Series: Arclight #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on April 23rd, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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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?
You know a book is powerful when it begins with a strong image of how things are, and is then unafraid to in one quick motion, ruthlessly and thoroughly turn everything you as a reader have begun to accept as fact, on its head.
I unabashedly consider myself a prime plot-twist detector. I will see whats ahead when I’m reading, or I will call it out during movies with my friends, much to their annoyance. So when I heard that there was an obvious twist in this book I was kind of dreading it. Perhaps my internal detector was jammed, because I honestly did not see this one coming, which is really painful to admit because the signs were *there*. Not only there in fact, but everywhere. I’m glad it panned out that way for me though, because when it happened I got to feel the complete shock of reorientation. Regardless, I promise to revoke my self-placed title.
I loved this world for its inner-workings which were well planned and written so beautifully through McQuein’s prose. I loved seeing it from such contrasting opinions as well, an aspect that made all the more rich and interesting.
But speaking of interesting, let’s talk about the majority of the world’s inhabitance, the Fade. Oh my, how do we begin? In some instances, they reminded me a bit of the Spackle in the Chaos Walking trilogy, but that was only in regards to their hive-mind mentality and general way of communicating. I don’t want to say too much because I want everyone to read about the Fade right now.
For me, the weakest point of Arclight was definitely the human characters (Rue was a champion, no complaints there). While on the one hand I enjoyed them and felt they worked well together, on the other I was a little disappointed with a lot of the main ones who I couldn’t really get a sense of, namely Marina’s love interest Tobin.
Because who was he, really? Other than his initial anger towards her and his desire to live up to the choices his dad made, I felt like he could have been anyone. Like, insert any boy and give him Tobin’s dad and some time to spend with Marina, and there he is.
But Tobin can’t bring me down, guys. I loved this book. It was a great concept, greatly executed… it was all the great things. Things that make me want a sequel very, very much.