Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

19 April, 2013 Reviews 13 comments

I received this book for free from Edelweiss, Swap in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQueinArclight by Josin L. McQuein
Series: Arclight #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on April 23rd 2013
Pages: 400
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Edelweiss, Swap
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

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?

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!

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker and fangirl, YA Books Central editor and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.
Steph Sinclair
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13 Responses to “Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein”

  1. BooksofAmber

    I was shipping Marina and Honey Bunches sooooooooooo freakin’ hard. I was so sad when Arclight ended how it did. But it’s okay, I have convinced myself that M/HB is endgame. How could they not be. 
    Love this review. You captivated my fangirling/shipper feels perfectly *fist bump*

  2. Lisa FicTalk

    LOL @ Honey Bunches! He sounds like a very “sweet” guy. 😉 hehehe.
    Sometimes predictable books can still be enjoyable and entertaining, so I understand where you’re coming from. Definitely looking forward to this one! 😀
    Great review, Steph! 😀

  3. anothernovelread

    Yaaaay, so glad you liked this! I agree with you about the Fade, and “Honey Bunches”, and about how vivid the writing was! I loved how clearly I could see each scene in my mind. And yeah, Tobin was all right. He did grow on me, but by the end I was kind of torn.

  4. Shelver506

    THERE’S A SEQUEL?!?!?!?!

    Oh my gosh. You have made my week. I adored this book (and had the same issues you did). Yay for sequels!

  5. Shelver506

    THERE’S A SEQUEL?!?!?!?!

    Oh my gosh. You have made my week. I adored this book (and had the same issues you did). Yay for sequels!

  6. tigerlilyrachel

    I’m so iffy about dystopians these days because there are SO many out there and quality is definitely lacking in some, so it’s good to hear that this one did not disappoint! I also can’t wait to meet Honey Bunches hahah. Tobin sounds much more my type, but Honey Bunches has to be pretty great if he gets a name like that.

  7. Realm of Fiction
    Twitter:

    Honey Bunches? Ha! I’m slightly disappointed to hear that there is a love triangle (I’m so sick of them), but I’m glad that it isn’t too frustrating. I really like the sound of the Fades. I wasn’t sure about this one, but I think I might give it a go now. Great review, Steph!

  8. Realm of Fiction
    Twitter:

    Honey Bunches? Ha! I’m slightly disappointed to hear that there is a love triangle (I’m so sick of them), but I’m glad that it isn’t too frustrating. I really like the sound of the Fades. I wasn’t sure about this one, but I think I might give it a go now. Great review, Steph!

  9. Pabkins

    I think most books do have an aspect of predictability.  I think alot of us probably try to guess whats going to happen.  can’t wait to read this one!

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