17 April 2013

Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

Arclight by Josin L. McQuein
Arclight #1
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Goodreads Stars: 4 out of 5
Rating: Essential

Buy the Book: Amazon UK

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? - Goodreads

I must say, I am pleasantly surprised! I wasn't sure what to expect going into this, due to my whole "don't read synopses, don't read reviews" thing I have for books I have yet to read. I don't like spoilers, okay? Which is kind of silly since I'm running a recap site and there are spoilers everywhere, but whatever. Anyway, I really liked Arclight! I finished it in just over 24 hours, and that is probably a record for me over these past few months. Damn reading funks.

One of my favourite things about this book was the world-building. It wasn't anything outstanding, but it was definitely pretty awesome. I liked that Marina's town was separated from everything else by a wall of light so that these creatures - the Fade - couldn't get in. Well, that's what we're told, but the Fade actually breach the wall of light in the first chapter. So what could be going wrong?

I loved the Fade. They were really mysterious, since Marina and the other teens and kids don't know much about them. Those damn adults are keeping secrets and not letting them in on everything. Arghhh, adults *shakes fist* I loved discovering more about the Fade and what exactly they were. They were creepy!

I thought that the plot itself was a bit predictable. And by "a bit", I mean I knew what was going on with Marina by the time I was 20% of the way through. It didn't have a huge impact on my enjoyment of the novel, because I still really liked seeing Marina and the other characters discover everything. And I liked being proven right, I am not gonna lie. Despite being predictable, the plot was really fast paced. I can't think of one slow moment, and I definitely wasn't bored at all. I was impressed by how the author managed to fit so much into this book.

I really liked Marina. I liked that she was headstrong and determined, and I also loved the mystery surrounding her and her past. She's not one of my all time favourite female protagonists (i.e. she's not Hermione or Rose or Scarlet), but she's still pretty cool.

There was a love triangle, and I actually thought it was quite well developed in comparison to some of the ones I've read about. I didn't like how it turned out, though. It just didn't feel right to me. Marina's reasoning was kind of off, and the way she chose who she chose didn't quite fit with her character development, or with the overall story. Maybe I'm just bitter because I was rooting for the other guy. I'm kinda hoping that - since there's going to be a sequel, eep! - Marina will continue with the character development and realise that the guy she chose is an idiot.

As well as the way the love story wrapped up, I initally thought that the story could have been wrapped up better. However, that was before I knew there was going to be a sequel. I thought that Arclight was just a standalone, and I wasn't all that happy with the ending. In the sequel, I'm hoping to find out more about what the humans and the Fade are going to do, and how Marina is dealing with the new things she's discovered about herself.

Overall, Arclight is a really strong debut, and I'm mostly pleased with the way it turned out. I can't wait for the sequel, mostly because I want to see more of a certain character who I was weirdly attracted to. He and Marina had great chemistry!

What others thought of Arclight


  1. "Which is kind of silly since I'm running a recap site and there are spoilers everywhere, but whatever." Bahaha. I'm exactly like that with books I plan to read anywhere within the next ten years, even though I pretty much forget everything I read/learn within a month or two. Logic, I do not have it.

    Also, lol at your comments on the unbreachable wall of light that gets breached in chapter one.

    OMG, I do sort of love when I figure out twists, even if it does color my enjoyment, because I'm all "Bitch, I'm fabulous." So what if EVERYONE figured it out and it was obvious? I don't care; it makes me feel like a freaking genius.

    I really, really hope Marina goes for the correct guy in the next one, but I also REALLY don't want it to be a back and forth book either. She needs to be with guy #1 for a while, but, as she gets to know #2 better irl and in memories, she needs to back away from #1 slowly, and then eventually get with #2. They have time. Basically, it's going to be really tricky to fix that without making me want to hurl the love triangle at the wall.

  2. Great review! I also really enjoyed Arclight and read it in a very short amount of time. It's just so fast paced, and I loved that! I had no idea there was going to be a sequel, so that's an interesting development. I was kind of happy that I'd finally found a standalone YA novel, but I guess I was wrong. Hmm, I'm really wondering where this will go now.

  3. Ooo this one was so fast paced - just what I needed!

    She totally made the wrong choice IMHO ;)

  4. Oehhhhh, great world-buildings are always interesting! Such an important aspect of the book. It's a shame that there is - yet again - a love-triangle, but Marina sounds good enough. I'm excited to read more about The Fade, despite the somewhat predictability.


  5. I agree that she chose the wrong guy. By choosing the one that she did, she turned her back on who she was, IMO. I did really like the world-building in this one too. I thought it was very unique.

  6. This sounds so good and I do love good world-building. I don't mind a well-done love triangle, but I think it will bug me too if I think she picks the wrong guy. Like you said, there is always hope for the sequel! I also don't mind a bit of predictability as long as it's still fun watching it all unfold! Great review, Amber!

  7. This sounds really good, and I don't mind love triangles and I am curious about the Fades now for sure. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  8. I haven't read this book yet but I cannot wait to! It worries me that she might've picked the wrong guy ... but good world-building is hard to find. Great review!

  9. I was accepted to review this off Edelweiss but a couple days later when I went to download it, it was already archived. I was so bummed. I can't wait to read it though! Glad to hear it was good!


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