Lost Arrow is the first book in the Kalelah Series by Marshall Ross. It’s a quick read, but thankfully the third book is almost out, so you can easily binge through them all if you so choose. I received my copy in a set of three, which to me made it feel like one larger book. Still, I think it could be enjoyable to read them either all as one, or in the three stints as intended.
This series is very different from many others that I’ve read. It’s science fiction with a heavy dose of religion (one that is made up for the purpose of the series, and thus it never felt like I was being pressured). It’s an interesting concept, so have such an advanced society so structured like that. Yet it makes a lot of sense, with the context we’ve been given.
I read Lost Arrow in a single sitting, and I found myself entertained the whole way through. The multiple perspective jumps gave me a better understanding of what was happening, but it also helped keep the plot flowing smoothly.
I’ll admit that this book ended sooner than I would have liked – but as I mentioned above at least I have the next two that I can go and read right away. So if you’re going to pick it up I suggest you grab all three as well (especially since I’m betting they’ll sell the same bundle I was given).
They did a great job building the suspense, especially in the earlier parts of the book. I couldn’t wait to learn more about the situation, the people involved, the works. It starts off with a compelling point of view, and from there jumps around, giving us an idea of the big picture, even while the individual characters don’t yet know what they’re in for.
While I have favorite characters, I can’t honestly say that I’m emotionally invested in any of them just yet. I’m sure that’ll happen during the course of the next couple of books though. I do think there was a slight show/tell issue in this book, in that I was being told more about the characters than I was shown. Then again, there was a lot of backstory to cover. I anticipate the next book being less backstory and more character building.
The conclusion was shocking, and not at all what I expected. Though it did a fantastic job of making me desperately want to pick up the next book, so it did its job I suppose. Next on the list is Fallen Arrow followed by Jagged Arrow.
Fallen Arrow is the sequel to Lost Arrow. It’s part of a three part series, though I’m seeing the set come in bundled form as well, so you may not have to worry about tracking all three down. I’m actually pretty happy that they’re coming out in bundled formats, as I’ve found the first two to be relatively quick reads (and I’ve been anxious to just move on to the next one and see what happens).
The series has been interesting so far, in that while it’s centered on the subject (and search) for religion, it isn’t trying to push any one particular religion on the reader. I find that a refreshing change.
Fallen Arrow wasn’t quite as strong as its first part, but then again, the intrigue has fallen away thanks to the big reveal, so that was to be expected. Still, it was interesting, and I really enjoyed some of the views and points that were made during the course of the novel.
This novel had more perspectives than the first book. It jumped around a lot between religious leaders, political leaders, characters from the ship Kalelah, and named characters we’ve already met. It’s clear that we were being shown a broader perspective of the reaction to the news that humanity had been seeded be an alien race.
Some of the perspectives were interesting, like the religious leaders debating on what sort of proof the elders were seeking, and of course arguing about which religion was the true religion (I think it only occurred to one or two of them that the ‘true’ religion was the one the elders believed in, and not one that this round of humans had come up with).
I wanted to enjoy the political perspectives, and while I appreciated their devious nature and the threat they posed…it all just felt too heavy handed to me. I don’t think we needed full chapters from any of those characters, a couple of summed up lines from different characters would have sufficed.
In the last book three characters from the Kalelah ship had gone to the surface to try and help save humanity. One of them didn’t make it through that book. The other two split up, with one staying up above to talk to the leaders of the world and try to convince them, while the other went back to start working on their mysterious backup plan. Part of that plan involved bringing a human, Sarah with him.
I think we can all guess what happened to the guy that stayed above. I’m not sure if I’m happy with how predictable that is, or disappointed. I do get a bit tired of the whole ‘humans are horrible creatures’ plot, though I can’t argue with its accuracy at times (sadly).
Trin and Sarah’s plot was probably my favorite of the stories being told. I also suspect it’ll become the lynchpin for saving humanity. Or not. I’ll have to read the third book to be sure of that!
Next in line for me is Jagged Arrow, the third and I believe last book in the series. So I should be seeing everything wrapping up shortly. I’m looking forward to seeing how Marshall plans to resolve the plot he’s created.
Jagged Arrow is the third and final installment in the Kalelah Series. The series is about two different races, both very similar. One is the entirely of the human race, the other is the reason why humanity exists. What happens when the two collide? What would happen if the originator wasn’t pleased with what they saw in humanity? How would humanity react to a supposedly superior race showing up? The Kalelah Series asks these questions, and so much more.
This is absolutely one of those series that you have to read in order. You can buy the collected set now, which is what I strongly suggest doing. The ending and beginning of each book ties in heavily with the others, so it’s best to just binge read them all. At least, that’s how I preferred to read them.
In a way it sort of feels weird that the series is over. Perhaps that’s because of how quickly I read through it all? Still, I’m glad I took the time to read the series, as it was such a unique blend of genres and subjects.
So this should go without saying, but if you haven’t finished the first two novels, you probably shouldn’t keep reading this review. Okay, now that I’ve said that I can continue on guilt-free.
Things have been coming to a head for a while, that has been apparently since what, the fifth chapter in the first book? So it’s only natural that this novel had a lot of action in it. I mean, we’re talking about one civilization that wants to annihilate the rest, and the people up above are terrified, angry, or in disbelief about that fact. Scared people don’t always make the best decisions.
Speaking of though, I feel like Marshall Ross doesn’t have the highest optimism for the human race. Some of the things he had them do in his series…they were horrifying to have happen. But at the same time none of it was so extreme that I felt compelled to argue against it…so maybe he isn’t entirely wrong either. I really hope we never have to find out though, let’s just leave it at that.
Sarah and Trin were the largest focus of this novel, like the last one. There were other perspectives thrown in, but they were really there just to increase our awareness of what was happening up at the surface (aka what humanity was up to).
The conclusion to the series was interesting. Some parts of it felt forced or rushed. As weird as this may sound, I actually think I would have liked the conflict to have gone on a bit longer. Given it more time to flow organically, for characters to have time to realize what was happening and react. Then again, in real life we don’t always get that, so at least it holds to that level of realism.
I’ll be curious to see if Marshall Ross writes more in this world he’s built, or if he’ll continue on to something else next. Either way I can’t wait to see what it’ll be.