Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

April 15, 2013 Arclight, Book Review, Edelweiss, Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins, Josin L. McQuein, Paranormal, Sci-fi, Science Fiction, YA, Young Adult 22

Publication Date: April 23rd 2013

From Goodreads:

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?

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Arclight is one of those novels where I went in not knowing what to expect. Just from the synopsis it is hard to place the genre. Is it a dystopian? Paranormal? Science-fiction? Well, I believe it to be a mix of all three!

One thing you will not find lacking with this novel is action, and it hits you from the very first chapter. Our main character, Marina, is in class when they are attacked by the Fade. This is where I feel the paranormal feel plays in because I honestly had no idea exactly what these Fade creatures were. Their click-clack sound when they entered a room, the way they could blend into their surroundings… yep, I was thoroughly creeped out and beyond intrigued. I mean, who were these things and where did they came from? The majority of the plot is figuring out just that. The mystery of these creatures unravels as you read since what Marina and the humans ‘think’ they know about the Fade may or may not be entirely the truth. What started out with a paranormal feel turned into an extremely unique and interesting sci-fi unlike anything I’ve read. Just don’t ask me to thoroughly explain the Fade. It’s complicated, though I did manage to get the overall gist, finding them quite fascinating. I don’t think I can still fully picture them in my mind though because their looks almost evolved, at least for me. For some reason my mind kept wanting to turn them into dementors, a la Harry Potter. lol

Our main character, Marina, is the only one to have survived the Fade and she comes to the Arclight with no memory of her life before. This causes an interesting dynamic with her character because even though I didn’t really connect with her all that much, a lot of it felt like it was because she didn’t really connect with herself. It’s quite evident that she hasn’t made many friends, feeling like the others are out to get her. And well, some of them are. She doesn’t know who to trust, which is understandable given her situation. So of course her relationship with Tobin is of the love/hate variety for a bit. I was pushing for them though! We do get some sweet moments too. Then there is Rue… I feel like I can’t talk about him too much without being spoilery but I loved him too!

Although some reveals were a little predictable, I didn’t find myself upset about it because there was so much else to explore. I was engrossed from start to finish, which is a huge bonus for me in a read. I highly recommend this one for those looking for something unique and exciting!

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

22 Responses to “Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein”

  1. Tanja - Tanychy

    I was reading the blurb and was like what genre is this. I haven’t heard of this book before but I’m more than curious how did that mix turn out! Too bad that some things are predictable but well I could survive that. Great review 🙂


    This one sounds like one of those books that seem pretty out there! I read the description a few months back and was like “I don’t know what to classify this as!” haha but you reviews definetly got me intrigued! Glad you liked this one Sara! 🙂
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

  3. Candace

    I’m so glad you liked this one because I have an ARC and I just hadn’t heard much about it so wasn’t all excited yet. Now I’m eager to pick up my copy! I think I’ll have to read this during the day though, no night time reading! It sounds creepy!

  4. Alise (Readers In Wonderland)

    Reviews for this one are always crazy positive or super negative so I was unsure about this one. Dementors, LOL. I love when books crossover in your mind. Sounds a bit like there would be a love triangle. Hmm. Great review! Can’t wait to see what you think of Dare You To!

    • Sara @ Forever 17 Books

      Seriously, could not get the dementor look out of my mind for some reason. lol Even when theirs looks were more details. There is the tiniest bit of a triangle, but at the same time, there isn’t. It’s hard to explain, but I would still recommend to those who are fully opposed to triangles. There’s not enough of it there.

  5. starryeyedjen

    Ah, I totally pictured the Fade as Dementors at first, too! I was totally creeped out by the first half of the book. The blending in and click-clacking…yeah, I had some nightmares, I’m not gonna lie. But it was sooo good. I agree, I never fully connected to Marina, but the fact that she didn’t even know who she was lessened the sting, I guess, and I was able to overlook that and just enjoy the book for what it was. GREAT review…I’m so glad you liked this one, too!

  6. YA Novelties

    This is the first time I’ve heard of Arclight, so I’m really interested now. However, having an unrelatable protagonist makes it somewhat iffy because the protagonist is the person you have to like in order to actually enjoy a book. Still, the creepy Fade are really exciting because their supernatural powers are so unique! Thank you so much for this lovely review!

    Angie @ YA Novelties

  7. Kristin

    This one is definitely on my TBR list, I can’t wait to check it out. I love the cover and it gives me a bit of a creepy vibe. This one sounds so great especially with how much action their seems to be I definitely can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for your thoughts!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

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