Friday, August 2, 2013

Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

Goodreads Summary:

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?

Publication Date: April 23, 2013

This was truly one of the most original novels I read in a long time. I loved the unique dystopian premise and I felt the author did a superb job of creating realistic teenage characters.

The action starts immediately in Arclight. A raid on Marina’s compound forces her and her fellow teen students to run for safety. They are being attacked by the Fade, a group of photosensitive creatures that have taken over the world.

I had a hard time grasping the world Marina comes from at first because of the intense action scenes at the start. However, once I could better picture the light shield protecting the compound and the creatures that reside in the dark parts of the world, I really ended up enjoying the story.

I loved the main characters Marina and Tobin. Their emotions and reactions felt authentic. They aren’t perfect characters and it made me like them all the more. The secondary characters were great as well and I liked not knowing who the bad guys truly were.

A touch of romance was in the book, but it was far from cheesy. Tobin was sweet and earnest and I loved how protective Marina and Tobin were of each other. The romance wasn’t in the forefront and the plot centered mostly on Marina trying to piece together what happened to her before she came to the compound and how she survived the Dark.

The second half was much stronger than the first and I recommend readers who pick this up to stick with it. I was confused over what was going on, but once the mysteries unraveled, I could appreciate the book much more as a whole.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review!


  1. I've been really curious about this book. I'm contemplating getting the audio from my library :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  2. Hmmmmmmm... sounds a bit dicey :) Well, I'm all about originality so I'll be checking this one's sample out. Thanks for sharing, Heather. WRITE ON!