Arclight (Arclight, #1)
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?

Arclight (Arclight, #1) Details

TitleArclight (Arclight, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 23rd, 2013
PublisherGreenwillow Books
ISBN-139780062130143
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy

Arclight (Arclight, #1) Review

  • Blythe
    January 1, 1970
    Whether it be in books or film, it generally takes quite a bit to scare me. Now, I know I've gone over what scares me in horror before, so instead of reiterating my entire tangent on how subtlety in horror is more effective and ominous than anything else, I'm just going to say that Arclight managed to freak me out. A lot. Josin McQuein has the entire 'subtlety in horror' concept down, and the monsters in Arclight--the Fades--are eerie and horrifying in every sense of the word. But, at the same Whether it be in books or film, it generally takes quite a bit to scare me. Now, I know I've gone over what scares me in horror before, so instead of reiterating my entire tangent on how subtlety in horror is more effective and ominous than anything else, I'm just going to say that Arclight managed to freak me out. A lot. Josin McQuein has the entire 'subtlety in horror' concept down, and the monsters in Arclight--the Fades--are eerie and horrifying in every sense of the word. But, at the same time, McQuein has given us readers a side of the Fade that, while malevolent and spine-tingling, is also breathtakingly human and emotional. The Fades that McQuein has created are such incredibly complex creatures, and the ambiguity of the Fades themselves is just as chilling and horrifying as their actions and features, if not more. And as for complexity and chilling ambiguity, the same goes for the wonderfully crafted characters in Arclight. At first, all of the characters are mysterious, distant, and cold--even the main character, Marina, who manages to be notably ambiguous throughout a good majority of the novel, despite the fact that the entire novel is told from her point of view. But eventually, as the novel progresses, each of the characters are met with a stunning amount of character development, which, after reading McQuein's Premeditated as well, is something I can now say with certainty this author is excellent at. As well as that, the world-building, while at first is a bit confusing and slow-moving, is ultimately captivating and is just as sinister as the Fades. And while I may have lost interest sporadically throughout the first half, the second half picked up the pace immeasurably, with thrilling and shocking revelations towards the end. Fascinating, compelling, and often frightening, Arclight is an incredibly unique dystopian/post-apocalyptic read that should not be missed by fans of original world-building and electrifying horror.
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  • Steph Sinclair
    January 1, 1970
    Dystopian novels disappoint me the most out of any other sub-genre.Arclight has to be one of my most anticipated books of 2013 and I was not disappointed. Despite the fairly predictable plot twist, Arclight does offer strong writing and imaginative creatures: The Fade. Which basically means this review will be a lovefest of all things Fade.The strongest point in Arclight is without a doubt Josin's writing style and her beautiful descriptions. Every scene was so visual in my head and this was so Dystopian novels disappoint me the most out of any other sub-genre. Arclight has to be one of my most anticipated books of 2013 and I was not disappointed. Despite the fairly predictable plot twist, Arclight does offer strong writing and imaginative creatures: The Fade. Which basically means this review will be a lovefest of all things Fade.The strongest point in Arclight is without a doubt Josin's writing style and her beautiful descriptions. Every scene was so visual in my head and this was so important because by only reading the blurb, it's hard to understand what the book is really about. The world is so different and it's covered in darkness. Josin slowly reveals to the reader how things came about while still maintaining some sort of ambiguity. I really think that is where a lot of dystopian novels fail to grab me. Some don't seem to let the reader know anything about their world. It's just usually a "My world is terrible, people die. Deal with it." kind of thing. But not in Arclight. The reader finds out more as Marina does and that part was not predictable.You may have heard that there is a love triangle and that is true, but it's not a bad one. There are two guys who are vying for Marina's affection, Tobin who I wasn't really sold on and the other is... "Honey Bunches". That is what I will call him because he was filled to the brim with sweetness! Both guys do have their faults. Tobin carries a chip about on his shoulder and blames Marina for something that happened in the past. And on the other hand, "Honey Bunches" is the jealous type, but I honestly can't blame him for his anger (you'll have to read the book to see what I mean). And then you have the Fade themselves which was nothing short of brilliant. I absolutely love them and it's what really sold me on this novel. They are so different and fascinating. I especially love the way they communicated and their ability to say so little, but their words packed so much punch. It was the way they viewed the world and each other and the way their names transcended human language that made me truly believe Josin did an AMAZING job developing them. And OMGosh, I just want to tell everyone about my favorite part, but spoilers! I will say it was right before the ending when secrets are being revealed and Marina has this moment of clarity. She looks at "Honey Bunches" and ahhhhh!!! My feels and that scene made sweet, sweet lovin'.Now that isn't to say that Arclight was perfect. It's one of those books that dives into the whole "I'm the new girl in this strange world and I don't know who I am". I really love those books for the mystery and for finding out the story behind the main character's memory loss. The problem is when you already see it coming and that anticipation that should have been building for a good period of the novel is all for nothing. However, even though this was Arclight's biggest problem, it didn't really bother me that much and gave me similar feelings to how I felt about the plot twist in Cinder . By the time the Big Reveal came around, I was already so invested in the story and the characters.But strangely, there was a good that came out of the predictability. I was very surprised about all the characters' reactions to the twist, especially Marina's. She chooses one guy over another and I did not approve. All throughout the novel, and particularly the second half, I was shipping Marina and Honey Bunches hard. Like, there was no doubt in my mind that Marina would end up with the guy I was rooting for. And yet, she didn't and I was so unhappy. I felt all my feels melting faster than the Wicked Witch of the West. Thankfully, I did discover the other day that there is a sequel, Meridian, and I honestly couldn't be happier because knowing this completely changes my original thoughts on the ending. All is not lost and dammit, THIS SHIP SHALL SAIL ON. *pumps fist* Plus, I need to read more about the Fade. Overall, I *really* enjoyed this book and I can't wait to find out more about the characters.I received an e-ARC from the publisher for review, but was later gifted a physical ARC from Christina @ A Reader of Fictions. Thank you!More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
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  • Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
    January 1, 1970
    YA copywriters are amazing creatures. I am so often drawn in by the shiny blurb on the back of a book, promising me excitement! Adventure! An awesome heroine!Like a moth to a flame, I am suckered in every damn time.I'm telling you, these copywriters aren't as well-paid as they should be. Sometimes, they're more skilled than the actual writer themselves. If I can get suckered into paying money for some crapshoot of a book, and I have been one far too many times than I can count, then they've done YA copywriters are amazing creatures. I am so often drawn in by the shiny blurb on the back of a book, promising me excitement! Adventure! An awesome heroine!Like a moth to a flame, I am suckered in every damn time.I'm telling you, these copywriters aren't as well-paid as they should be. Sometimes, they're more skilled than the actual writer themselves. If I can get suckered into paying money for some crapshoot of a book, and I have been one far too many times than I can count, then they've done their job.And boy, have they done their job for this book. I'm not calling this particular book crappy, it's not that terrible; the concept exceeds the execution. I didn't find myself drawn into any of the characters, and I find the world building tedious and confusing. It was far too deep into the book that we finally got a 2-sentence summary of what exactly happened to make this world the way it was. A good quarter of the way into the book, I was still confused as to the concept of the Fade. The blurb promised things the book never delivered. Anne-Marie was an insignificant part of the book. Marina is not seen so much as a hope for humanity, but "Fade-bait," and generally despised for seemingly costing many lives in her rescue from the Dark.I didn't have any particular attachment to any of the characters. We again have the trope of the well-meaning but annoying and bumbling best friend, Anne-Marie. The gruff but well-meaning and secretly sensitive main love interest, Tobin. The mysterious boy/Fade who could potentially be part of the love triangle, Rue. Nobody had any real character. The book was mostly action and plot-driven (and not a particularly engaging plot), and not so much character-based, and that was where it failed for me.The big reveal in the book was a big problem for me as well, along with the consequent choices Marina made. I can't reveal it because it's the major crux of the book, but I found the actions Marina made subsequent to discovering the truth to be contradictory. A few months, that's how long she has been inside the encampment, and barely a few weeks into knowing, much less liking Tobin, and that's what she chose? That's not the actions of a heroine I could like.I've read that this book has been optioned out for a movie by Universal, and frankly, I can't comprehend it. I had a hard enough time reading and following the plot, I don't see how this would interpret into a movie at all. But these days, we have such films as The Great Gatsby IN FREAKING 3D...so why not?Ah, the world we live in...
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  • Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
    January 1, 1970
    Review also found here:https://edwardsghostengine.wordpress....2.5 STARS Well that was weird... in fact this has to be one of the strangest books I've read in a long time!First let's talk about the Fade. In appearance they have human shapes with black hair and black moving patterns on their skin and like a black aura in the air around them. The particles on and aroun them also allows them to camouflage in dark places. Not to mention they're photosensitive and have glowing silver eyes that see in Review also found here:https://edwardsghostengine.wordpress....2.5 STARS Well that was weird... in fact this has to be one of the strangest books I've read in a long time!First let's talk about the Fade. In appearance they have human shapes with black hair and black moving patterns on their skin and like a black aura in the air around them. The particles on and aroun them also allows them to camouflage in dark places. Not to mention they're photosensitive and have glowing silver eyes that see in the Dark.Huh.. Kinda looks like and reminds me of...For the first half of the book I was extremely confused as to what the fade were and how they looked. But then it was revealed that.... (view spoiler)[the Fade and the Dark were all once just normal humans and nature who's molecular structures had been latched onto by nanites. These nanites were first developed for medical reasons but their controllers lost control and they spread and fed on the DNA of mostly humans but animals and nature also. So that was why everything had dark colours and patterns to them. The nanites also changed the way their hosts thought as well making them all think and communicate as part of a hive/ hive mind, hive thinking, all part of one big mind. Kind of eusocial in some sense. Then there were those who were born as Fade who had the ability to make all thee nanites and molecules in their body separate and reform again because their nanites had evolved and could exist separately from the hive. The MC it turned out was once one of these fade born people but the leaders of the Arclight had taken her in and using a whole lot of substances and medication they had turned her into a human that was immune to nanites. It seemed the leader wanted to restore humans to be the most dominant in the world and they were convinced the fade were evil as they communicated telepathically and their communications had sometimes been picked up by peoples minds causing them to wander off into the dark. But it seemed the fade wanted to just get on with their lives and they had even helped cure the people who had wandered into the dark away from the arclight without turning them into fade. At the end the lost people and the MC want to prove to the people of the Arclight the wrongs the elders have made them believe and the wrongs they'd done to the fade. Which succeeded. (hide spoiler)]So this is one of those books you need patience with. Things are not at all clear in the beginning but they do get unravelled. For me at the end I was struggling about whether to give this a 2 star or 3 star rating. This was mainly because of the strangeness of the writing, characters, plot and story line. Marina herself I couldn't really connect with as it seemed she lacked fire and emotion given her situation. And the way this world was presented was not in a particularly exciting way more confusing and strange. When the action scenes came it was like they lacked a certain type of sharpness and focus, I didn't feel like I was living through the experiences. The way Marina kept getting visions and the way Rue communicated did confuse and bore me I must admit. But as I said before things do get answered in time.The things I have to give credit for however are the originality of the whole concept and that twist near the end. There is definitely more to come and despite the things I thought were tedious, the originality never failed to keep me reading.I would recommend this book to those who are looking for a different kind of Sci-Fi/ apocalyptic novel but be warned this is a strange one!
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    See more reviews at YA Midnight ReadsMini review: Thank you Greenwillow Books for sending me this copy in exchange for review. No compensation was given or taken to alter this short review. Arclight was one of those books where I fell for the cover. And I really really hate myself for it as I had to put myself in 3 hours of agony attempting to love this book as much as the auspicious cover. With the addition of other low rating reviews and snarkiness, clearly nothing turned out too well for me See more reviews at YA Midnight ReadsMini review: Thank you Greenwillow Books for sending me this copy in exchange for review. No compensation was given or taken to alter this short review. Arclight was one of those books where I fell for the cover. And I really really hate myself for it as I had to put myself in 3 hours of agony attempting to love this book as much as the auspicious cover. With the addition of other low rating reviews and snarkiness, clearly nothing turned out too well for me or this novel. In actually truth, I almost DNFed it. Because I deem that I'll fail at writing this short review properly, let's break down the problems. Problem 1: The characters. Marina, the lead character, started out as somewhat assuringly strong and kick-ass at the beginning. Soon, she just became too sensitive and naive throughout for my liking. As for the supporting characters, I didn't feel much more connection either. Some where just irrelevant and some just were so shallow and lacked depth. Problem 2: The romance. This one of the poorest romances I have ever read. It wasn't insta-love. It was worse than insta-love, meaning it was the dreaded underdeveloped type. Tobin and Marina never really did seem to know each other as people, Josin literally threw two random people together and made them kiss then ignore each other periodically. Problem 3: There was nothing too surprising. Constantly through Arclight, I wasn't feeling much shock or tension. While Josin did throw in some twists, but I did not feel the gravity of them as I had predicted so beforehand or it just didn't seem so significant. Arclight kept me dragging on, just hoping I could get some kick to 'grab me', unfortunately, nothing appeared. Additionally, there was practically no sort of plot, apart from Marina and the other characters trying to find themselves. All in all, Arclight failed to be my friend. I have no such intention to read the sequel unless I believe I have bother else to read. A rather boring read for me.
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  • Keertana
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: DNF Aesthetically pleasing and well-written, Arclight is not a bad book. McQuein's debut - for this releases before her other novel set to release this year as well - is, in fact, a rather interesting tale that promises to be loved, appreciated, and well-received by lovers of dystopian. As a fan of this genre myself, I expected to love Arclight. Unfortunately, having tried - and failed - to read through the entirety of this novel, it is time for me to admit that Arclight and I are simply Rating: DNF Aesthetically pleasing and well-written, Arclight is not a bad book. McQuein's debut - for this releases before her other novel set to release this year as well - is, in fact, a rather interesting tale that promises to be loved, appreciated, and well-received by lovers of dystopian. As a fan of this genre myself, I expected to love Arclight. Unfortunately, having tried - and failed - to read through the entirety of this novel, it is time for me to admit that Arclight and I are simply not suited for one another. In other words, I fear I have to resort to a rather typical break-up cliche: it's not you, it's me. Arclight takes place in a world, a futuristic one, where creatures known as the Fade prowl in the dark. As such, humanity is safe only in the light, cowering from the Fade who are bound to kill them. Only Marina is known to have survived a Fade attack and even her memory is sketchy. When our novel begins, the Fade are attacking once again, eager for the girl who escaped them, but afraid of her as well. In the midst of this is Tobin, whose father died protecting Marina from the Fade, along with many other adults. Tobin, however, takes it upon himself to protect Marina and before long, a strange relationship is struck between the two, all while they must struggle to save themselves and protect their societies. Quite simply put, Arclight is not quite as original as it seems. If anything, the society in McQuein's novel is eerily similar to that of the one in Enclave by Ann Aguirre. You have Fade who are dragging people away? OH, those sound an awful lot like vampires now, don't they? You have humans, battling for survival and fighting off these Fade? OH, don't you mean humans battling off vampires? Essentially, the Fade can very easily be equated with vampires, which renders this novel as unique as a blade of grass. Which is not a lot. Yet, perhaps this could have been overlooked if the characters were interesting, but Marina, our main character, completely lacks personality. Not only is her narration dull if there isn't any dialogue to take up space, but she is very one-dimensional and detached from the reader. Furthermore, the world-building takes up the span of one chapter towards the beginning and proceeds to info-dump like there's no tomorrow. And, to make things worse, there is apparently a love triangle in this. While I have heard it isn't all that bad, I, for one, am not sticking around to find out. Especially when one of the love interests has already lost my interest. Arclight is the type of novel I would have persevered through just last year, only to pass it along as being "meh." With my busy schedule this year, though, and a severe lack of time to read, I cannot afford to waste it on something I know I will dislike. I do encourage every lover of dystopian to give this one a shot, though. If, like me, you don't feel much attachment within the first ten chapters, at least you didn't waste too much time. Chances are, though, that most readers will love this tale. After all, in a genre overrun by re-used ideas, most people are used to this by now and far more tolerant of this than I am. Meanwhile, I'll be off searching for the next novel I can genuinely stamp the title "unique" upon.You can read this review" and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.
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  • Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsAs someone who’s grown tired of the dystopian genre altogether, I’ve become exceedingly difficult to please. So rarely do these stories work for me anymore, it takes a lot to keep me interested, but Josin McQuein succeeded with seeming ease.By far the best thing about Arclight is its pacing. The plot moves forward unrelentingly, mercilessly, giving the reader no time to breathe. The story is full of excitement, with strong elements of horror to ensure the reader’s interest throughout. 3.5 starsAs someone who’s grown tired of the dystopian genre altogether, I’ve become exceedingly difficult to please. So rarely do these stories work for me anymore, it takes a lot to keep me interested, but Josin McQuein succeeded with seeming ease.By far the best thing about Arclight is its pacing. The plot moves forward unrelentingly, mercilessly, giving the reader no time to breathe. The story is full of excitement, with strong elements of horror to ensure the reader’s interest throughout. The sweet and unusual romance serves to soften the rough edges, but it never becomes dominant and overwhelming, which I appreciated greatly. Unfortunately, the rapid pacing leaves very little time for the reader to bond with the characters. While I liked Marina and appreciated the fact that she was no delicate flower, a lack of emotional connection was notable. It was, in part, due to her personality: she was meant to be a bit detached and strange. Her connection with Tobin, odd as it was, made me understand her better and appreciate her more. But emotion-wise, the real protagonist of this book is Tobin himself. Out of all the characters, he is the one with enough emotional complexity to keep me glued to the pages. He often did things without really knowing why he was doing them, which was understandable given his age the circumstances, and it was always interesting to try to figure out his motives. Among several weaknesses of Arclight, the writing is its Achilles’ heel. Not badly written per se, but poorly structured, the story tended to get extremely confusing, especially in more eventful chapters. Given the rapid pacing, those chapters made the majority of the book. Marina’s communication with the Fade was also messy, partly because it was meant to be, and partly because of the way it was written.Another thing that deems mentioning is predictability. The twists and turns that were meant to surprise or even shock were painfully evident from the first few chapters, minus the few finer details of the story. It is a shame in what is otherwise a great story, but it’s also something I can live with, if the good outweighs the bad, which it certainly does. The gorgeous cover, in this case, actually hides a very good story, which is a rarity indeed. If you haven’t yet decided to read Arclight, I hope this review will push you in the right direction. Arclight wraps up nicely, but the world McQuein created is filled with possibilities, which gives me so much hope for Meridian, the sequel scheduled to be released in April 2014.
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  • Rashika (is tired)
    January 1, 1970
    ***This review has also been posted on Tangled in Pages Actual Rating 2.5Arclight was one of my most anticipated reads of 2013 and after I got the book, I kind of shelved it and forgot about it. That is until I got my eyes on the sequel. At this point I hadn’t read any reviews of Arclight so I dove into the book knowing nothing but the synopsis. If I had bothered with the reviews, I probably wouldn’t have so much as bought this book because.. love triangle alert. You know what the sad thing is ***This review has also been posted on Tangled in Pages Actual Rating 2.5Arclight was one of my most anticipated reads of 2013 and after I got the book, I kind of shelved it and forgot about it. That is until I got my eyes on the sequel. At this point I hadn’t read any reviews of Arclight so I dove into the book knowing nothing but the synopsis. If I had bothered with the reviews, I probably wouldn’t have so much as bought this book because.. love triangle alert. You know what the sad thing is though? The love triangle isn’t actually my main problem with this book. I loved it for the first 60 or so percent. This was an assured 4 star read until then and I was flying through the pages. The book opens with an attack by the Fade. At this point we don’t know much about anything except that light is safety because the Fade are allergic to it and that our MC suffers from amnesia. She remembers nothing from 'before' and she also happens to be the only person to have survived the Fade. People died to rescue her from the grey. She represents hope to many, hope that there is still a world outside the arclight but at the same time, she also represents the death of loved ones to certain kids. There are rumors about her being fade proof but they don’t work in her favor. Kids in her class despise her and are constantly getting in her face.Marina is a pretty decent character. She didn’t actually annoy me. For the most part she isn’t actually stupid. It’s hard to actually talk about her because I don't actually have anything to say. Her character made no significant impact on me. She was realistic and well nothing about her shines out. She is dull as far as characters I’ve encountered go. I mean the twist that came later on? I guessed it so far in the beginning it’s ridiculous. The point I am trying to make here is that Marina was neither a good or bad character. She was just decent. She was easy to follow and you could understand her actions. Also she did not go on and on about how Tobin was absolutely gorgeous (I still have no idea whether he is or not).Now Tobin, Tobin was someone who grabbed my attention. He may have been passive aggressive in the beginning. Hating her but also saving her at same time but I couldn’t help but like him. Marina is the reason why his father isn’t alive yet he is the one that helps her instead of all the other kids. He has more reason to hate her than they do but he decides to save her life. Before we even go anywhere with this, it wasn’t insta love, no he hadn’t decided he loved her and hence decided to save her, he saved her because that is what his father would have wanted. Tobin feels very real to me, he clings on to hope that his father is alive and he also tends to turn into a rage beast when someone says something about his father. It seems childish and angsty, but he lost his only parent, give the guy a break. It’s healthy to express anger. It’s one of the stages of grief. The romance (before the love triangle was thrown in) was well developed. It could definitely read like insta-love but for me it worked. They are two people, all alone in the world and so they depend on each other. They’re initial exchanges aren’t exactly hostile but neither are they full of love either but that changes. They cover each others backs, save each others lives and hence a bond forms. Their relationship starts blooming and no I love you’s are said. This brings me to the love triangle (which also happened to be strike 1). The love triangle adds a measure of angst that is NOT appreciated. I am a hater of all things love triangle so it’s a wonder I didn’t run in the other direction as soon as it was mentioned. I felt like it was completely unnecessary but this also ties in with something I’ll talk about later. As far as love triangles go, this isn’t actually horrid (if you can look past the amount of angst it adds and how it was completely unnecessary). The female lead actually has a good reason to be confused. It makes complete sense and there isn’t an obvious choice at the moment because Marina herself has no idea what she wants. She doesn’t know who she is and until she figures that out, neither of the guys will come out the victor of her affections. My ranting skills will now be unleashed as I talk about strike 2 which was when we learn about the reality of Fades. Up until that point, I thought, no I HOPED that this book wouldn’t go down that road. I thought that for the first time ever, the leaders of the society weren’t out to ruin lives, that they actually meant well but that was all a lie. It was just building up for that supposed big blow. It ruined the whole book for me. I might have been able to swallow the love triangle but this was the last straw for it took what I liked most about this book, and smashed it into pieces. It took away from the dark and scary atmosphere and it almost felt like I was in a rainbows and sunshine land. Where everything is perfect. Where everyone lives in harmony. Well let me tell you something, HELL TO THE NO. Things don’t work like that in the real world. Hell I COMPLETELY understand the supposed villain who I feel like is actually a victim because she is surrounded by brainless people with no sense of self-preservation. Perhaps I am one of those annoying people who think humans are better than everyone else but I am not completely sure about that. There are some things that just aren’t meant to be and the reality about Fades wasn’t. It pissed me off and I just couldn’t. (view spoiler)[ I cannot enjoy a book that paints these disease stricken people as good. They destroyed humanity at one point, how did they suddenly turn good, and what the hell are they doing breeding and living in families? Are you telling me that they are human? BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT. Let me repeat that if you didn’t get it the first time around. THEY ARE NOT FUCKING HUMANS and I for one would definitely not want to hang out with them. Now I am not saying the whole family thing is only something humans do, it's just the way it pains these creatures, it feels like they are basically humans with a few 'advantages' and that does NOT work. (hide spoiler)]The whole situation basically ruined the world building for me. I loved the world building up until that point. I was immersed in this world the author had created and then it had to go down the drain because no good things can last. It pains me to give this book such a low rating but I cannot say I regret buying it. It does look pretty on my bookshelf. With that said though, I am not completely sure I want to read the sequel. I don’t want to dive back into that world after the ‘twist’ the author threw at us but that may change in the future.
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  • Crystal Starr Light
    January 1, 1970
    Marina was found in the Grey (the world between the dreaded Dark where the Fade live and the safety of Arclight). Now she lives in Arclight unsure of who she is and where she came from. This all changes when a Fade is found in Arclight. Who is the Fade and why can Marina communicate with him?NOTE: I received this from the Amazon Vine program.Ever since I heard about this book, I was excited. The story sounded interesting - I love creepy stories about people holed away in a fortress trying to Marina was found in the Grey (the world between the dreaded Dark where the Fade live and the safety of Arclight). Now she lives in Arclight unsure of who she is and where she came from. This all changes when a Fade is found in Arclight. Who is the Fade and why can Marina communicate with him?NOTE: I received this from the Amazon Vine program.Ever since I heard about this book, I was excited. The story sounded interesting - I love creepy stories about people holed away in a fortress trying to live in a hostile environment. And for a good portion of the book (about 100 pages), I was actually rather enjoying myself. Marina was a great character - a little sarcastic and negative, but never morose and moody. She seemed competent enough and even had a female friend who was also not white (yes, don't faint!). Also, that opening scene was AMAZING! Intense, gripping, nail-biting, edge of your seat exciting - basically everything I like in a thriller. However, the book quickly took a nosedive eventually landing into Big Disappointment.Before I get into why this book was a huge disappointment to me, let me preface my review with this: the book isn't half bad. I think the biggest reason this is so disappointing to me is the fact that this book is basically like every single other Young Adult science fiction/fantasy/dystopian that has come out in the last 6 months. It's like publishers come up with stories from a Random Story Generator: same plot, same character type, same romantic story, same plot twists, different names.I know that everything comes from everything else. The Hunger Games wouldn't be popular without 1984 or Brave New World, which wouldn't exist without "We". Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan, and other fantasy writers borrowed heavily from J.R.R. Tolkien. And I think it's a running joke how rubber stamped (some) romances and chick lit can be.But in every story, I think there is the potential for SOME originality (beyond character names). Maybe it is a new twist on old mythology (Anne Rice' "Vampire Chronicles"). Maybe it is a new way of looking at characters (the rise of the anti-hero). Maybe it is just because an author writes so damned well, it doesn't matter that the book is cliched, you find yourself liking it (the graphic novel "Saga" is a good, good example). The point is that SOMETHING gives that book a kick, which takes it from mediocre, stereotypical and ho-hum into "OMG WOW, this is AWESOME".At that level, this book failed for me. It failed to have that spark of originality I was hoping for - no, EXPECTING, given the brilliance of the opening chapters. Once again, we have a bland Love Interest, whose only purpose seems to be giving Romantic Conflict to our protagonist. Once again, we have a female friend, who is merely a Goofy Sidekick. Once again, the ONLY ADULT FEMALE in the book turns out to be a bad guy (and yes, I found myself drawn to her character and LIKING her despite what the writing wanted me to do). Once again, the story seems to go in one direction, unique and gripping, and instead boils down to the same plot twists (seen after a few 100 pages of the book) and the same damned conflicts.There were SO MANY points where this book could have taken the cliches and spun them on their heads. Sure, Marina's secret is pretty obvious, but heading into the Dark could have given deeper revelations, more like what you saw in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", instead of info-dump after info-dump. The Evil Female could have been proven to be right all along, to the detriment of the colony. There could have been other colonies beyond Arclight, scrabbling to keep a hold. We could have had a story without a stupid Love Triangle (although nowhere near the worst I've ever seen), with more named female characters who do more than clutch their pearls and scream at the bad guys.And that really sums up why this book, which isn't all that bad, gets 2 stars from me. There was a lot of potential here; a lot of exciting developments. And instead of pursuing those, we get Generic Young Adult Sci-Fi/Dystopian Novel #4758.If you are up for a slightly creepy read where you will probably figure out the plot twists quickly, then definitely read this book. But if you were hoping for something really different, really compelling, then pass on this book (or at least borrow). As for me, as good as the author's writing may be, I'm giving this series (how can this possibly be a series, it gets pretty much wrapped up in the end?!) a pass.
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  • Kat Heckenbach
    January 1, 1970
    I was beginning to give up on dystopian novels. After reading The Hunger Games series, Divergent & Insurgent, and a few others that really impressed me, I soon found that a lot of dystopian novels were bandwagon books. Unoriginal and badly written. Too many try too hard when it comes to concept and voice and just end up creating a hot mess.I worried that this book would be more of the same, but happily that isn't so.Well, not entirely--there were a few things that struck me as negative, and I was beginning to give up on dystopian novels. After reading The Hunger Games series, Divergent & Insurgent, and a few others that really impressed me, I soon found that a lot of dystopian novels were bandwagon books. Unoriginal and badly written. Too many try too hard when it comes to concept and voice and just end up creating a hot mess.I worried that this book would be more of the same, but happily that isn't so.Well, not entirely--there were a few things that struck me as negative, and I'll start with those. Some details about the story felt like more of the same, such as the whole girl-thrust-into-dire-situation thing where she meets the perfect guy with whom to rebel. Of course the people in power have secrets, and are led by a stereotypical tyrannical woman. And some small things bugged me like the male lead being named Tobin--it's too close to Tobias from Divergent (and in my uncorrected advanced copy there was actually one spot in the story where his name was typed as Tobias instead of Tobin). Another character is named Rue (although it's not a little girl, but still, that name is so distinctively Hunger Games). The reason I mention those is that it kept bringing to mind those other books and all it would have taken is the author to pick different names and I would not have that lingering thought of "copycat" every time I read them. And the "Dark" reminded me a lot of Shadow and Bone, but only in the beginning.That said, I found so much about this novel distinctive and original. The nanites, the realistic relationships and interactions between the teens, both amongst themselves and with the adults. The author didn't try too hard with voice (even though it is first person present), so it felt very natural. The writing is very, very good. And even though I tend to get really irritated with books that start off with massive action in the first pages, this time it worked for me. The way the backstory was presented really worked, too. The pacing of the whole novel did, in fact. And to hopefully not give spoilers, there is a sort of a love triangle but it is done so completely uniquely I was really impressed.The very end had one issue for me in that some important action took place while the main character was unconscious, but it wasn't too much and I'm not sure it would have been any better to actually show all that--it might have actually made the end clunky.Anyway, this renewed my love of dystopian fiction and if there is to a be sequel (when are there not?) I will definitely be keeping my eye out for it!My WebsiteFind me on FacebookMy YA fantasy series:book 1 book 2
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  • Faye, la Patata
    January 1, 1970
    Sorry, bebe, but I don't think you're for me. 20% in and I'm bored out of my mind. The heroine is extremely lacking (unremarkable to the extreme with painful narrative in a detached tone... I get that she's trying to be mysterious and disconnected as she doesn't really know herself that yet, but... it's just hard for me to connect this way. And while I looooove deep, insightful narration, this one just fell as flat as a cardboard). I read in some reviews that the love interest is as interesting Sorry, bebe, but I don't think you're for me. 20% in and I'm bored out of my mind. The heroine is extremely lacking (unremarkable to the extreme with painful narrative in a detached tone... I get that she's trying to be mysterious and disconnected as she doesn't really know herself that yet, but... it's just hard for me to connect this way. And while I looooove deep, insightful narration, this one just fell as flat as a cardboard). I read in some reviews that the love interest is as interesting as a toilet paper, and he and the heroine are in an on-and-off treatment. They'd have a moment, then they'll ignore each other... then another moment, and then they'll ignore each other... ugh, no thanks!Sorry. I wanted to love this book but it just came off wrong from the very beginning with that awkward kiss. Like... yeah, you kissed and then you guys act like nothing happened. YOU BARELY KNOW SHIT ABOUT THE DUDE! :| I've seen that in shoujo mangas, and I'm too old for that now.DNF at 20%.
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThe last quarter of this one was really good! I wish the first 3 quarters had been as good. I was really struggling with this one, and was majorly confused, but I think I got it by the end.
  • Debbie Narh
    January 1, 1970
    All pain is bad for my Cherish.Okay, I know that quote is cheesy but holy crap! I fell for Rue so hard! He's really funny with the way he tries to speak and murder some of the people he hates. It's just too hilarious. Marina is an okay protagonist because she's quite easy to understand and to know what she's about to do before she does. The writing style is okay, in the beginning, it's very awkward and very stretched out as if Josin L. McQuein was trying to put as many words in to get the All pain is bad for my Cherish.Okay, I know that quote is cheesy but holy crap! I fell for Rue so hard! He's really funny with the way he tries to speak and murder some of the people he hates. It's just too hilarious. Marina is an okay protagonist because she's quite easy to understand and to know what she's about to do before she does. The writing style is okay, in the beginning, it's very awkward and very stretched out as if Josin L. McQuein was trying to put as many words in to get the point across as possible. But after a while, with everything that`s going on, I didn't notice the awkwardness too much. This book is barely a mediocre kind of read for me. It's glaringly predictable even from the very beginning (page 6 when I realized what would happen between Marina and one of her love interests). Even though I love Rue, most of the characters are lacking in almost every department. Moreover, they have close to no emotion that sticks out which makes it hard for readers to feel sympathy when it is supposed to be given. Instead, they feel like cardboard--boring and lifeless. The romance is very stiff, and disorganized with no build-up whatsoever especially with the love triangle itself. With Rue, the romance is there because of a strong foundation. But with the other guy, it's flimsy at best. It seems like McQuein literally picked it (the romance) out of the air and shoved it in here just for the hell of it.Now, onto the stuff I liked about Arclight. Which mostly was: Rue. Oh, Rue, I love you! He snatched my heart with such unexpected warmth and happiness that even his flaws didn't bother me. His need to protect Cherish and love her only made me love him more. Some parts of the Colonies and how they interact with each other, becoming a whole and connecting everyone is creative. Instead of using words to express their emotions and the others around them, they use images and emotions and are never alone. Even with it being unoriginal, I liked this part about the book a lot. Arclight is a fun story, even with it being unoriginal. With a fun ending that's open enough to leave room for more improvement for the next installment, I'm excited to read what happens next with Rue (don't really care about Cherish though). I recommend this to anyone new or newish to the genre of Dystopia/Dystopian because it's too predictable to fully enjoy the novel otherwise.
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  • tonya.
    January 1, 1970
    This review posted on The Midnight Garden. A harrowing sci-fi thriller about a teen who's survived horrors but lost her memory, for fans of Veronica Roth, Stephen King, and Justin Cronin.When I read that description, I actually groaned. Comparing anything to those authors is just as bad as every new dystopian being coined the next Hunger Games; it nearly always sets up the reader for disappointment. What could possibly live up to those standards?Well, Arclight kind of... does. It's got the This review posted on The Midnight Garden. A harrowing sci-fi thriller about a teen who's survived horrors but lost her memory, for fans of Veronica Roth, Stephen King, and Justin Cronin.When I read that description, I actually groaned. Comparing anything to those authors is just as bad as every new dystopian being coined the next Hunger Games; it nearly always sets up the reader for disappointment. What could possibly live up to those standards?Well, Arclight kind of... does. It's got the dystopian feel of Divergent, the King creep-factor, and a serving of government experiment gone horribly wrong courtesy of Cronin. Marina woke up in the Arclight hospital, with no memory of how she got there. All she knows is what she's been told: they found her in the Grey, hiding from the Fades, and brought her back to the compound. She doesn't know who she is, or where she came from before that--no one does. The Arclight trains its children to fear the dark, but I can't fear the familiar. Darkness is all I know, and the passing weeks don't change that. I don't remember a world before the fluke of my survival was deemed a miracle.I don't feel like a miracle. I feel like a scared and lost little girl who doesn't remember her way home. As far as anyone in the Arclight knows, they're the only remaining survivors of the Fade, the vicious parasites who live in the dark and prey on humans, using their bodies as hosts. Or are they? When a Fade is captured and brought into the compound for observation and research, Marina senses that not everything is what it seems.Arclight is full of twists and turns, and while I did figure out where we were headed fairly early on, the end was still a surprise for me, which is hard to accomplish. McQuein built a solid world, and gave a depth to her characters that had me consistently changing my opinions. But what I enjoyed more than anything was the grey area she developed between good and evil, right and wrong. Dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories were what first drew me to YA, and my interest has yet to wane. But even so, I've been tiring of the same post-war/natural disaster, or social experiment gone wrong scenarios. With the addition of a sci-fi element, Arclight brings a refreshing change to the genre--one that tip-toes over the line of plausibility, but still has you asking yourself what if?
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  • Brad Sells
    January 1, 1970
    Richly fascinating and deeply captivating, Arclight is a book that took over my mind. One of the highlights of the year.You have no idea how excited I was to read Arclight. I dived immediately and found myself emerged into this world right away. The entire world in Arclight is one of my absolute favorites of all-time. The land of Light and the land of Dark fascinated me, and I loved that the author showed the reader both sides of the world. If you're looking for great world-building, Arclight is Richly fascinating and deeply captivating, Arclight is a book that took over my mind. One of the highlights of the year.You have no idea how excited I was to read Arclight. I dived immediately and found myself emerged into this world right away. The entire world in Arclight is one of my absolute favorites of all-time. The land of Light and the land of Dark fascinated me, and I loved that the author showed the reader both sides of the world. If you're looking for great world-building, Arclight is definitely the book for you.And Marina is such a strong and fierce character. I felt for her through the entire novel, and she never once slipped up from her heroic elements. And the Fade! Wow! They are super eerie and creepy; and I'm being honest when I say that I actually had a nightmare about the Fade. Yeah. This book messed with my mind that much. And I loved every single bit of Arclight. And the ending. Oh my gosh, I so did not see that coming. I can't even fathom how much of an insane ending that was and how much I adored it. Josin L. McQuein's debut is one not to miss.Overall, Arclight is a brilliant novel that enticed me and never let me go. An absolute must-read.
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  • Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
    January 1, 1970
    I still remember when I first discovered that this book existed. Or would exist, at any rate. And then I saw the cover, and I was in love. I knew that this book and I were destined for a long and happy life together.Arclightis a creepy science fiction thriller that keeps the suspense building and building until the bottom drops out and you're left with your mouth hanging wide open and your constitution severely shaken. Creatures lurking in the shadows -- or blending into the walls altogether, as I still remember when I first discovered that this book existed.  Or would exist, at any rate.  And then I saw the cover, and I was in love.  I knew that this book and I were destined for a long and happy life together.Arclight is a creepy science fiction thriller that keeps the suspense building and building until the bottom drops out and you're left with your mouth hanging wide open and your constitution severely shaken.  Creatures lurking in the shadows -- or blending into the walls altogether, as the case may be -- these are the things that elicit the most visceral of reactions in me and end up haunting my dreams until I move on to something warm and fluffy.  (Just thinking about that click-clack again gives me the chills!)  This book is equal parts eerie and scientific speculation, with most of the crazy scary stuff occurring in the first half of the book.  If you were under the impression that this story held a tale of dystopian woe, you are looking in the wrong place.  This is a community formed after the fall of the world as we know it, but that is a lesser focus of the book, much to my delight.This narrative focuses on Marina, a girl who mysteriously survived the Fade (more on them in a bit) but has no recollection of who she was prior to arriving at the Arclight.  That in itself is frightening, but add to it the fact that the Fade want her back, and the situation becomes pretty bleak.  Marina takes everything in stride, all things considered, but she finds it hard to fit in and even harder to make friends.  In truth, I found it hard to identify with Marina myself, most especially because she had nothing to identify herself with, not even her real name.  Even though this story is narrated by Marina, it's hard to connect with her, though I eventually overcame that.  Her lack of memory means there's a distinct lack of introspective reflection, meaning the only way to get to know her better is through her interactions with others.There's a boy -- isn't there always? -- who remains just as much of a mystery to Marina as she does to the rest of the Arclight.  Through a series of events (the aforementioned creepy), they are forced together, and despite an awkward start, something kind of awesome develops between them.  Unfortunately, there is a bit of a triangle, but it never really plunges into that cringe-worthy territory, mostly because Marina is able to leave the past in the past, even if she is unsure of who she is in the present.Those Fade...they're a part of the past, present, and future.  There's no avoiding it.  And once we learn what they are and where they came from -- and that they've evolved since their first incarnation -- they become a little less frightening.  I think it was always a fear of the unknown, of that big, dark void beyond the Arclight, that truly plagued its residents.  Sure, the fear of the Fade, not knowing their motivations or their intentions, was real, especially after losing loved ones to the darkness outside the Arclight, but I think it also stems from the perceived protection of the Arclight.  Taking down those barricades and seeing how each side reacted was exhilarting, to say the least.The only really negative thing I have to say about Arclight is with regards to how predictable a certain plot development was and the protagonist's refusal to acknowledge it, even though most readers will see the big twist coming from a mile away.  And honestly, the predictability didn't bother me all that much because the story as a whole was so entertaining, so well-written.  Arclight is a really great mix of horror and sci-fi, and I had a hard time putting it down.  This was such a great book about loss and finding oneself, and I can't wait to see what the author does with similar themes in the more contemporary novel she has due out later this year.  I don't want to call her a master of suspense quite yet, but I have a feeling I won't be disappointed with her future endeavors either.Thanks to Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins for providing a review copy.This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.
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  • Debby
    January 1, 1970
    4 starsHoly crap! This book was awesome! Arclightis an astonishingly powerful debut by Josin L. McQuein. Even for someone who usually is weary of thrillers, this sucked me in and had me totally engrossed. With a great group of characters and an imaginative and beautifully depicted world, this book is a keeper.Let me start right there, with the writing. I adore Josin L. McQuein's writing style. She describes everything with such gripping imagery and just has an amazing way with words. From the 4 starsHoly crap! This book was awesome! Arclight is an astonishingly powerful debut by Josin L. McQuein. Even for someone who usually is weary of thrillers, this sucked me in and had me totally engrossed. With a great group of characters and an imaginative and beautifully depicted world, this book is a keeper.Let me start right there, with the writing. I adore Josin L. McQuein's writing style. She describes everything with such gripping imagery and just has an amazing way with words. From the very first page, I was immediately impressed. And after having read some YA novels recently where the writing really was nothing to shout about, this made me so happy. You want quotable quotes? Read Arclight, seriously."You diminished me beyond words, and fractured me to less than nothing--a single voice pulled from the roar of the wind." - Arclight by Josin L. McQuein The world she created was also amazingly creative and offered tons of opportunities for her to showcase that lovely writing style. The world is shrouded in the Dark, with monsters called the Fade terrorizing humans. It's hard to describe much more without me giving things away, but it's truly one of the more unique worlds I've read about lately. However, because the world was so complex, sometimes I felt it was hard to understand. While I really loved the writing style, at some points a little less embellishment and a little more clarity would have been appreciated.I actually really loved so many of the characters, it's ridiculous. Marina strangely touched my heart. Though in the long run her personality may not be so memorable, I really sympathized with her a lot and ..yeah, she was really intriguing to read about, since most of the book covers the mystery of her identity. Tobin was really cool, at least for the first half, and dare I say it, a pretty swoon-worthy boy. But it's mostly about Rue. Rue is awesome. And Rue and Marina, it totally needs to happen.That being said, the romance here is very light. It's mostly a background thing, and most of the book centers on the mystery/thriller aspect. I suppose one could say this is almost a love triangle, but it's a very complicated situation. However, I loved all of it. Like I just said: Rue and Marina. It touched my heart and it needs to happen. So give me the next book already.The plot packed a punch with all its mysteries about the world, the Fade, and Marina's identity. I didn't want to stop reading, I just had to know the answers to all my questions. The plot is aptly twisty-turny, and that just makes for a really engaging read. (Also! It wasn't AS scary as I expected. Other bloggers claimed it would be best to read it in the daylight, but I was surprisingly not that scared - which is a good thing, for me, since I get nightmares easily.) Summing Up: This was an awesome debut from Josin L. McQuein which gives me high hopes, not only for the sequel, Meridian, but also for the next books she comes up with. Her writing is just amazing and engrossing, and this world was extremely creative. This was just a great read! What more can I say? GIF it to me straight! Recommended To: Fans of thrillers, unique world building, and beautiful writing.
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    Interview with Josin L McQueinReview is also on my blog, My Friends Are FictionI read this with Scott Reads It, Read his reviewThe Story:Arclight has an original premise which kept me interested from start to finish. McQuein has created an intriguing concept with the Arclight, Grey and Dark and with the Fade. As I read I had a hard time really grasping the full scope of the world and its inhabitants. This might frustrate some readers but I honestly loved it. It kept me alert the entire time I Interview with Josin L McQueinReview is also on my blog, My Friends Are FictionI read this with Scott Reads It, Read his reviewThe Story:Arclight has an original premise which kept me interested from start to finish. McQuein has created an intriguing concept with the Arclight, Grey and Dark and with the Fade. As I read I had a hard time really grasping the full scope of the world and its inhabitants. This might frustrate some readers but I honestly loved it. It kept me alert the entire time I was reading, looking for clues and piecing things together. In no part of the story did I want to stop learning about the world McQuein described. I wanted more; I need to know about the Fade: do they eat? sleep? I want to know every detail possible to help flesh out this vastly unique world.The thing I loved so much about Arclight was the subtle creepiness. Nothing out right scary but the Fade and Dark are ominous. The lack of knowing all the details really let my imagination run and added to the atmosphere. Part of my enjoyment of this book was in the mystery of the world and bad guys. I want so badly for there to be a prequel that takes a character through the world's transition to Dark.The Characters: For the most part I enjoyed all the characters McQuein created and developed. Our main character, Marina was strong-willed and resilient. I enjoyed watching her discover answers to her questions and grow. The one character that was lacking most for me was Tobin. I never found myself really caring about what became of him though I didn't dislike him, he just fell to the wayside because I cared much more for Rue. Tobin was also rather belligerent in the beginning and his character's growth seemed sudden and a little disjointed.Final Thoughts: I really loved Arclight because of its mysterious Fade and ominous atmosphere mixed with some great sci-fi elements. I am beyond happy that there will be a sequel.
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  • Liviania
    January 1, 1970
    I am loving the current crop of dystopias. They're moving away from aping THE HUNGER GAMES and towards incorporating more science fiction and thriller elements. Stories about despotic governments are okay, but not really what I'm into. Stories about crazy future technology and uncovering the truth? I'm there.Marina lives in the Arclight, now. The people in the Arclight are protected by constant light preventing the Fade from getting in. But Marina came from outside the Arclight. She has no idea I am loving the current crop of dystopias. They're moving away from aping THE HUNGER GAMES and towards incorporating more science fiction and thriller elements. Stories about despotic governments are okay, but not really what I'm into. Stories about crazy future technology and uncovering the truth? I'm there.Marina lives in the Arclight, now. The people in the Arclight are protected by constant light preventing the Fade from getting in. But Marina came from outside the Arclight. She has no idea how she managed to survive because she doesn't remember anything before she was rescued. But fitting in is hard, especially because several people died retrieving her.The Fade are very different from humans in how they think, how they're organized, their goals. There may be similarities, but it's hard to know since the only contact between the humans and the Fade is hostile. Marina wants answers, however, and she's willing to put herself in danger to get them. I enjoyed the thought debut author Josin L. McQuein put into the conflict between the two communities, as well as the communities themselves. The Fade are scary since they're so alien. It's no wonder the humans fought. At the same time, that doesn't mean the humans are always on the side of the angels. ARCLIGHT raises many complicated questions about identity and ethics.There is a love triangle, which I could live without. There's enough conflict in ARCLIGHT without adding in a romantic dilemma. I did appreciate that it didn't overwhelm the novel. Marina is pretty clueless that Tobin is into her. And why wouldn't she be? She's preoccupied with figuring out where she came from and not dying. Dating is a distant concern.ARCLIGHT will satisfy science fiction fans looking for a fast-paced tale of culture clash, war crimes, and hidden truth. The action starts on page one and just keeps going. There's a lot of plot packed in these pages. It's a fun ride and I'll be back for MERIDIAN, the forthcoming sequel.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    (Source: I own a copy of this book.)Marina lives in a small commune surrounded by lights – lights which keep the ‘fades’ (or ghosts) from attacking the people inside.Marina is different though, because she didn’t come from within the commune, she came from the darkness outside the lights, and nobody understands where she came from or why she’s different.Why is Marina different? Where did she come from? And how long do they have before the fades break through the light?This book was so dull, that (Source: I own a copy of this book.)Marina lives in a small commune surrounded by lights – lights which keep the ‘fades’ (or ghosts) from attacking the people inside.Marina is different though, because she didn’t come from within the commune, she came from the darkness outside the lights, and nobody understands where she came from or why she’s different.Why is Marina different? Where did she come from? And how long do they have before the fades break through the light?This book was so dull, that I really didn’t want to have to keep reading to the end.Marina was just annoying, and she didn’t even need to do anything in particular to irritate me. Maybe in another book she wouldn’t have been so bad, but to be honest, I think the book suited her. For some reason she was just annoying.The storyline in this wasn’t too bad I suppose, but it was just confusing, and didn’t capture my attention at all. I sure someone else would really like this, but it totally didn’t do it for me. From really early on I was bored, and as the book progressed it got worse and worse. Even the interesting bits couldn’t drag me from my pit of despair, and I was literally hanging in there by the skin of my teeth, hoping and praying that the end would come faster. When the end came, I could not have been more relieved. I still don’t really get what was going on, because my brain just will not take information that it finds boring, but I made it to the end! Yay! Definitely not reading the next book.Overall; bored the pants off me.4 out of 10.
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  • Christal (Badass Book Reviews)
    January 1, 1970
    See this review and others like it at BadassBookReviews.com!Let's just say that I've read a lot of YA dystopias this year... seriously, A LOT. So when I say Josin L. McQuein's series debut Arclight was a breath of fresh air, I'm talking a huge, gasping breath of life-saving air. This book wasn't without its flaws, but they were negated by the wonderful world building and actual science that served as the basis for this story. The rich and intriguing characters helped the distinction along and See this review and others like it at BadassBookReviews.com!Let's just say that I've read a lot of YA dystopias this year... seriously, A LOT. So when I say Josin L. McQuein's series debut Arclight was a breath of fresh air, I'm talking a huge, gasping breath of life-saving air. This book wasn't without its flaws, but they were negated by the wonderful world building and actual science that served as the basis for this story. The rich and intriguing characters helped the distinction along and the fantastic writing style sealed the deal. Arclight is one of my top reads for the year so far and I am over the moon to see that a sequel is in the works! Arclight opens by introducing our MC, Marina. She's new to the Arclight and still thinks of herself as an outsider. She was found alone outside and doesn't have any memories of how she got there or who she is. We are then immediately introduced to the Fade, the main threat to the sanctity of the Arclight. See, the Arclight is basically a dome of light that keeps the city illuminated and safe from the Fade. Right outside the Arclight is the Grey, the area where light and dark meet, and beyond that is the Dark. No humans venture into the Dark and if they do, they never return; the Dark is where the Fade live. The world building was a little confusing at first, but Ms. McQuein soon smooths everything out and the world of Arclight becomes vivid, terrifying, and oh so believable. The Fade attack the humans in the Arclight with the intent on destroying their protection and infecting as many as they can. Or at least it would seem that way... Ms. McQuein created a captivating and complex foe in the Fade. Where did they come from? Why are they really attacking the Arclight? Why do they seem to want Marina? The answers to these questions change the way we ultimately view the Fade. What starts as a community of vicious and eerie monsters turns into something completely different by the end of the story. Marina was a wonderful character. She has a detachment that really enhanced her characterization, especially when you find out the complete truth about her existence. She was plucky and determined and I enjoyed her relationship with Tobin, the boy whose father saved Marina and lost his life in the process. They protect one another but don't get too sappy in the process. Marina's only real friend is Anne-Marie and I found her to be quite comical but she was also dependable and brave for Marina. Most of the adults in the novel were kind of horrible, keeping secrets for "the good of the Arclight," but there were a few standouts towards the end.While the last third of the book did get a little predictable, the story was told so well that I was still glued to the pages. I wanted to see just how everything played out and how our characters would end up. I needed to know what would happen to the Fade and how Marina would react once she got her memory back. The conclusion was thrilling and most of the loose ends were tied up nicely. I'm not sure what the next novel in this series will be about, but I know I will be there for sure. Anyone that is looking for a unique entry in the overpopulated dystopian genre should give Arclight a shot; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!Thank you to Edelweiss and Greenwillow Books for providing an ARC copy of this book!
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  • Kevin
    January 1, 1970
    If you are into creeptastic feels and something unique this book is for you. Arclight is a dystopian meets sci fi book that will give you that 'why are there bugs crawling all over my skin' feeling? This book starts off with quite the bang, quickly revealing the threat to the people living within the Arclight. The Arclight is basically a city on its own that separates its people from safety and the darkness of the forest that contains the Fade. Oh, the Fade, oh my. The fade are basically (in If you are into creeptastic feels and something unique this book is for you. Arclight is a dystopian meets sci fi book that will give you that 'why are there bugs crawling all over my skin' feeling? This book starts off with quite the bang, quickly revealing the threat to the people living within the Arclight. The Arclight is basically a city on its own that separates its people from safety and the darkness of the forest that contains the Fade. Oh, the Fade, oh my. The fade are basically (in my imagination) Dementors with more basic human features, at least based on how they are first described. Marina the main character, is semi-new to Arclight after she was discovered outside of the Arc, the first person to have ever survived the darkness and the clutches of the fade. Marina doesn't remember anything from her life before and how she ended up in the darkness alone, let alone survived. Most of the rest of the important cast of characters are met pretty quickly in the chaos of the first chapter. Unfortunately, I had some wavering opinions concerning some of them. Marinas best and only real friend is so so annoying early on, just to thankfully turn into a bad ass later in the book. Tobin, Marinas potential love interest has a more entertaining back story then his and Marina's relationship, which I found rather stale a lot of the time. It didn't hurt my overall feelings about the book though because I didn't think a romance was even really necessary here. I also felt like there were three adults TOTAL living within this city. Whenever there was an issue all three of them would have to chime in with what they thought and how to handle it, while each having their own secrets or knowledge of previous events. I didn't enjoy any part in which any of them had extended talking parts. Obviously this book contain a lot of mystery about the fade and what really happened to make the world like this. So I wasn't bothered by the lack of not knowing what the hell was going for some of the parts, however I did find some of the writing at times more confusing then necessary. Once things come together and you know what and who are really at risk I enjoyed it even more. Obviously this book absolutely excels at what it wanted to do, and that's creep its readers out. The fade combined with the darkness gives an eerie feeling that doesn't leave you soon after finishing this. I loved that part of this book and it really should be it's major selling point. This book has been sold for movie rights, and I can only imagine what a Hollywood studio could do to amp up the creepy with this one. Come for the creepy, stay for the story. The ending puzzled me a bit. I felt like most things were pretty resolved (which I loved, complete novel check ), but I'm not sure how the series will move on... There will be more installments as well, I even asked the author via twitter. (Look at me being all social and shit).http://s1106.beta.photobucket.com/use..." target="_blank">I'm not upset at all by more books from this series, since I did in fact enjoy it, but I am concerned about what direction it will take! Hopefully it comes together and is as wonderful as this was! Book was provided via Edelweiss.
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  • Mitchii
    January 1, 1970
    Have you ever experience something you have no idea what it was and you don’t know how to explain without resulting to a massive mess of words? This is how I feel about Arclight. It was neither good nor bad. By the time I finished this book I feel like I’m drunk (and I was never drunk, as in ever) but without the hangover. I didn’t know what had just happened.I’ve been dragging writing this review because I don’t know what to say. Like I mentioned earlier this might end up with pile of words Have you ever experience something you have no idea what it was and you don’t know how to explain without resulting to a massive mess of words? This is how I feel about Arclight. It was neither good nor bad. By the time I finished this book I feel like I’m drunk (and I was never drunk, as in ever) but without the hangover. I didn’t know what had just happened.I’ve been dragging writing this review because I don’t know what to say. Like I mentioned earlier this might end up with pile of words explaining what I feel and not about what the book is all about. But in my defense the book was really different. Furthermore the creepy feeling of this book mystified what I concluded about it at first. Apparently, in this case first expression never last. It was way gone and never returned. I was expecting a typical dystopia/post-apocalyptic books with some thriller going on. But it’s not just some but plenty of those creepy moods are what I got from this book. I haven’t encountered books with this specific blend so I hopped in with full a smile on my face that I accidentally dug some rare gems with Arclight. Gem indeed, but if I were I jewel enthusiast I don’t know if I appreciate the value. Because, well, like I said I don’t know what it is.But there’s something hunting about it because if I didn’t like it and comprehend it I wouldn’t have finished it. But I didn’t have the typical reaction afterwards, like if I loved it I will be waltzing in my room hugging my book and can’t believe I just read an amazing story. And if the opposite, I have the urge to burn the book to pieces until it just a pile of ashes. But no, I was neither, I think I might have stared on my e-reader longer than normal until I finally realized that it just ended and I have no way identifying this feeling of lost. The smile was gone and replaced with that deer in headlights expression. I don’t know the proper treatment to appreciate this book.But you know what, I might not understand everything but I do know that the book is very creative. How the author incorporated this thrilling aspect of the story as well as very well-thought out characters and have them meshed in this genre was brilliant. It was wonderful in a puzzling way. The main lead was mysterious from the very beginning (she’s the only person who have survived the darkness) and good for her to have sustained that character. Perhaps, that is why even though I’m experiencing difficulties I still have this desire to continue because she was true to the nature of her character. You just want to go along and let her lead you the way, blindly following her.This book is something you read with an open mind (and with the lights on). It was something how raw and different from the books I usually read that had me confused. But who am I stop you, if you want a really unique story and completely fine with eerie feel on your reading palate, I totally suggest picking this one up. And hopefully you can help me to finally identify these feeling of inaccuracies. See, this review is a massive mess of words.I received an eARC from Greenwillow Books via Edelweiss. Thank you.
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  • Matilda
    January 1, 1970
    This book was just PLAIN WEIRD.. I am still looking at it going ...Like it started off like:And then I was just like: And that pretty much continued for the rest of the book...The Fade creatures were fricking terrifying.. And with all the plot twists I was like: And once I had finished it with out losing my mind I was like: So yeah overall this book was very weird...yet I liked it .... Synopsis if you don't know what the book is about...No one crosses the wall of light . . . except for one This book was just PLAIN WEIRD.. I am still looking at it going ...Like it started off like:And then I was just like: And that pretty much continued for the rest of the book...The Fade creatures were fricking terrifying.. And with all the plot twists I was like: And once I had finished it with out losing my mind I was like: So yeah overall this book was very weird...yet I liked it .... Synopsis if you don't know what the book is about...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? Overview of the review:Favourite character: Rue....he was odd but awesome.Best line: “Someone's attention shouldn't have a physical weight, but it does. Hate's a heavy burden; hope is worse.”Best part( beginning, middle or end): Either very beginning or he end...when everything is going down... Character who needs to die. Like now. : The leader of them all ( who's name eludes me. Reaction to end: What the hell did I just read...Summing up the book in three words: weird....confusing, great...
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  • Steffi
    January 1, 1970
    The book could have been so good: it has such a unique idea of a dystopian world and the premise sounded so interesting.Unfortunately the book had way too many flaws.A big one is the almost non-existent world-building. I had huge problems imagining or even understanding this world. There are hardly any despricptions about what happenend or just simply how the world looks like. Every time the characters were talking to each other and were looking for answers, I thought ok now they are going to The book could have been so good: it has such a unique idea of a dystopian world and the premise sounded so interesting.Unfortunately the book had way too many flaws.A big one is the almost non-existent world-building. I had huge problems imagining or even understanding this world. There are hardly any despricptions about what happenend or just simply how the world looks like. Every time the characters were talking to each other and were looking for answers, I thought ok now they are going to explain things but suddenly they changed the topic and left me all confused. Many times I had to pick up pieces myself and set them together to try to understand the world and its creatures. I still don't know if I got it right. The author just didn't describe anything.Another problem were the shallow characters. To me they felt ageless and without personality. There were no emotions, nothing for the reader to feel with them. That made it really difficult to differentiate the characteres. Everyone could have been everyone.The general writing style was ok and it also started quite promising but I just never got hooked and just wanted to get it over with. I will not read the second book in this series.
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  • Booknut
    January 1, 1970
    I've stumbled across another fantastic dystopian series! Instantly intriguing, Arclight grabbed my attention from the very first chapter. In fact, I didn't want to put it down, & decided to have a late night reading session (a.k.a reading under the covers using a flashlight). And the overwhelming sense of tiredness the next morning was certainly worth it! I can't wait to read Book #2 and see what Josin L. McQuein has in store for us readers next :)
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  • Alicia Batista (Addicted Readers)
    January 1, 1970
    3 1/2 StarsOkay, Where do I start with one? This book had me so lost and unsure of anything that was going on through most of the book. Even when I hit the 50% mark I still felt lost and confused! I mean how can you really enjoy a book when you don't understand the majority of the book? You can't!I didn't really feel a connection towards any of the characters, and didn't find the majority of them even that likeable. I mean I didn't hate them, but they were by far NOT characters that I would look 3 1/2 StarsOkay, Where do I start with one? This book had me so lost and unsure of anything that was going on through most of the book. Even when I hit the 50% mark I still felt lost and confused! I mean how can you really enjoy a book when you don't understand the majority of the book? You can't!I didn't really feel a connection towards any of the characters, and didn't find the majority of them even that likeable. I mean I didn't hate them, but they were by far NOT characters that I would look forward to reading again and remembering! Which is really sad because I has such high hopes for this book, I really did. And when I got far enough into the book that things should of already started coming together and it didn't, I started to lose my faith in this book all together.The writing seemed to ramble a lot and not connect. Which was very confusing. The way that Marina thinks and express herself had me feeling like I was going in circles. The world building was too much. It was to much to remember with lights and how they all worked. I really didn't understand the fade, and how they changed you into them & why, for the majority of the book. There was so much with this book that just didn't make sense, and I felt the author waited to long to explain everything! I did get most of my questions answered at the end, but most of the book I was stuck and confused with not really know what's going on! :( I was just saddened to see ArcLight not live up to the exceptions I had for it!The Plot:Marina has no memory of before she was rescued from the Grey and brought to ArcLight. She yearns to know more about herself and where she came from, and how she got there, and if she has family somewhere out there looking for her, and defentely why she can communicate with the fade and know ones else can. But something else is bothering her! She wants to know why the fade are afraid of her. She has SO many questions and no answers. She is made fun of and shunned by her follow classmates. They think of her as fade-bait, and blame her for a lot of the adults deaths in the ArcLight. When Marina was brought out in from the Grey area (The area in the middle of the Dark, where the fade are, and the area in the Light, where the remaining humans are is called the ArcLight). A lot of parents, teachers, and other adults from the ArcLight decided to chance their lives and go into the dangerous Grey to rescue and bring the girl that somehow manged to survive out there. Marina is Hope! The first sign that something is beyond all of this, and that other living breathing humans may be out there too! People from the ArcLight went out into the grey, but not all returned! And some of the kids resent her, blame her for their parents and teachers not returning. And one of them is one boy that just might become her unlikely Allie! Strange things start to happen, and Marina must try to make since of the events that unfold! Who is she, why can't she remember anything, what happens when the people go out into the dark, why can she communicate with the fade, why are the fade trying to get to her, but most important why are they scared of her?These are the questions Marina has to try to figure out while battling the fade that want to take her back to where she came from, the dark...I will say that after this book hit the 75% mark, I did start to enjoy it a lot more then the beggining and middle because everything was coming together, and we were getting answers to the questions that Marina need! But when everything was revealed it was not a surprise to me at all. It was very predictable, but still enjoy towards the end!So Overall, I did struggle with this book in the beginning and the middle. It was very confusing. Their was too much going on at once, too many unanswered questions that were not answered until the very end. The characters were really not that enjoyable until the end. And the overall story felt like it was lacking something, but had to much of something else. I felt this story could of really been amazing if the author would of dealt with some of the mention issues that I had! Now, that being said, I did get into the ending of the story as everything was revealed and coming to a close. BUT who really wants to read a book that you only like the ending? I know I don't! I think the second book will probably be a lot better then the first, b/c the author ended everything on a very interesting note! So I will be finishing the series in hopes of the next book in the series being better then the first! I felt if the author would of clarrifed things earlier and not had so much going on at once it would of been remarkable! I feel I can't give this book anymore the 3 1/2 stars due to the beginning and the middle! I would recommended this book b/c I think the next book in the series will be a lot better!
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  • Diayll
    January 1, 1970
    Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/WriterRating: 2.75ish 3 ControllersReview Source: Audiobook purchaseReviewer: MeI have written and rewritten this review at least five times. Arclight is one of those novels that in theory sounds absolutely amazing but in the end was just not for me. I tried to love it. I tried to get on board with The Fade and our MC Marina. But alas, I couldn’t fall in love with the world the way I desired. *sighs* Let’s start with what I liked…the first ten or fifteen Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/WriterRating: 2.75ish 3 ControllersReview Source: Audiobook purchaseReviewer: MeI have written and rewritten this review at least five times. Arclight is one of those novels that in theory sounds absolutely amazing but in the end was just not for me. I tried to love it. I tried to get on board with The Fade and our MC Marina. But alas, I couldn’t fall in love with the world the way I desired. *sighs* Let’s start with what I liked…the first ten or fifteen chapters where the world is introduced and we get a glimpse at human life after the epidemic? hit mankind. People are truly scared because no one is safe from The Fade. The creatures that come out at night and infect you with organisms and can take over your entire body (at least this is my assessment of them; it’s still something I’m trying to grasp). It started off as it should, frightening and with me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next. And then… It all unraveled. What began interestingly weird, then got even more peculiar, turned out to be a (WEIRD) twisted science fiction read. Arclight is a bizarre take on experiments gone wrong and creatures that go bump in the night. It’s eloquently crafted and the words spring from the pages, however despite having an immense amount of heart, it still manages to leave a sour taste in my mouth. WTF The Fade? WTF is up with the heroine? WTF is really going on in this book!? Okay, if I am to be a hundred percent honest, I have no idea how I feel about this book. It’s super crazy and tries to wear many different hats and wears none of them really well. The mystery is predictable. The Science Fiction is hard to understand. The love triangle is creepy. Arclight is an epic freak-show of friendly/not-so-friendly monsters and terrified humans with parental issues. Had I actually been reading this instead of listening to the audio I’m almost a thousand percent certain I would have DNF’ed it. Why? Because if I had to keep rewinding my audio, think about how many times I would have had to re-read something in the book. Probably twice as many just so I can try to comprehend the main characters inner dialogue with The Fade. Don’t get me wrong, I liked how she communicated with the Fade, heck I was on board up until the big reveal. What I didn’t appreciate, is how she responded to the big reveal. She knew she was different. And yet when the answers to her questions presented themselves, she pretended like it was impossible. Um hello, didn’t you and I just experience the same thing about 50 pages ago? Though what really ticks me off about the whole thing is the ending. There is a semi-LOVE Triangle and I absolutely hated it by the time the story was over. Both leading boys are likeable and I didn’t really see anything that I disliked about their character or personality. I just loathed the rationale our character chose for picking her man at the end. This is probably the only book I’ve read where I’ve been pissed off beyond belief at our characters choice. SPOILERS(view spoiler)[This might be spoilery but I will just go ahead and say it: It seems that our character flat out disowned her people when she made her choice. Because her eyes had been “open” so to speak to the human world, she decided to stay and forgo her life as one of THEM. She had a sister, true love, and a family with them yet she wanted to stay with humans why…I’m not exactly sure. I had to rewind and re-listen to it over and over again to grasp the concept that she didn’t go back. And this is a series? At the very least she should have been sad! *sighs* I won’t be returning for the next one. I have no interest as her life as a human unless she plans to go back to The Fade and we get to see how they live and interact. (hide spoiler)]END SPOILERS Clearly I’m despondent. Maybe even disgruntled. I wanted to LOVE it so bad but I couldn’t. Had I not been confused and then aggravated at the ending I think this would have been an excellent 5 Controller read. However, my rating is based upon what’s presented. And what’s presented, while not terrible, is unlikable. At least by me anyways. Overall, give it a whirl if you’re into weird science fiction. I’m definitely interested to know what others think as it will probably appeal to many but not all.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    When I first heard about this book, I wasn't all that interested. I'd been reading a lot of dystopian books in a row, though, so I waited for a library copy rather than buying it myself. After reading the summary a little more closely than before and examining the very shiny cover, I found that I was a lot more excited to read it. Especially after seeing quite a few positive reviews floating around the book community about it. However, Arclight sadly ended up being a pretty major all-around When I first heard about this book, I wasn't all that interested. I'd been reading a lot of dystopian books in a row, though, so I waited for a library copy rather than buying it myself. After reading the summary a little more closely than before and examining the very shiny cover, I found that I was a lot more excited to read it. Especially after seeing quite a few positive reviews floating around the book community about it. However, Arclight sadly ended up being a pretty major all-around disappointment for me. This review will probably be mostly negative, as I can't think of too many positive things to say about it. The first couple chapter of Arclight are really interesting. I was pretty curious from the get-go about what was going on, so I guess that's a good thing. But as time went on, I wanted to pick it up less and less, until it got to the point where I was seriously considering not finishing. But I just recently quit another book, and I didn't want to do a repeat. Plus was I already halfway through this novel, so I just ended up powering through it, which is not something I normally do.The main thing I disliked were the characters. I didn't hate Marina throughout the story, and I still don't, but I never felt anything more than apathy towards her. Her narration was extremely dull, and I still don't feel like I have a decent idea of who she is as a person. I know she needed an inhaler and had a bag leg. I know where she lives and who she knows. I know cold, hard facts and nothing more. The actual writing of the book isn't bad, it's just not particularily engaging nor very memorable. Most of the side characters are not very well-fleshed out and I can see myself forgetting them easily within the next day or so. The romance was boring. And what was frustrating was that it didn't seem like it should be. Normally, I would like Marina and Tobin's kind of relationship; there was no insta-love, and the two of them started spending time together and gradually developing feelings; although, most of everything they discussed was very serious. They know the big things about each other, but what about small things? What is Tobin's favorite color? What kinds of foods does Marina like? There were really no small moments between the two of them sweet enough to make me care if they were together or not. This is perhaps worse than insta-love, because the two people have No. Chemistry. At. All. Part of the reason I even read is for the romances, so when one falls flat like this, it's really disappointing. The world-building is okay. It's probably an interesting idea. But the problem is that I feel like I never had a good, solid idea of what the Fade looked like. And because of this, they never creeped me out and made the moments in the novel that were supposed to be scary and suspenseful just not. In fact, I feel like I could have spent a lot of Arclight with a question mark above my head, because I feel like the plot was all over the place a lot of the time. The pacing was just off, and sometimes the things the characters did made no sense. (view spoiler)[ Like after Tobin finds out about Marina being a Fade all along, for the first few minutes he's all upset about her lying to all of them and betraying them when he knows Marina didn't know herself. This is especially confusing since Tobin had just found his father living among the Fade, and and saw that apparently they weren't so bad after all. If they're so great all of a sudden, why is it so horrible that Marina is one? Someone please explain this to me, because I don't get it. (hide spoiler)]By the time of the big reveal at the end, I just didn't care. I don't always make the best predictions about books, but I guessed what was going to happen about six pages into this story. Once in a while, when this occurs, I don't mind if I'm absorbed in everything else. Since I hated the characters and was confused about quite a few things, it felt very anti-climatic and I was left with that awful "that's it?" feeling. Overall, I definitely think some people will enjoy Arclight, but it just wasn't for me. 1.5 stars
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  • Dayla
    January 1, 1970
    Review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7I received a copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewJosin L. McQuein's Arclight is a creepy, but very cool young adult novel. McQuein's debut is teeming with individual stories begging to be told, as well as a mystery that pulses with a life of its own. Basically, who is Marina? We are plagued with this question for the majority of the novel as we follow Marina, the protagonist, and the other characters on her quest to Review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7I received a copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewJosin L. McQuein's Arclight is a creepy, but very cool young adult novel. McQuein's debut is teeming with individual stories begging to be told, as well as a mystery that pulses with a life of its own. Basically, who is Marina? We are plagued with this question for the majority of the novel as we follow Marina, the protagonist, and the other characters on her quest to self-discovery. But the creepy tone of the novel is what will surely capture the reader's attention. McQuein takes the common fear of the dark and twists it into her own horrifying perfection. She does not simply create monsters who lurk in the dark, she creates creatures who are made of the dark and so much more--giving them the disturbing ability to blend in with nearly anything. The pacing is great. The story begins in the heart of a crises, giving us a chance to see which characters will stand out in the novel, and what side they will sit on (either they are bad guys, or good guys). The introduction also works for me because I am not left wondering why Marina isn't popular, and why the people living in the Arclight are so scared of the dark. Having complimented the pacing, I think it's important to state that the storyline (and rising action) can be described as a very action-filled read--never a dull moment. We are continuously led from one terrifying moment, to another.There is romance, as there usually is in post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels. The affairs between these young characters add not only blush-worthy story lines, but also hope to the bleak setting. The romance between Marina and her love interest makes you hope for the best for them, even as the dark encroaches on their world. The complexity of the novel is brought up a notch as we learn more about the Fade, the creatures that live beyond the light barrier. McQuein somehow makes a terrifying creature into a thing of beauty by using poetic prose in her descriptions. She touches on the power of nature in a world seemingly bereft of life, she explores familial connections, and how trust can be more powerful than fear. The one thing I am not a huge fan of is how stubborn Marina is. I also find her behavior near the end to be slightly hypocritical. Here's a girl who's been shunned by those around her because she's different, yet she cannot offer the same compassion to others in similar situations. Her attitude mimics that of the people who mistreat her, which completely baffles me. While I like the other characters, like the thoughtful and hopeful Tobin, or even the chatty Anne-Marie, Marina acts just like the other ignorant people in the Arclight--even though she was not born there. Which adds to the fact that, no matter if the subject is human or not, prejudices run deep in this one. At first, I was extremely happy to have found a post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel that was a standalone, but then I found out that Arclight is simply the beginning of a series. I have mixed feelings about this because while I would like to know what happens to the characters beyond Marina's story, I'm going to need a heck of a new mystery and discovery for the sequel to intrigue me. Arclight's mystery explains and disproves so many of the prejudices and fears in the novel, that a sequel feels a little dangerous. I recommend Arclight to readers of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction. If you like novels that play with the dark, offer fearful situations that have more depth than simply being terrifying, and like complex mysteries, then you might want to check this one out. This year is looking good for dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels, and Arclight is a nice addition to the already impressive collection.
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