Series: Arclight #1
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by Greenwillow (4.23.2013)
ARC, 403 pages
Source: From 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?
*Huge thanks to Harper for providing a review copy!
This one was very original, and I seriously love the concept. I do. BUT – the execution kind of ruined it for me.
I’m going to be honest here, the world building was pretty crappy. I was confused about a lot of things, and I had a really hard time grasping the world. I couldn’t picture anything in my head, and much of it was so vague on description that I didn’t really understand the world that McQuein was trying to create. It made my brain hurt. Which saddens me, a lot, because like I said it was extremely original. This novel had SO much potential. I’m kinda hoping it will end up being a series just so that the holes in the world building can be filled in. *sigh*
I would have liked to have seen waaay more background. How did the Arclight come to be? Why? When? What happened to the sun? What exactly are the Fade, anyway? Because I didn’t really get the whole ‘nanites’ explanation. And what does ‘aged up’ mean (what is their method for aging)? What is the significance of the year-patches – how are they counted? Maybe I’m just thinking too much into it. But I’m a world building whore, for those of you who didn’t know, and I get distracted from the story very quickly if I’m asking too many questions about the setting. It tends to ruin the book for me.
I didn’t really connect to the characters, either. Marina was just meh. Tobin was vanilla. The only one that stood out was Anne-Marie, because she was a scatter-brained spaz. I was very interested in Rue when he first came into the story, but he ended up not being very exciting to me, either.
I did like the twist regarding Marina and her identity, that actually caught me by surprise. But at the same time, I didn’t really get her background, either. (major spoiler, highlight to read – this is only for people who have already read the book) Was she born human? Or Fade? I didn’t really get that part…
I feel like there should have been much more characterization in general, especially when it came to our main character.
Again, going back to the originality: It was the saving grace for this book. The idea of the Fade was unique and seriously awesome! Their markings (the nanites, I think?) and the way they communicated as a hive mind was fascinating. They lived in the Dark and were hurt by the Light, and they could make themselves appear invisible to the human eye. Like I said, awesome! These parts really stood out to make this novel different from all the others I’ve read.
Writing style: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 3/5 starfish
This giveaway is for an ARC of the book, not a finished copy.
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