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Arclight by Josin L. McQuein


by Josin L. McQuein

Series: Arclight (1)

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2131954,782 (3.68)3



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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Stay in the light! The last human survivors gather to take refuge from the Fade, which thrives in the dark. There seemed to be no survivors left at all—until they met Marina.
  mcmlsbookbutler | May 4, 2017 |
3.5 stars ( )
  benandhil | Sep 28, 2016 |
Arclight was an enjoyable, if predictable, read, and I have to say I understand the buzz surrounding the book, though there were a couple of problem spots for me. One of the things that really drew me to Arclight was everyone saying it was creepy and had awesome twists. Unfortunately, I personally found neither of those claims to ring true with me. The first chapter indeed was creepy/horrifying, but it only lasted through that first chapter.

The large “twist” that everyone talked about was fairly predictable, which was really my biggest issue with this book: predictability. Nothing in the plot managed to surprise me or take me off guard, and I think that created some distance between myself and the action for the majority of the book. I was invested, but just barely, and that’s how I feel about the book as a whole: I like the characters, but just barely. I liked the plot, but just barely. It’s definitely enough to tip this book onto the positive side for me, but not a book I’ll rush to read the sequels or re-read any time soon.

While I found the plot predictable, that’s not to say it wasn’t well done. I found the story tightly crafted– I knew every word on each page meant something and was getting us closer to the ultimate reveal. The first chapter, the one that had the creepy part down, was a terrific opening.

My impression of Marina, the main character, went back-and-forth often. At the beginning, she does some stupid things and I may or may not have been yelling at her inside my head to straighten up, but at about a quarter through I started to really click with her. Her struggle of not knowing who she is was probably my favorite thing about this novel.

The Fade=awesome. I love the whole concept of the Fade and how McQuein painted such an awesome picture of the Fade on the pages. The world-building in this book isn’t lacking for description, and while I’m pretty happy with leaving this story where it was without NEEDING the sequel, the Fade might be what convinces me to pick it up if I do so.

Final Impression: This book wasn’t stellar and I didn’t find it creepy/surprising like a lot of bloggers did, but I still enjoyed the read. Marina was a good main character, and McQuein’s ability to create a world was really what captured the novel for me. 3/5 stars. ( )
  Stormydawnc | Jun 23, 2014 |
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?

This fascinating story is futuristic and creative. It blurs the dividing line that separates a dystopian world from a regular world. Ms. McQuein has taken a uniquely novel approach to the overused concept of a dystopian world, making it something refreshingly new, and all her own.

Marina was rescued from the Dark, brought into Arclight, finally safe from the Fade. Everyone either hates her or loves her, depending on who they are. Those who hate her are the ones who lost a parent during her rescue, the rest think that she's Fade-proof, and proof that there is at least one other human settlement somewhere out there. But no one, including Marina, knows where. For Marina has no memories of her life before waking up in Arclight. Not even memories of her rescue. Yet some people are still suspicious of her, for her sensitivity to light and her super sensitive hearing, which she gives away by cocking her head to listen to sounds no one else can hear. And that means she could be infected by the Fade, but everyone knows that no one survives the Fade, so it makes people uncomfortable around her.

Tobin is one of Marina's school mates, and of the same age. Initially he hates her, because his father was one of the rescue party that never returned. But his feelings change as time goes by. And he shows his altered feelings for her when Arclight goes red-wall, which means they are under attack by the Fade. Since Marina has a lame leg from a gunshot wound she's unable to keep up with the rest of the class as the run for the safety of the bunker, so Tobin carries her. Once in the bunker he reverts to ignoring her, the typical confused teenaged boy's response to changing feelings for a girl.

After the attack a bunch of students are standing in the hall outside the door to Tobin's home when Marina spots a Fade. The five teenagers capture the it and it is taken away to something called the White Room. The problem for Marina is that the captured Fade speaks to her in her mind. He demands help locating another Fade named Cherish, who is his mate.

After that night Tobin and Marina become friends by necessity, and then in truth. Tobin shares a secret with her, taking her to a place that is still within the protective Arclight, but built so that the ambient light is virtually gone, allowing them to see the stars. While watching a meteor shower they share a kiss. One kiss that will change everything.

Marina walks a fine line trying to help Rue, which is the name she's given the Fade, and trying to regain memories that Rue seems to unlock in her. Will Marina discover the truth of her missing past? Can she trust Rue or is she so desperate for memories of her past that she'll justify anything? When Rue leads her into the Dark will she die? Will she become a Fade? And what happens when she learns the truth of who, and what, she is? Can Marina locate Rue's missing mate, Cherish, when he can't seem to?

So many questions to be answered, and not all of them are for Marina. Tobin makes his own startling discoveries that have the potential to change his life. In fact, everyone in Arclight will be impacted by the changes heading their way, regardless of how they feel about them. The changes the characters face challenge the reader to look at their own prejudices in a new light, and from a different point of view. Hopefully the reader will be as open to the shift in perspective as most of the characters are, and maybe even take the main lesson of the story and apply it to something in their own life, enhancing and enriching their life in the process. ( )
  Isisunit | May 24, 2014 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Very unique Sci-Fi book with a dystopian type setting. Arclight is action packed with some cute romance, but it was also very confusing.

Opening Sentence: Someone’s attention shouldn’t have physical weight, but it does.

The Review:

The Arclight protects us from the Dark and the Grey area. The Dark is full of the Fade, sinister creatures that want to destroy us and the way we live. The Grey area is the small barrier between the light and dark; it is a no man’s land and should only ever be entered if absolutely necessary. But that is where the humans rescue Marina, a young girl that has no idea who she is or where she came from. She is the only person to survive the Dark and she is humanity’s one hope that the Fade can possibly be beaten.

Marina doesn’t remember anything about her past and she’s not really sure about her future either. She doesn’t feel like she fits in at this new home, and others resent her for the loss of all the people that didn’t make it back during her rescue. When the Fade start to attack more often than normal everyone starts to blame her for that as well, and they just might be right. The Fade want Marina and they will stop at nothing until they have her. Will remembering her past give her the answers she needs to help the people who saved her? Or will her past just bring more unanswered questions?

Marina was a very interesting character but I had a hard time connecting with her. She is a girl that has lost everything in her life including all of her memories and fitting into this new world has been really difficult for her. For the most part she is strong and tries to make the best out of her situation, but at the same time she does seem to pity herself more than necessary. She is shy and hasn’t really reached out to anyone, and for the most part no one has made an effort to befriend her either. Honestly, I found her character to be slightly boring and clueless. I felt that she just sat through most of the book and did nothing to change her predicament which really frustrated me. Towards the end of the story I started to like her better, but it came a little too late for me to really connect with her. I am hoping that I will like her better in the next book.

Tobin was the love interest in the book and to be honest I think he was probably my favorite part about the story. His father was one of the human’s lost during Marina’s rescue, but Tobin doesn’t think that he is dead. He knows that the Fade are after Marina and he feels that it is his duty to protect her. Also, she is the only person that might be able to give him answers about what really happened to his father. At first the relationship between Marina and Tobin is slightly hostile but once they get to know each other better it is actually pretty cute. I thought that Tobin was a very sweet guy and I look forward to seeing more of him in the next book.

Arclight was a very unique book with an intriguing plot and great action. But it was also one of the most confusing books I have ever read. From the first page I felt like I was completely lost and until about the last 50 pages of the book it stayed that way. Surprisingly, I actually was interested enough in the story to finish reading it and I am glad I did because it did end up making sense at the conclusion of the book. I think the main problem was that the world building was puzzling and felt incomplete. It took most of the book for you to be able to grasp and understand the world you were in, so that made me feel really lost. Couple that with the fact that the main character really had no idea what was going on because of her memory lose, it ended up making this a very confusing read. Now with all that being said I did still find that I enjoyed this book and I am actually really looking forward to the sequel. I don’t think that the sequel will have any of the problems that this one had because most of the confusing questions were answered by the time the book was finished. While this obliviously had some problems I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a fast paced thriller about love, life, and finding yourself.

Notable Scene:

It turns its attention down, meeting my eyes with silver ones. A connection sparks, raising ile in my throat.

This is familiar.

I’ve felt this…thought thus…before.


The headache I’ve been trying to suppress pokes at the back of my brain. The air charges again, and the Fade drops to a squat in front of me, with its hands rested on its knees, weight forward on its toes.

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Arclight. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | May 9, 2014 |
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The first person to cross the barrier that protects Arclight from the Fade, teenaged Marina has no memory when she is rescued but when one of the Fade infiltrates Arclight, she recognizes it and begins to unlock secrets she never knew she had.

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