Saturday, 31 August 2013

Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

Title: Arclight (Arclight #1)
Author: Josin L. McQuein
Release date: April 23rd 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Format: ARC
Pages: 403
Source: Publisher

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?

Arclight is one of the best sci-fi novels I've read in a while! I honestly wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, and I was sucked into it right from the beginning. This book is totally riveting, with amazing action, suspense, and epic revelations. The characters are well-developed, and so is the plot. There's a distinct direction to Arclight, which takes you on a beautiful journey.

Arclight takes self-discovery to a whole new level. Marina has no idea who she used to be - all she knows is that she's the only immigrant of the Arclight. No one has gone past the border and come back to tell the tale. Marina was found in the Grey, but she has no memory of anything. She has to figure out who she was to know who she can be. But the Fade won't let her go. She knows she has a connection to them, but has no idea what it is. And the truth she discovers turns her whole world upside down.

I really liked Marina's character - she's more realistic than most YA protagonists I've read about. She's not some kind of hero, she's just a girl trying to figure out her past. Marina isn't afraid to say what she thinks, and I liked that. She's very straightforward. But what I didn't like about her is her constant state of denial. If all the evidence points at something you know deep inside but don't want to accept, you don't just imagine there's another explanation, because there isn't. Thank goodness she finally accepts everything, though!

I had quite mixed feelings about Tobin throughout the book. He was quite hot and cold at first, and then I started to really like him, and then he made a 180 degree turn. But by the end, I definitely liked him. Tobin lost his dad when Marina was rescued, and he holds that against her. But at the same time he feels he has to protect her, to ensure that his father didn't die in vain. Tobin is really protective of Marina, and he's actually really sweet. A little narrow-minded in the beginning, but he changes. Tobin goes through a lot too, and I admire his ability to stand strong through it all.

I can't say much more, because I really don't want to give anything away. But another character I really loved is Rue. He's definitely the most intriguing, and quite enigmatic when we first meet him. But as he opened up more, I started to really like him. There are quite a lot of shockers in this book. A few are fairly obvious, which saddened me because I like unpredictability in books. But others I never saw coming, and that was awesome. In fact, I never knew which direction the book was going to go in, and this book really is like a roller-coaster.

The Fade play a much bigger part than I could have imagined, and the things we find out about them totally blew my mind. The world-building of Arclight is amazing, and this book just really makes you feel, if you get what I mean. There are bittersweet moments that just made me love this book even more. I have absolutely no idea what could happen in the sequel, but I'm already dying to get my hands on it.

*Thank you to Sarah at HarperCollins for sending me an ARC for review*

Rating: 5/5


  1. Yet another great and positive review of this book. It seems that my interest for science fiction and dystopia books has been growing for the last few months. This sounds like a really good book!

    Kaitlin @

  2. Ahhh I'm glad you loved this one so much. I seemed to be the one black sheep who really didn't like it so I'm glad that you did, especially with the world-building and the characters. I don't really remember much of the book, but Rue definitely a very intriguing person :)

    Fantastic review, Richa! <33

  3. ooooh! LOVED this one too! Though honestly I was on a certain other guy's Team. *coughs*


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