Review & Author Interview: Arrival by Alex Slade

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Arrival by Alex Slade
Released: 22nd October 2016
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Author
Pages: 247
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thirty-three missing in the past two months, all without a trace.

Detective Jake Westbrook is overburdened with cases that seem impossible to solve, despite his almost perfect clearance rate. More and more people are disappearing every week, and this phenomenon brings together five characters with no relation to one another as they try to figure out how to prevent themselves from being taken next. As their search for answers continues, they start to wonder if something more sinister is at hand...

Mysterious, eerie, but also exciting, Arrival is a gripping mystery thriller debut that will definitely keep you up all night.
Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Arrival is a suspenseful debut novel which takes the best elements of a thriller and sci-fi novel to create a riveting read. With multiple perspectives which offer you tantalising glimpses at the mystery behind the phenomena of these missing people, there is always an element of intrigue to keep your interest. But aside from the tension generated by the two detectives on a mission to solve this case, comes a dimension where science fiction becomes reality for the characters. Though sci-fi is generally a genre I don't explore much of, I'm glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone to be swept up in this exhilarating story.

Divided into chapters which alternate between 'The Detective', 'The Pilot', 'The Dreamer', 'The Teacher' and 'The Thief', Slade has shown skill in ensuring that each of these characters were unique. The details of their lifestyles and flaws are given enough attention, and we are drawn to asking the question of why they, or someone they know, have simply vanished. The detectives Jake and Chris who first set the tone of the story are well-rounded characters who the reader hopes will be able to uncover where these missing people have disappeared to. While at times the purpose of some of the chapters seemed unclear, the haze eventually lifts towards the second half of the novel where more twists occur and the stakes for these fated individuals are higher than ever.

I really liked how once you become almost 'settled' into the mystery element of the book, the sci-fi suddenly comes into play which offers a welcome and fascinating change of pace. The world-building, though not complete, is enough to envision what Slade's imagined society is like. I look forward to seeing how this is further explored in the next installments of the series.


I can definitely see that Alex Slade has the potential to be a hit with sci-fi and thriller readers. Steeped in suspense from beginning to end, I'll definitely be looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Author Interview with Alex Slade

When did you first decide that you wanted to be an author and publish a novel?

Growing up, I'd always wanted to be a filmmaker. I still do, but I've discovered it was mainly because I wanted to express my ideas and share my stories, and writing a novel was a way to do just that. I love writing and coming up with stories, so the idea behind Arrival was such a blast to devise. We all hear about a good book that is hard to put down and keeps people talking about it long after they finish reading it, and I hope to do that with my releases too.

What authors have influenced or inspired you when writing Arrival? 

Drew Karpyshyn has been a significant influence. I'm a huge fan of Star Wars and Mass Effect, so his novels were right up my alley. Arrival draws a lot of inspiration from the worlds found in those stories. J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Marin have also been big influences, in that they can create such layered characters and detailed worlds. The plan for Arrival and the following books in the series is to incorporate a grand adventure found in fantasy books and bring them into a sci-fi setting.

One facet of the story which brings the suspense is the multiple perspectives. Was there a character which came to you before the others?

Initially, I'd written the story as a screenplay. I'd come up with the idea before any of the characters, so there really wasn't one that'd come to me first. A lot of the characters had originated in some of my other stories. I'd brought them into this one, knowing that they'd each have a different outlook on the situation, and that none of them would feel the same.

What were the best/most challenging aspects of writing your debut?

Mainly, managing the book post-release. As it's self-published, I'm doing all of the promotion and working on making sure it's accessible for as many people as possible. That includes working on getting it printed and also making it available as an audiobook. Additionally, before I started writing it, I struggled with working out the tense and whether or not it should be in first or third-person. 

When you're not writing, what are some of your favourite books you've been reading lately?

Lately, I've been finding an interest in graphic novels, which I'd never really read before. Currently, I'm reading Locke and Key, which is a fantastic dark supernatural series. I'm also reading Fables which offers a refreshing and mature take on the fairy tale genre. Vagrant is another novel I’ve started, which is so far fantastic.

If there's one piece of advice you'd give to other aspiring authors out there, what would it be?

Make sure you're prepared. Writing is the fun part, but that's just the beginning. Be prepared to spend more time editing your book than you did writing it. Also, listen to all feedback. It'll help a lot, and you will become a better writer for it.

You have mentioned that Arrival will be in a series. Can you give us a hint at what to expect next?

So far, there's a plan to release four books in the series. The next entry will have the characters adjusting to the new predicaments they're in, while simultaneously trying to find a way out of them. They'll be truly tested and will have to adapt if they want to make it.


  1. Oh I have this book! So I'm glad to see that you liked it and that the characters were all unique. And that's interesting how this was originally a screenplay and the author used different character he'd created to make new perspectives. Great review and interview!

    1. Thanks so much Kristen, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


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