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Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


(Arclight #1)
by Josin L. McQuein

Genre: Dystopian
Hardback: 400 Pages
Publication: April 23, 2012 by Greenwillow Books


No one crosses the wall of light . . . except for one girl who doesn’t remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived. A harrowing, powerful debut thriller about finding yourself and protecting your future—no matter how short and uncertain it may be.

The Arclight is the last defense. The Fade can’t get in. Outside the Arclight’s border of high-powered beams is the Dark. And between the Light and the Dark is the Grey, a narrow, barren no-man’s-land. That’s where the rescue team finds Marina, a lone teenage girl with no memory of the horrors she faced or the family she lost. Marina is the only person who has ever survived an encounter with the Fade. She’s the first hope humanity has had in generations, but she could also be the catalyst for their final destruction. Because the Fade will stop at nothing to get her back. Marina knows it. Tobin, who’s determined to take his revenge on the Fade, knows it. Anne-Marie, who just wishes it were all over, knows it.

When one of the Fade infiltrates the Arclight and Marina recognizes it, she will begin to unlock secrets she didn’t even know she had. Who will Marina become? Who can she never be again?

◆ A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review ◆

Humans are restricted to a group of buildings that are surrounded by bright lights, and crossing over the lights into the Dark is prohibited because the Fade will get you. The Dark is an impenetrable wall of twisted tree branches and vines. The Fade are able to blend into their surroundings, and they also have long, sharp claws to climb walls. They seem to be shrouded in a black cloak, and their eyes glow silver. They communicate with images and single words. At first, it seems that the Fade are horrifying monsters of nightmare. Through Marina’s discoveries, however, we learn that there is more to these creatures.

One night, Marina and Tobin find a Fade, Rue, and during a struggle Rue is caught and taken to a place called the White Room. When Marina finds out that she can communicate with Rue and that he has answers to her forgotten past, she decides to help him to find a missing Fade girl. In the process, she begins to unlock the secrets about the motives and history of Arclight’s leader, Honoria.

Marina doesn't remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived the Dark. Until her, no one who entered the Dark ever came back alive. I like Marina’s headstrong, determined personality, and the mystery of her past intrigued me. She knows people died trying to rescue her, and she knows people resent her for it. Through it all, she stands up for herself, and she also determines to look for her true home and family.

Tobin stands offish towards Marina at first because his father died trying to rescue Marina. Then he rescues Marina and things begin to change between both of them. Tobin also believes that his father is still alive in the Dark, and he is willing to do anything to find him. Tobin is hot-headed, sensitive, and loyal. I like how protective he is over Marina.

Arclight is a unique post-apocalyptic read full of twists and turns. I don't want to go too much into the mystery because I don't want to spoil it. Just know that the action kept me from putting the book down starting from page one. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and the world they live in and can’t wait for the sequel!

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  2. Meridian
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4 comments on "Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein"
  1. Cool review! A lot of reviewers didn't like this book and gave sad reviews. I am glad you liked it. :)

  2. Cali, thanks. Hope you enjoy the book as well.

  3. I recently picked this up from the library on a whim and it sounds like it is a really good story. I like female characters like this so I'm sure I will enjoy this one.

    Thanks for the great review!


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