Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

In Marina's world, there are only three things: 

The Arclight, the Grey, and the Dark.

The Arclight is life. Home. Safety from the Fade. The Grey is a barren no-man's-land, devoid of life. The Dark is danger. The Dark means the Fade. And if the Fade take you, if they can convince you to come with them, to be one of them...all is lost.

The world we live in now, the world as we know it is now darkness and oblivion, remembered and seen only through mementos from the past: photographs, newspaper clippings. The Arclight is the only safe haven for humankind left, the light creating a so-called barrier against threats; the only other known life is the Fade.

Whether or not the Fade are considered life is another story.

They appear to most as ghostly figures composed of entirely shadow, hooded, tattered robes falling over silver eyes. Pure evil. That's how Marina describes them. But when the purple warning lights begin to blink to inform the residents of Arclight that the Fade have found their way around the barrier, everything changes.

The one thing Marina knows about her past, the one thing they told her as she lay recovering in the Arclight's infirmary: She survived the Fade. And nobody survives the Fade. And when they invaded...everyone's suspicion was that they were coming not to attack, but to bring someone back. And Marina is thinking the same thing: they were coming for her.

Nobody knows why. All they know is that it has something to do with Marina surviving the Fade. But when she meets one of them, one of the Fade the Arclight has within its borders of light, Marina's already pain-filled, chaotic life gets turned upside-down. He leads her into the Grey, into the Dark, and after meeting some of his kind, his kin, Marina begins to realize with horrible certainty who she really is.


While this book is somewhat confusing at times, it's still a well-written, creative, imaginative first novel from McQuein. Though the setting has changed, the human race is nearly decimated, the characters are still very authentic and very real. The story takes a very surprising, yet very interesting twist at the end, and really pulls the book together. It was, as I mentioned before, a little confusing and rather fast-paced, but I think that may be just me. Enjoy this book. Give the new YA book arrival Arclight a read.

4 and a half stars

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