Thursday, February 13, 2014

Quickie Book Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein {Arclight # 1}

Title: Arclight
Series: {Arclight # 1}
Author: Josin L. McQuein
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Date of Publication: April 23, 2013
Source: bought



Goodreads Synopsis:
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?

My Thoughts:

This is definitely one of those books that I wasn't sure I would love because of the assumption  I placed upon it before I even started reading it.  "This is a science fiction type story so obviously that's not my thing..."  was exactly what I was saying to myself before I even gave Arclight like my full attention.  
Yes, I bought it for the pretty cover.    I know, I know.  That is pretty vain.  But I just loved how the rays of light sparkled upon the paper and how it was gently raised as well.  
And I guess I was slightly intrigued by something called the Fade.  It just sounded ominous.  
But I was definitely not giving Arclight enough credit.  Just because it had the word "nanite" in it, I assumed it was going to be like the old Star Trek shows (my mom was a huge fan and I had to suffer through many a marathon of them) and I think that is where my brain wanted to shut it down before I even really gave it a chance to play. 

But you know what?  I strapped my big girl panties on and decided to get out of my comfort zone and jumped headfirst into Arclight.... and I am so happy I did!
Arclight jumps right into the action.  There is no lull in the story at all; you are just thrust from mind reeling scenes to intense scenes and back again.  I loved how the author gave us just enough of the world building to keep us from sitting there in the light scratching our heads, but not so much that it seemed like a system overload.  She also used the characters as our storytellers instead of just a bunch of rote information that took forever to read through.  
I hit it off very nicely with the main character, Marina, as we see how she suffers being the "one they saved" from the dark.  I instantly connected with Marina and it was hard not to root for her after the way her classmates treat her so harshly.  I liked that she wasn't the popular girl.  This book is a dark science fiction/YA story with some heavy consequences in it and I loved the fact that it wasn't so much about the social ladder in a school.  It was more comparable to just surviving among those who blame you for just about everything.  Many of us have been the outsider but never secluded as much as Marina is in Arclight.  It was a great way to show us that it can always get worse.  
Of course besides Marina, there is other great characters that play a major part in the story.  I am sure most everyone adored Tobin and I did really like him but I much preferred Rue.  Oh Rue!  He stole my heart the minute he materialized in the story.  
And I guess that clues you in that there may be a love triangle in it.  But this triangle is slightly off as you will discover as you read through the book.  
The antagonistic characters were downright frightening.  The levels this character was willing to go through just to protect themselves and hurt others was plain scary.  I really didn't see any remorse in their behavior after their terrible deeds and yet it was the strong belief they had that pushed them right over the edge into insanity disguised by power.  

The story lines were very intense, and like I said there was some very dark ideas throughout the book.  I really felt like this was a "good vs. evil" and "light vs. dark" situation right from the start.  How symbolic that the geographic area has the light, the grey, and then the dark when there are many characters in the story that can't be grouped in just the evil side but are no where to being labeled as the good guys either.  
I am a huge fan of the grey area in society and I love that it is immersed in the Arlight as well in many different ways.  
I did, however, pretty much clue in to the outcome of the book by the middle of the story but I was still hooked on the story till the very end.  It didn't get boring for me but I wished a tad bit that the twist had been hidden a little bit deeper.  I would have liked to stay in the dark (no pun intended) a little longer in the story.  
But overall Arclight was a great read!  It really taught me to that it is okay to step out of our comfort zone, or in this case, comfort genre, to find a new genre to fall in love with.  Especially if it is one that we wasn't really into to begin with.  
I gave Arclight four hearts!
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