12138494Title: Arclight
Author: Josin L. McQuein
Release Date: April 23rd, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Genre(s): YA Dystopian Fiction, YA Science Fiction

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Spoilers: Mild
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From the moment you pick up Arclight you are thrown into Marina’s world.

It is a world where people live in fear of the night and sleep during the day when they can be safe. They fear the Fade – a race of ghostly figures that move through solid objects and fear only bright light. Generations ago they consumed the world and now all that remains of humanity are tiny pockets like this community protected by the Arclight. For so long they thought they were alone.

And then Marina came running into the Arclight.

But the hope that came with this stranger quickly shifted to uncertainty, suspicion, and fear. Attacks from the Fade have increased since she arrived and for the first time in a very long time the Fade is beginning to find ways to breach the Arclight and come into the compound.

What I liked the most about this book was being thrown right into things from the beginning without knowing what was going on. In the very beginning scene the compound is under attack and Marina and all the other kids are forced into underground shelters where no one knows what’s going on. All they know is that the Fade have breached the Arclight and you get this real sense of fear that gives the book almost a horror feel to it.

For the most part the characters were likable and realistic. I thought at times that Marina was a bit iffy (amnesia is so overdone – but I concede that it was absolutely necessary in this book’s case so it gets a pass) and her best friend was sort of stereotypical as the do-gooder, bubbly sort of individual. Plus Marina falling for Tobin the pseudo-bad boy? I know it sells in the YA genre but after a while you read so many books like that… to be fair, though, Tobin was a pretty great character. I think I liked him most out of all of them. He had wasn’t entirely broken; he was just having a hard time dealing with the loss of his parents and a lot of other big changes that were thrown his way.

Plot-wise, the big twist with Marina and her past was pretty sweet though I picked up on it pretty early on.

But the world building was nice. I think it could have been explained a lot better and I didn’t fully understand the Fade. What exactly are they? What is their general composition. I know the author explains it but I didn’t really take it to heart much because a lot of it was just sort of loosely explained. There were just a lot of things that I think went unanswered. Which is poetnially because there is set to be at least one more book in this series.

Considering I thought that Arclight was a fantastic stand-alone, I’m a little disappointed that it will have a sequel. I feel like we need to embrace standalone novels again.


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