposed to be, Cat could easily convey how each one was feeling, rather than having each character express their own thoughts, unfortunately effectively pulling attention away from the story. I will be giving book 2 “Awakening” (due out in December 2011) a chance to see what develops for the characters.


  1. *bows to your dedication* I think I would have chalked that book up to the DNF pile. I am such a book snob. If I'm not loving the first 20-30 pages, I toss it out. Buh-bye. I started to read Weather Wardens books by Rachel Caine and just couldn't do it. There was so much technical weather-y jargon, I was pulled from the story, jarred into trying to follow it. I tried to stick it out because it had such promise (and lots of people love them), but halfway through book one, I caved to my inner Id and swapped out for a new read.

    I am in agreement with you that "Reading over a paragraph multiple times tends to interfere with the love affair created between reader and story." I would also add, that if I can put a book down for a couple of days and not miss it…I am so not likely to pick it back up again.

    I'm glad you are glad you stuck through the book though!

  2. Wow, how did you make yourself finish? I hate bad editing. Well that and awful covers. I read a lot of audiobooks and repetitive use of use of phrasing is really noticeable in that format. I was reading a book the other day that was brilliant in EVERY other way except for one fight scene where the heroine swung her sword to warm up her wrists four times. It worked once, the fact that it was allowed to get put in four times is on the editor not the author (well, okay it's kind-of on the author but I'm still blaming the editor).

    And Kyla – I completely agree. If I can bear to put a book down it's not going to get that great a rating from me. Series that get recs from me are series that I almost can't stop myself from immediately going onto the next book when I finish the one I'm reading.

  3. Kyla & Wandering

    I have this thing – I have to finish everything I read. Be it a love, hate, or love/hate relationship. Leaving things unfinished can't happen, therefore it doesn't. It is my hope that book 2 has superior editing and wow's me. Like I said, MacDonald has a terrific idea that works, but she needs to clean it up. It saddens me to know that such a basic fix is causing the book to be overlooked. However, I also have to be honest in my review. Thanks for checking out the review!


  4. I'm with Kyla and Wandering….I give a book 50 pages. If I'm not into it by then, it gets DNFd. Major kudos to you for pushing through, and I'm glad to hear that the book ended up being worth it.

    I get your references and they intrigue me, but bad editing is a huge pet peeve of mine as well, and I don't think I'd be able to finish the book. Maybe I'll look into it as an audiobook.

    Thanks for the honest review!


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